Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Oct 31, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) cost more to insure than cars.
  • SUVs are being produced with more safety features than they used to.
  • SUVs car insurance tends to cost more to buy in the first place, resulting in higher insurance premiums.

SUV car insurance can be affordable if the vehicle has a cheaper than average value. The average SUV insurance cost is about $2,300 per year, but that rate can change under the right circumstance.

How much does it cost to insure an SUV? The answer to the question depends on many factors. Most have to do with the type of driver and the type of SUV.  Car insurance rates across the U.S. can vary greatly, so you’ll want to be sure to compare quotes in your area.

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Table of Contents

How much does it cost to insure an SUV?

The average SUV car insurance cost is $195 per month or $2,340 per year. SUV car insurance is more expensive to insure because of the size and value of the vehicle.

According to Kelley Blue Book (KBB), SUVs are more expensive to insure than the average car.

SUVs are much bigger than cars or Sedans. Pick-Up Trucks are the only passenger vehicles that rival them in size and weight. Some large sedans (cars) can match the weight of compact SUVs.

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Are SUVs expensive to insure?

How much is car insurance for an SUV? Although SUVs can be expensive to insure, you may find affordable insurance rates depending on the vehicle on the company.

The most expensive SUV to insure is a luxury SUV. SUVs like Bentley Bentayga, Mercedes-Benz G-Class, and Land Rover Range Rover have some of the most expensive car insurance rates.

Some SUVs have cost-efficient car insurance, such as the Honda CR-V.

Let’s examine the average SUV insurance rates of different vehicles.

SUV Car Insurance Rates of the Top SUVs
Popular SUVsMonthly Full Coverage RatesAnnual Full Coverage Rates
Honda CR-V$95$1,140
Ford Explorer$109$1,308
Dodge Journey$115$1,384
Nissan Rogue$118$1,412
Jeep Grand Cherokee$118$1,414
GMC Yukon$125$1,500
Land Rover Range Rover$156$1,872
Mercedes-Benz G-Class$220$2,640
Bentley Bentayga$301$3,612
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The Honda CR-V and Ford Explorer are the cheapest cars to insure, while the Bentley Bentayga and Mercedes-Benz G-Class are the most expensive. Bentley and Mercedes are luxury brands and generally cost more.

How much does an SUV cost?

We can find the value, or cost, of an SUV by looking at the Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price (MSRP)

MSRP is the price the manufacturer recommends for a new car of that vehicle model and model year.

Dealers use the MSRP to set prices. Let’s look at the MSRP of popular SUVs that we reviewed in the last section.

MSRP of Popular SUVs
VehiclesMSRP
2020 Dodge Journey$23,675
2020 Honda CR-V$25,150
2020 Nissan Rogue$25,300
2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee$32,150
2020 Ford Explorer$32,765
2020 GMC Yukon$50,600
2020 Land Rover Range Rover$90,900
2020 Mercedes-Benz G-Class$130,900
2020 Bentley Bentayga$160,000
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Despite having the lowest MSRP, the Dodge Journey has a cheaper MSRP but higher insurance than the Ford Explorer.

The higher the value of the SUV, the more you’ll pay for auto insurance. Shop around with different companies to see which car insurance policy works better for your finances.

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Are SUVs safer than other cars?

While sport utility vehicles are costlier to insure, over the last several years, there have been major improvements made that will, over time, help to reduce the cost of insuring an SUV. According to the Wall Street Journal, SUVs are among the safest vehicles.

Watch this video on choosing the right vehicle to get cheaper auto insurance.

When SUVs were first introduced in the 1990s and grew in popularity through the mid-2000s, people who owned them thought they were the safest vehicles on the road.

Most were the most massive vehicles on the road, and the four-wheel-drive capability made owners feel very secure when driving, even during poor weather.

Most people assume that SUVs are safer than traditional cars, vans, and station wagons because of the perception that an SUV will do better in a crash.

While an SUV’s size and weight may help protect the driver and the passengers, it is still essential to look at crash ratings of sport utility vehicles rather than assuming that it is the safest vehicle.

Here are some things to consider when driving an SUV:

  • Center of gravity –Because of a high center of gravity, an SUV is more prone to a rollover accident than a car or even a pickup truck.
  • The way you drive – No matter what type of car or truck you are driving, the most important safety factor always has been and will continue to be the driver. When driving a sport utility vehicle, drivers must be attentive to their surroundings.
  • Size of vehicle – SUVs are generally bigger and taller than other cars on the road, so drivers must be cautious when making turns and driving in heavy traffic or parking lots.
  • Stop-time –Most sport utility vehicles are much heavier than the average car, so it takes more time to stop an SUV.
  • Blind spots – Sport utility vehicles have traditionally had many more blind spots than cars, so the driver must be especially aware when doing things like changing lanes.

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Are today’s sport utility vehicles safer than previous models?

Generally speaking, today’s sport utility vehicles are even safer than the first models because of ever-changing technology.

Size is still important when looking at the SUV’s safety, but today’s models have additional safety features such as electronic stability control, or ESC. ESC makes the cars easier to drive and generally safer.

Instead of being built on large truck frames, sport utility vehicles are now being built on car frames, making the vehicles easier to maneuver.

The transition that SUV makers have made over the past several years has been making the vehicles more like cars than pickup trucks.

What are some of the factors that affect drivers of sport utility vehicles?

One of the main factors that come into play regarding SUV insurance is vehicles are at risk of inflicting a large amount of damage to another car or the other driver and passengers.

Today’s luxury sport utility vehicles, such as the Cadillac Escalade, can be costly to insure because of the cost to repair the car, as well as the high risk of the SUV being stolen. According to CBS News, the Escalade is the number one most stolen vehicle.

The average loss claim involving a Cadillac Escalade is more than seven times higher than the average SUV. Many of the insurance claims involving an Escalade can exceed $40,000. It is one of the most expensive SUVs to insure.

What are the most affordable sport utility vehicles as far as insurance costs?

What SUV has the cheapest insurance? While many SUVs are highly desirable by thieves, two SUVs are on the top 10 list of the least-stolen vehicles. Those are the four-wheel-drive Saturn VUE and the Chevy Aveo.

Another important factor to consider when looking to purchase a sport utility vehicle is the standard safety features.

Airbags around the entire vehicle, anti-theft devices with a stolen car tracking system, and Vehicle Identification Number etching will help reduce the insurance premium’s overall cost.

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Frequently Asked Questions: SUV Car Insurance

Let’s recap what you’ve learned in the previous sections by answering frequently asked questions about SUV car insurance.

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#1. Do SUVs have higher insurance?

It depends on the vehicle. Compact SUVs have cheaper car insurance rates, while large SUVs have more expensive rates.

#2. Is SUV insurance more expensive?

On average, SUV car insurance is more expensive than the average car insurance because of the size, features, and value.

#3. What SUV has the cheapest insurance?

The Honda CR-V and Ford Explorer are the cheapest SUVs to insure.

#4. Does car insurance cost more for SUVs?

It depends. High-value SUVs (SUVs with MSRPs of $30,000 or more) have higher auto insurance rates than average.

#5. Are smaller cars cheaper to insure than SUVs?

Luxury cars with expensive MSRPs are more costly than SUVs, but economical vehicles, like Toyota Corolla and Chevy Impala, have cheaper car insurance rates.

#6. What are the cheapest vehicles to insure?

The cheapest vehicles to insure are small or mini-sized sedans.

#7. Which SUV gets the best insurance rates?

The Honda CR-V is one of the most affordable vehicles for car insurance rates.