Cheapest to costliest cars to insure

2016 Honda Odyssey LX

Slow and steady wins the race as far as lower
car insurance premiums are concerned

By Jim Gorzelany
CTW Features

One of the easiest ways to save on car insurance is to choose a model that’s cheaper to cover in the first place. And with Americans holding onto their cars for longer periods than ever — the national average is just over 11 years — saving even a couple hundred dollars a year can add up to big money over the course of ownership.

Once again the vehicles enjoying the lowest average insurance rates in the U.S. are family-minded minivans and SUVs, which account for nine spots out of the 10 cheapest 2016 cars to insure as compiled by the website in Foster City, California. The Honda Odyssey LX minivan garners the cheapest rates this year, with an annual average premium of $1,113.

“The Odyssey has a five-star crash rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and is relatively inexpensive to repair,“ says Penny Gusner, consumer analyst for “And a driver carting around children tends to be more cautious than the person driving a muscle car.”

Speaking of which, rip-roaring sports cars and costly luxury vehicles dominate the 2016 list of the costliest cars to insure, with the venomous Dodge Viper leading the pack with an average annual premium of $4,048. “The Viper is a car you buy because you love to drive fast,” Gusner says. “That’s reflected in the rates.”

While we’re certain nobody would cross-shop the two models, the Viper is $2,935 more expensive per year to cover, on average, than the Odyssey, which amounts to a $14,675 difference after five years. We’re featuring the lists of the 10 most and least expensive models to insure in the accompanying box.

Why such a spread? For starters, insurance rates generally vary according to the original cost of the car, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. “You can’t assume that just because a car is expensive that it’s equally expensive to insure,” Gusner says. “Insurance companies base rates on multiple factors, such as cost of repair, safety ratings and the number of claims on a vehicle model. And that’s before taking into account your driving record.

To that end, the average premiums quoted by assume the policyholder is a 40-year-old male driver living in the suburbs who has a squeaky clean driving record. Younger drivers — particularly single male teens — and especially those having one or more traffic tickets and/or accidents on their records, will pay more.

Likewise, those living in crowded and crime-ridden urban areas with a higher frequency of claims will face steeper rates than motorists who reside in sleepy rural areas. Premiums can even vary from one state to another based on a plethora of factors. With all else being equal, says the above Honda Odyssey would cost a mere $651 a year to insure in Maine, but a stiffer $2,387 in Michigan.

That means it’s always a good idea to check with an insurance agent early on in the car-shopping process to identify which models under consideration are inherently cheaper to insure than others. And at that, some cars may cost more or less to cover depending on the carrier, so also be sure to shop around among competing insurance companies to find the best deals.

© CTW Features

Cheapest Cars to Insure for 2016

  1. Honda Odyssey LX – $1,113
  2. Honda CR-V LX 2WD – $1,170
  3. Dodge Grand Caravan AVP – $1,174
  4. Jeep Patriot Sport 2WD – $1,180
  5. Jeep Wrangler Sport 4WD – $1,181
  6. Jeep Compass Sport 2WD – $1,190
  7. Ford Escape S 2WD – $1,194
  8. Buick Encore Sport Tour 2WD Turbo – $1,200
  9. Jeep Cherokee Sport 2WD – $1,203
  10. Nissan Frontier S King Cab – $1,204

Costliest Cars to Insure for 2016

  1. Dodge GT Viper – $4,048
  2. Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG – $3,797
  3. Mercedes-Benz S600 – $3,539
  4. Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG – $3,513
  5. Porsche Panamera S Executive – $3,484
  6. Nissan GT-R NISMO – $3,476
  7. BMW M6 Gran Coupe – $3,309
  8. Land Rover Range Rover SV – $3,245
  9. Audi RS7 Quattro Prestige – $3,229
  10. Porsche 911 Carrera GT3 RS – $3,212


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