Latino Traffic Report (LTR) has just learned that Insure.com’s annual ranking of the least and most expensive vehicles to insure named the Honda Odyssey as the least expensive for the second year in a row, while Jeep set a new record with its models taking up a whopping 50 percent of the top 10. On the high side, the Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG convertible was the most expensive. The rankings were compiled from a recent review of insurance rates in every single state for more than 2,800 different vehicle models.
Insure.com commissioned Quadrant Information Services to calculate average auto insurance rates for 2017 models. Averages were calculated using data from six large carriers, such as Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, Nationwide, Progressive and State Farm, in ten zip codes per state. Not all models were available, especially exotic cars.
Least expensive rankings were based on the best-performing trim line of each model. The worst performing trim line of each model determined most expensive rankings.
Least Expensive Vehicles to Insure
Jeep Renegade Sport
When it comes to cheap vehicles to insure, nothing has changed with the Honda Odyssey LX remaining at the top of the list. According to Insure.com: “Minivans have always been popular on our inexpensive to insure list. In 2011, all four of the top spots were minivans and every year since at least one minivan has been in the top five, with the exception of 2013.
What minivans lack in sex appeal, they make up for in safety and for a family vehicle, that’s where the emphasis should be. Safety features, a great safety rating, and extra cautious drivers lead to fewer accidents, claims, and lower rates. The Odyssey has received an overall five-star crash rating from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Second place goes to the Jeep Renegade Sport, the Jeep Wrangler Black Bear ranks No. 3 with the Honda CR-V LX earning the number four spot and the Jeep Compass Sport rounding out the top five.
While some may be surprised to see Jeep included so heavily in the list—in addition to the ones listed above, the Jeep Cherokee Sport took the No. 7 spot and the Patriot Sport tied for eighth place—it’s not so odd, according to Penny Gusner, consumer analyst for Insure.com.
“When people think of Jeeps, they typically think about ruggedness, not bells and whistles. The Jeeps on the list are the entry-level and thus would cost less to repair or replace than a car that comes with lots of expensive luxury features,” notes Gusner.
Top 10 Cheapest Cars to Insure
||Average annual premium
||Honda Odyssey LX
||Jeep Renegade Sport
||Jeep Wrangler Black Bear
||Honda CR-V LX
||Subaru Outback 2.5l
||Jeep Cherokee Sport
||Buick Encore (tie)
||Jeep Patriot Sport (tie)
||Subaru Forester 2.5l
Most Expensive Vehicles to Insure
Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG cabriolet
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the most expensive cars to insure list is mainly made up of sports cars that are designed to be driven fast, or high-end luxury cars.
As usual, Mercedes-Benz dominates the most expensive to insure category with nine vehicles in the top 20. The Dodge Viper drops from No. 1 to 2 and Maserati breaks into the top 10 for the first time as the Quattroporte GTS slips into the fourth spot.
While most of the cars on the list are out of the average person’s price range, sticker price is not always a reliable indicator of insurance costs. In many cases, less expensive but higher performance cars cost more to insure.
Dodge Viper GTS
As an example, the most expensive car to insure (Mercedes S65 AMG convertible) is indeed the most expensive car on the list with an MSRP of $247,900. However, the second most expensive car to insure (Dodge GTS Viper) is a relative bargain with an MSRP of $87,895.
Six of the nine Mercedes models on the most expensive to insure list are convertibles. Prone to more theft and break-ins, a convertible’s insurance rates will typically also be higher, plus convertibles, as a body style, can cost more than their siblings.
It’s not just high performance that jacks up the rates though, a sky-high sticker price and the accompanying repair costs also impact premiums. “It’s no coincidence that many of the vehicles on the most expensive insurance list are more than just Mercedes models—they’re among the most expensive versions of those models, and consequently the most expensive to replace and possibly to repair,” points out Joe Wisenfelder, executive editor with Cars.com.
Top 10 Most Expensive Cars to Insure
||Average annual premium
||Mercedes S65 AMG (convertible)
||Dodge GTS Viper
||Mercedes S63 AMG 4Matic (convertible)
||Maserati Quattroporte GTS
||Mercedes S550 (convertible)
||Mercedes C43 4Matic (convertible)
||Mercedes Maybach S600
||Mercedes SL65 AMG (convertible)
||Nissan GT-R Nismo
||Audi R8 5.2L V10 Quattro
What Affects Insurance Rates
According to Insure.com, the three factors that most affect insurance costs are repair costs, claim rates, and vehicle type. Accident avoidance features, like airbags and restraint systems all impact rates. Anything that reduces the risk of damage to the vehicle and injury to the people inside, results in less expensive insurance.
The good news is that affordable insurance no longer exists only in the compact or family sedan category. It’s now possible to affordably insure minivans, SUVs, and pick-ups.
The common dominator in the least expensive to insure category is safe drivers. “Notice that all of these are essentially family vehicles that, overwhelmingly, will be subjected to normal driving in the hands of responsible parental types,” observes Wiesenfelder.
While SUVs had their problems in the past, mainly with rollovers, the safety ratings of SUVs have improved dramatically over the years. Safety features and accident rates have made a big impact on rates. Still, average rates are for comparative purposes only. Your own rate will depend on personal factors.