Auto Insurance Rates by Car Type

One of the biggest considerations that many car owners forget when purchasing a new vehicle is how much it will cost to insure different types of cars. A survey released by LowerMyBills.com in Oct. 2009 revealed that many consumers don’t deem auto insurance significant when making important vehicle-related decisions. According to the survey, 38% of respondents said they don’t consider auto insurance premiums when they purchase a vehicle.

However, it is advised that you make car purchases with auto insurance prices in mind because insurance costs could add hundreds or even thousands to your car ownership experience over its lifetime. So if you haven’t already asked yourself, now’s the time to consider how much it costs to insure the car you’re interested in.

Comparison-Shopping for Auto Insurance

In early 2009, Insure.com released a list of the most and least expensive vehicles to insure for the year. Utilizing a list like this is a great way to gauge how much you might spend for auto insurance; however, the list alone should not be the determining factor in purchasing a vehicle. Instead, it’s good to use it as more of a guide.

Since there are so many auto insurance companies out there choose from, it’s a good practice to spend time obtaining quotes from as many as you can first. Also, the more specific the information you have to provide during the quote process (Social Security number, driving record details, VIN), the more accurate your quote is likely to be.

Insure.com vs. Go Insurance Rates Quotes

To help give you a basic idea of how vast the price differences could be with some of the top companies, let’s take a look at various car types, makes and models according to Insure.com’s average cost (released in May 2009) and the average costs with top insurers Progressive and GEICO found at Go Insurance Rates as of Dec. 2009.

2009 Average Car Insurance Quotes

vs.

Major Insurance Companies

Sports Cars

Vehicle

Nissan GT-R

Dodge Viper

BMW M6

Ford Shelby GT500

Lexus IS F

Avg.

$2,533

$2,446

$2,336

$2,186

$1,881

Progr.

$4,186

$5,184

$4,462

$3,524

$3,268

GEICO

$1,970

$2,854

$3,082

$1,000

$1,534

Luxury Cars and SUVs

Mercedes G-Class

Hummer H2

Audi S8

Land Rover Range Rover

Mercedes SL550

$2,088

$1,912

$1,627

$1,603

$1,577

$4,112

$3,010

$3,234

$2,924

$2,936

$2,888

$2,216

$3,086

$2,170

$3,096

Minivans

Dodge Grand Caravan

Mazda5

Honda Odyssey

Kia Sedona

Hyundai Entourage

$960

$929

$871

$857

$848

$1,476

$1,266

$1,394

$1,554

N/A*

$1,014

$950

$754

$890

$914

Economy and Other Cars

Chevy Impala

Suzuki Forenza

Honda Accord

Volks. Passat

Smart Fortwo

$959

$954

$951

$936

$881

$874

$982

$1,408

$1,604

$996

$1,548

$1,360

$888

$946

$821

Source: GoInsuranceRates.com research. Averages based on a 40-year-old male driver who commutes 12 miles to work, with policy limits of 100/300/50 ($100,000 for injury liability for one person, $300,000 for all injuries and $50,000 for property damage in an accident) and a $500 deductible on collision and comprehensive. Policy includes uninsured motorist coverage. Rates were averaged based on Missouri zip code on Progressive Direct and GEICO sites. Average rates are for comparative purposes; your rate will depend on your personal factors.

*N/A – rate could not be figured via insurance company website.

Sports Cars

If you’re looking to purchase sports car insurance, there is no doubt that you could expect to pay a pretty penny on your premium. According to Insure.com’s list of the most expensive vehicles to insure, most were sports cars. In the report, among the top sports cars to insure were the Nissan GT-R, Dodge Viper, BMW M6, Ford Shelby GT500 (Mustang) and Lexus IS F.

In the site’s listings, the annual insurance rates ranged from $1,881 to $2,553; however, when visiting Progressive and GEICO for current insurance quotes based on similar generic data to Insure.com’s (40-year-old male, commutes 12 miles to work, policy limits 100/300/50, $500 collision and comprehensive deductibles, uninsured coverage) for the state of Missouri, the data was vast.

For instance, The Nissan GT-R showed a yearly insurance quote of $1,970 with GEICO, while Progressive quoted $4,186 for the year. These quotes were significantly higher and lower than the average posted from Insure.com of $2,533. On the other hand, the Lexus IS F had a yearly average of $1,881, while Progressive quoted $3,268 and GEICO $1,534. The variations in quotes prove that you need to shop around, even after being given a handy insurance guide to work with.

Luxury and SUV

In our research, we also looked at luxury car insurance as well as insurance for SUVs because they are often priced similarly. As with the sports cars, the luxury and SUV car insurance class show huge variations in price; however, on average, the costs were higher than the averages given from Insure.com. This could be partially because the rates were only explored for one state. Also, Insure.com’s rates were found more than six months prior to the follow-up figures.

An example of some rate variations includes the Mercedes G-Class, which had an average rating of $2,088 in May. Through GEICO, the rate was $2,888, which was pretty close. However, the annual rate for Progressive was substantially higher at $4,112.

In a different scenario, the Mercedes SL550 had an average cost of $1,577, while Progressive quoted $2,936, slightly lower than GEICO’S $3,096. Again, the variations show the importance of exploring quotes to find the best one for you.

Minivans

Minivans are quite popular nowadays partially because they are known for their high safety ratings with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) as well as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This makes minivan insurance typically cheaper than other types of vehicles.

For example, the Kia Sedona was an IIHS 2009 Top Safety Pick due to its good performance in front, side and rear crash tests. This is one reason that its average insurance rating in May was $857. While the rates seem to have increased some since that time, GEICO still offers coverage for around $890 a year, while Progressive’s is a bit higher for the state researched with $1,554.

Economy Cars and More

When you think of saving money with auto insurance, most immediately think of the economy car. Because it is pint-sized, it usually burns less gas, is built safer and isn’t a magnet for theft – all great perks. However, you’d be surprised to find the economy car insurance is actually comparable to minivan insurance. The rates are quite similar.

For instance, the Smart Fortwo, which is about as economic as you can get, showed an average auto insurance rate of $881 with Progressive and GEICO not far off at $996 and $821, respectively. In comparison, the Honda Odyssey had an average cost of $871, with Progressive at $1,394 and GEICO at $754.

It’s no secret that auto insurance rates can vary considerably based on a number of factors, including age, driving record, location and even your credit. This is why its important to shop around for rates – especially if you’re thinking of purchasing a new car.

As you can see, the type of car you purchase, and even which company you decide to work with, could significantly influence your annual insurance costs. So before signing on the dotted line for a new vehicle, first ask yourself “How much does it cost to insure this car?”