The type of car you drive is one of the most important elements of setting your car insurance rates. Rates based on the type of car you drive (including even sports-utility vehicles, motorcycles and scooters, and recreational vehicles and campers) are less about your level of risk and more about how much it will cost to repair or replace your vehicle if you file a claim.
Insurance companies also determine rates based on factors like your age and driving experience, your ZIP code, any vehicle modifications, and your driving history, but knowing how much different makes and models of car cost to insure can help you predict what you’ll pay for coverage.
Generally speaking, the more expensive your vehicle, the more you should expect to pay for full coverage.
Cars typically lose value as they age, which means older cars are often cheaper to insure than a new vehicle.
Insurance companies pay to replace your car if it gets totaled or stolen, which means a higher price tag on your car will increase your insurance rates.
Additional features and a more expensive trim will cost you more on your annual insurance premium.
Insurance rates by car model
Your car’s make and model absolutely impacts your insurance costs. Generally speaking, the more expensive your vehicle, the more you should expect to pay for adding comprehensive coverage and collision coverage. Additional features (like high-tech driving software) and a more expensive trim will cost you more on your annual insurance premium.
This means drivers choosing between, say, a 2022 Toyota Corolla (MSRP $20,175) and a 2022 Lexus NS (MSRP $37,950) should expect higher insurance rates for the Lexus.
Cheapest cars to insure
According to our research, out of the most popular cars in the U.S., these are the vehicles with the cheapest average annual premium for full coverage:
Average annual premium
Keep in mind that rates will vary based on a number of personal factors, so your individual rates could be higher or lower than what is listed here.
Most expensive cars to insure
Our research indicates that, out of the most popular cars in the U.S., these five vehicles have the highest average annual rates for a full coverage policy:
Average annual premium
Chevrolet Bolt EV
Tesla Model 3
Tesla Model Y
Insurance costs may vary based on a number of factors. For example, Tesla offers their own insurance product in several states that uses telemetrics (information about your driving habits tracked by your vehicle) to set their rates for their electric cars, which are often lower than rates from other companies.
What is a trim and how does it affect my insurance?
A car’s trim level simply refers to various versions of the specific model. For example, the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe comes in four trim levels: SE, SEL, Limited, and Calligraphy.
Each trim level comes with specific add-ons. The lowest trim level, often referred to as the basic package, typically comes with minimal additions. More add-ons are included as you go up the ladder, with most add-ons included in the highest trim level.
In the 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe, the heated seat option is not included at the SE level, is available at an extra cost at the SEL level, and comes included in the Limited and Calligraphy trim levels.
Your insurance company will use your car's ID number to determine what trim package you have and how it impacts your insurance rates.
How does car make and model affect insurance?
There are a number of ways the type of car you drive can impact your insurance rates, including:
How old is your car? Cars typically lose value as they age, which means older cars are often cheaper to insure than a new vehicle.
At a certain point, the cost of repairing or replacing an older vehicle gets low enough that you may be able to pay out-of-pocket without an issue. When you can afford to replace a vehicle out-of-pocket you can consider dropping comprehensive and collision coverage completely, which is a good way to save money on your insurance.
Insurance companies have to pay to replace your car if it gets totaled or stolen, which means a higher price tag on your car will increase your insurance rates.
Comprehensive and collision coverage each require a deductible. If you can afford to pay more out-of-pocket when filing a claim, choosing a higher deductible can help reduce your annual insurance costs.
Smaller cars can be faster than other cars and easier to destroy in an accident, which sometimes makes them more expensive to insure. Large vehicles can cause significant damage to others in an accident, potentially increasing liability insurance costs.
4. Theft rate
Cars that are more likely to be stolen cost more to insure. The most frequently stolen cars aren’t sport or luxury vehicles but are often smaller trucks like the Ford Pickup or family sedans like the Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, and Toyota Camry  . Car theft is covered under your comprehensive coverage.
5. Repair costs
The cost to repair your car when it is damaged in an accident is a big factor when it comes to setting your insurance rates. Higher repair costs mean you will pay more for insurance, so it is important to consider how repair costs will impact insurance rates when thinking about purchasing a luxury vehicle or a sports car.
Frequently asked questions
What makes a car more expensive to insure?
If your car is expensive to repair, expensive to replace, or it’s one of the more commonly stolen vehicles, expect to pay more to insure it.
Is car insurance more expensive for more expensive cars?
Yes, car insurance is typically more expensive for more expensive cars. Drivers with comprehensive and collision coverage know the company would have to pay for a replacement car if it were stolen or totaled. Insurance companies are paying much more to replace a Mercedes than a Nissan and they will price your policy accordingly.
What is the difference between car model and make?
The make is the brand of the car and the model is the specific product. For example, the car make would be Honda and the model would be Civic.
Policygenius has analyzed car insurance rates provided by Quadrant Information Services for every ZIP code in all 50 states, plus Washington, D.C.
For full coverage policies, the following coverage limits were used:
Bodily injury liability: 50/100
Property damage liability: $50,000
Uninsured/underinsured motorist: 50/100
Comprehensive: $500 deductible
Collision: $500 deductible
In some cases, additional coverages were added where required by the state or insurer.
Rates for overall average rate, rates by ZIP code, and cheapest companies determined using averages for single drivers age 30, 35, and 45. Our sample vehicle was a 2017 Toyota Camry LE driven 10,000 miles per year.
Rates for driving violations and “poor” credit were determined using average rates for a single male 30-year-old driver with a credit score under 578.
Some carriers may be represented by affiliates or subsidiaries. Rates provided are a sample of insurance costs. Your actual quotes may differ.