Which cars are the cheapest to insure?

Three of the cheapest cars to insure are the Dodge Caravan, PT Cruiser, and Saturn Ion. Many factors affect your car insurance rates, including driving record and credit history.

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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...

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Reviewed byJoel Ohman
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UPDATED: May 14, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Five of the cheapest cars to insure are the Dodge Caravan, PT Cruiser, Saturn Ion, Pontiac Sunfire, and GMC Safari minivan
  • Safety levels play a vital role in car insurance rates
  • All vehicles sold in the USA must undergo crash and safety inspection

If you’re like most people, probably want to buy a car at the lowest price possible. According to retail dealership statistics, the five cheapest cars to insure in 2010 were the Chrysler PT Cruiser, GMC Safari minivan, Dodge Caravan, Saturn Ion 4-door sedan, and the Pontiac Sunfire 2-door coupe.

Understand that these statistics are based on all things being equal. Even with this limited number of variables, it’s easy to throw off the price of your car insurance one way or the other.

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How does safety affect car insurance rates?

Let’s start by looking at the cheapest car to insure based on the safety aspect. All cars sold in the United States must undergo crash test and safety inspections.

These tests are run by two independent institutions which translate results into a five-star rating system. The higher a car rates, the safer it is.

Additionally, there are subcategories within the rating system that factor into the overall safety of a vehicle. Beyond the crash test and safety ratings, there are some common sense things your insurance company looks at.

For example, a full-sized passenger van with windows running down the length of the body will cost more to insure than the exact same van as a cargo model without windows.

The extra glass, plus the potential for carrying other people, means that the passenger version possesses a higher risk of damage and personal injury.

Other safety features can also contribute to your insurance costs. The cheapest cars to insure will have basic things like driver and passenger side airbags, daytime running lights, and anti-lock brakes.

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Does the age of the car affect car insurance rates?

So now that you know the cheapest cars to insure, you might be wondering if the age of the car matters. A twenty-year old minivan is going to be more expensive to insure than a five-year old minivan.

A brand new minivan is going to also cost more to insure than a five-year-old minivan.

The insurance rates are usually due to repair and replacement costs. An older vehicle is going to have more go wrong with it than a younger vehicle. However, a new vehicle can cost more to repair or replace.

Mileage also plays a role in insurance premiums. A five-year old vehicle with high mileage may cost more to insure than a ten-year old vehicle with low mileage.

How does location affect car insurance rates?

Believe it or not, where you live does play a role in the price of your car insurance as it relates to the model of your car. In other words, the ‘94 and ’95 Honda Civics continued to be the most sought-after vehicles for car thieves.

So if you live in an urban area with a high capacity for vehicle theft, such as Houston Texas for example, you could pay significantly more for a ’95 Civic than you would for an ’09 Cadillac.

You will also pay slightly higher rates if you live in an area like Los Angeles, where heavy traffic means more risk of accident and injury.

Even if you only use your vehicle to go to and from work, you’ll be on the road at the same time as most of the other cars and will increase your risk accordingly.

What are cheapest car insurance policy options?

The last thing to consider when deciding on the cheapest car to insure is just what kind of coverage you plan to have. If you’re considering is the minimum state requirements for liability, bodily injury, and property damage, you’ll obviously pay the least amount.

In such a case, vehicle safety and your local area are the two biggest factors outside of your personal driving history.

But when we start adding things like full collision coverage, we’ll see rates drastically change among various car models.

For example, one of the reasons why the PT cruiser is so inexpensive to insure is the fact that it is very cheap right from the manufacturer. By contrast, the Cadillac Escalade is a much larger vehicle, with a larger engine and ability to cause property damage in an accident.

All things considered, just remember that even though you could buy cheapest car to insure, maintaining low car insurance rates is heavily dependent on how safely you drive.

As long as you avoid accidents and violations at all costs, you can maintain a clean record and keep your insurance rates as low as possible.

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