Owning a car is expensive and not just for gas and oil. Factor in the cost of renewing tags, driver’s license, repairs, and insurance and it’s a nice little chunk of change just for the privilege of being able to motivate yourself around town. The costs of most of these items are beyond the average driver’s control but you may be able to do something about that last one, insurance. The type of car you drive can have a big effect on your monthly premium.
No matter where you live, insurers have developed some sort of scale by which they classify cars for insurance purposes. In England, according to the website uSwitch, the Association of British Insurers created a 1-to-50 ranking used by insurers there. Your country will have something similar. Research shows that certain cars have fewer claims filed and are cheaper to insure. This cost savings is passed on to you, the driver. The simple rule of thumb is that a lower number equates to cheaper premiums. It stands to reason that if you want cheaper auto insurance, find a car that is classified in a cheaper category. The Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) is a non-profit American organization that tracks car accidents and provides statistics regarding which cost insurers more.
In general, insurance rates tend to rise with horsepower. Also, a newer car is more expensive to insure than an older one. Think of it like you are an insurance agent. If it costs them more to pay for repairs after you break it, it’s going to cost you more to insure in the first place. It’s simple logic. The perhaps-unsurprising verdict of which are the cheapest car models to insure is provided by MSN Money for 2010. Every single car in the top ten is either an SUV or minivan. Here’s the list in descending order: Mazda Tribute (two-wheel drive), Honda Odyssey, Mazda Tribute (four-wheel drive), Chrysler Town & Country, Jeep Wrangler, Mazda Tribute (S version), Dodge Grand Caravan, Toyota Sienna, Hyundai Tucson and Kia Sportage. This list is for 2010 car models and doesn’t take into account your 1975 Chevrolet farm truck.
An interesting tidbit that escapes the attention of some people is that, when it comes time to choose a cheap car to insure, insurers make generalizations about how and when it is driven to arrive at the final premium cost. For example, a Dodge Grand Caravan ranks in the top ten list of cheap cars to insure. Part of the reason is that insurance companies assume this kind of car is primarily driven by a stay-at-home mom who uses the vehicle to take kids to and from school and run them around to activities in the evening. They further assume she will be on the road mostly during off-peak hours for traffic and runs less chance of being in an accident because she travels when fewer cars are on the road.
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