How Car Types Determine Insurance Premiums

The kind of vehicle you drive has a lot to do with how much you pay for insurnce

It has been well documented that your car insurance rates are determined by a number of factors. These include your age, driving history, marital status, geographic location and credit history, to name a few. Your premium is also determined by the type of car you drive, though not in the way you might think, according to a new study from WalletHub.

The study looked at how car insurance premiums vary based on the car you buy. Perhaps the most surprising find from the study was how much premiums can fluctuate for cars in the same price range. According to WalletHub, insurance rates for cars that are around the same price can differ by as much as 26 percent, and that variation increases for more expensive vehicles. For instance, the premium for a 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe (sticker price: $29,900) was $1,383 per year. Comparatively, the premium for a 2014 Nissan 370Z (sticker price: $29,990) was $2,090 per year. Although the cars are almost identical in price, the 370Z cost much, much more to insure.

The reason for this is that a car's sticker price is only part of what goes into determining insurance rates. A vehicle's age, type and manufacturer factors heavily into the price, as well. According to the study, new sedans are about $130 cheaper to insure than three-year-old sedans, for instance. Additionally, and unsurprisingly, sports cars and trucks tend to be much more expensive to insure than sedans, crossovers and SUVs. The average annual premium for a sports car was found to be $1,838. For crossovers/SUVs, it was $1,432.

In order to avoid sticker shock when it comes time to insure your vehicle, do your research beforehand. There are a number of handy calculators out there on the web, like this one on the right side of, that take all of these factors into account and spit out an estimate of what you can expect to pay.

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