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Cheapest and Most Expensive Cars to Insure Including How Insurance Rates Are Set

Posted: // - 12: AM ET

Cheapest and Most Expensive Cars to Insure

The type of vehicle you drive not only says something about who you are, but it says a lot about how much car insurance you pay. Insurance underwriters set your premiums in part, by comparing your car's features including: cost of repairs, safety rating, safety features, and likelihood of being stolen.

Cost of Repairs
Intellichoice ranked the vehicles which were least expensive to repair for 2009 and the results showed the superiority of Hyundai, Mitsubishi, and Kia over most American nameplates. Their dominance of most of the vehicle spectrum was only displaced by GM in the large pickup segment.

IIHS Crash Test - 2009 Smart fortwo vs. Mercedes C-Class

Safety Rating
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety ranks vehicles for their safety, giving the top contenders the title of "Top Safety Pick." A sign that either cars are safer or manufacturers are getting better at passing crash tests is that 72 vehicles were picked for the honor for 2009. The Insurance Institute recently ran little car vs. big car crash tests and confirmed that, despite excellent standard crash test results which simulate collisions between like-sized vehicles, smaller cars are still vulnerable in crashes with larger vehicles.

Picture of Nissan GT-R

Safety Features
Although buying a previously-owned vehicle can save you money when purchasing the vehicle, new cars reap multiple rewards for having the most modern safety features. By 1995 most cars and light trucks were manufactured with anti-lock brakes. Insurers in Florida, New Jersey and New York are required to give policyholders with ABS a discount. Regardless of the year of the car you drive, having the most advanced safety features on board can save your life as well as saving you money.

Picture of GM Hummer

Likelihood of Theft of the Vehicle
The status symbols of NBA sports stars include the really big SUV's like the Cadillac Escalade and the Hummer. These through no coincidence are two of the most commonly stolen vehicles. Thieves, given a choice will pick an SUV eight times over a smaller vehicle. The Highway Loss Data Institute declares the Mercedes E-Class, the Subaru Forester, and the Buick Rainier as the least likely to be stolen.

Sports Car or Minivan?
The most highly ticketed vehicle for speeding according to Money Magazine is the Hummer. Filling out the list of the top 10 most ticketed vehicles were high-powered Mercedes models and the rebellious youth in their Scions.

Least Ticketed
Buicks, minivans and pickups.

Cheapest to Insure According to Jalopnik:

  1. Dodge Grand Caravan - $960
  2. Chevrolet Impala - $959
  3. Mazda B-Series Truck - $957
  4. Lincoln Town Car - $955
  5. Suzuki Forenza - $954
Picture of Dodge Grand Caravan

Most Expensive to Insure According to Motortrend:

  1. Nissan GT-R: $2,533
  2. Mercedes G-Class: $2,088
  3. Dodge Viper SRT-10 - $2,446
  4. BMW M6 - $2,236
  5. Ford Shelby GT500 - $2,186

Conclusion:
Car insurance companies serve a purpose by providing drivers a way to "hedge their bets" that they will never suffer a loss due to a car accident. The higher their risk profile, the more expensive it becomes to give drivers that margin of safety. Choosing the right vehicle can help decrease risk as well as keep the price of auto insurance more affordable. Fortunately, cars are getting safer to drive every year, so there are plenty of low risk choices available on the market.

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