Comparing Savings Auto Insurance Car Ratings to Fuel Efficiency Savings

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Written by Rachel Bodine
Feature Writer Rachel Bodine

Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: Apr 29, 2022

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It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident auto insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one auto insurance provider and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider. Our partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

Things to Remember...

  • When buying auto insurance, saving money is usually a primary goal
  • Another factor to consider when purchasing is the fuel efficiency of a vehicle
  • There are several different types of ratings of boths cars and insurance companies

Saving money is always a primary goal of hunting for new auto insurance.

One of the best ways to save cash is to buy a vehicle that is relatively inexpensive to insure.

Another factor to consider, though, when purchasing a vehicle is fuel efficiency. What about vehicles that are cheap to insure but costly to drive?

Some vehicles, like smaller SUVs, have fairly low costs when it comes to auto insurance. Those same vehicles, however, can have horrible gas mileage.

Can the savings on auto insurance be offset by a lack of fuel efficiency? Nobody wants to save money on auto insurance just to purchase a gas-guzzler.

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Cheapest Cars to Insure

Many companies provide a variety of car ratings and insurance provider ratings.

A great resource for locating information about auto insurance prices on a variety of vehicles is CBS Moneywatch. CBS provides a number of articles detailing the most and least expensive cars to insure.

Typically, the cheapest cars to insure are minivans, smaller SUVs, and some smaller compact vehicles.

In fact, according to a recent survey, five of the top 10 cheapest vehicles to insure were minivans.

Toyota, Honda, and Ford all have models with low costs when it comes to insurance. Minivans like the Toyota Sienna and the Chrysler Town & Country both are at the top of the list of cheapest cars to insure.

Basically, a car that is inexpensive to repair and gets solid safety ratings will have a lower premium.

Insurance companies value vehicles that will not break their bank to make repairs on, and hopefully, they will not have to complete too many claims on the vehicle either.

Most of the time, this means minivans and smaller SUVs, like the Ford Escape, have lower premium costs.

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Expensive Cars to Insure

On the other hand, the most expensive vehicles to insure are all luxury brand models. Companies like Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Porsche all consistently rank at the highest end of premium prices.

Most sports cars and convertibles will also cost more to insure. If the vehicle has a small supply on the road, for example, a very rare foreign model, it will be more costly to repair.

Sometimes, rare vehicles have handmade parts so acquiring new parts for a repair can be very costly.

In fact, you can almost guarantee an expensive premium if the car was expensive to purchase. Many of the pricier vehicles on the road will command a higher premium.

Insurance companies have found consistent statistics between expensive vehicles and the chance for accidents.

In addition, vehicles with lots of horsepower and larger engines will also be more expensive to insure. A car with speed will always be pricey because there is a higher chance of an accident when you speed.

If a provider views the car as a high risk, especially in the younger age demographic, you can guarantee an expensive premium.

Other Car Companies on the Cheapest List

Surprisingly, Jeep also consistently makes a strong showing on the annual cheapest cars to insure list. Models like the Compass and Wrangler all rank on the lower end of premium costs.

Additionally, Hyundai also has quite a few models that make the cut. SUVs like the Santa Fe have consistently garnered cheap premiums compared to other SUVs on the road.

In addition, GMC and Chevrolet have many pickup trucks that have begun to show up on the cheapest list.

Models like the GMC Sierra or the Chevrolet Silverado are among the highest ranked pickups on the road. Even the Nissan Frontier has steadily gathered inexpensive premiums.

Vehicle Size

Another factor to consider when purchasing a new vehicle and finding auto insurance is the size of the car. Most people would think a smaller vehicle is safer.

In the eyes of most insurance providers, this is not the case. In fact, many compact vehicles or small hybrids cost far more to insure than larger pickups and SUVs.

Smaller vehicles are at a higher risk for crashes. In addition, typically damages after an accident are worse on a small vehicle than on a larger one.

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Other Resources

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety also provides information about the costs of insuring vehicles. The IIHS also provides a detailed list of crash-test ratings on many vehicles.

Remember, a vehicle with a solid crash-test rating will usually be viewed as a low risk to insure, thus providing a relatively inexpensive premium.

The Insurance Information Institute (III) also provides a number of great articles about the basics of auto insurance and how some companies calculate premiums.

The III has a wealth of information for consumers to better educate themselves about the ins and outs of auto insurance.

Fuel Efficiency Ratings

Now that you have a clearer picture of insurance costs for vehicles, another area to consider is the fuel efficiency of vehicles.

Sadly, many of the cars that are cheap to insure do not get the best fuel efficiency. Most of the minivans on the list will only get about 20 mpg on the road.

If you are putting a lot of miles on your vehicle, the fuel efficiency will also be a huge factor.

Typically, fuel efficiency will always be higher on vehicles with smaller engines. You can also look to purchase a hybrid for supreme fuel efficiency and you can probably get a tax break too!

The U.S. Department of Energy hosts a fantastic resource for finding out further information regarding fuel efficiency.

You can compare mpg ratings on multiple vehicles, see rankings of the best mpg on a variety of vehicles, and even calculate your personal mpg with an easy-to-use tool on the website.

Cross-referencing the cheapest to insure list and using a fuel efficiency site is the best way to find a nice combination of cheaper premiums and high mpg on a vehicle.

Vehicles with Good Gas Mileage and Cheap Premiums

The last step is finding out which vehicles meet both criteria. To guarantee the lowest monthly costs, you must find insurance that meets your needs and select a car that will not break the bank on gas.

Doing your research before making a purchase is the only way to go about it.

Based on research and cross-referencing lists, some of the best vehicles for cheap insurance and fuel efficiency may surprise you.

Despite the fact that many people think hybrids are the way to go for fuel efficiency, many hybrids garner expensive insurance rates.

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Other Factors to Consider

Remember, many of the car ratings for auto insurance are not the final word. Every list and ranking compiled is a look at vehicles at a particular time period.

Rates fluctuate like the tides on the ocean. For actual rates that you can count on, you must get quotes from companies directly.

In addition, there are a number of other factors that impact insurance prices. Even though you may select one of the cheaper vehicles to insure, you may have a spotty driving record that could drive up the price of your premium.

Factors like driving records also drastically impact premiums, so do not count solely on car ratings.

Also, factors like age and gender also play a large role in determining insurance costs. A male under the age of 25 will always be more expensive to insure. Insurance providers view that gender and age group as an exceptionally high risk.

Finally, factors like how much you drive and where you live impact insurance prices. If you own a hybrid vehicle that is cost effective on fuel efficiency and has a solid rating on insurance costs, you should have a low premium.

However, a driver who is on the road a lot is a higher risk for getting into an accident.

Many factors go into calculating insurance rates. Using tools to find out how much a car costs to insure are great resources. Also, factoring in gas mileage is also important.

But you cannot rely only on those factors. If you do, you will probably be shocked or disappointed when you receive your premium quote.

Being diligent in your research, as well as thorough, will guarantee a great experience shopping for auto insurance.

To begin your search for great rates on auto insurance, use the FREE box below and enter your ZIP code to get instant quotes!

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