If you recently bought a brand new vehicle, it’s most likely that you drive an SUV. According to IHS Markit 42 percent of vehicles sold in the U.S. were SUVs, while cars account for just 26 percent.
As more people swap sedans for utility vehicles does that also mean higher auto insurance premiums? After all, more expensive cars cost more to insure in theory, but is the case for SUVs versus sedans – and which types of SUVs are the cheapest to insure?
How much will an SUV cost to insure? That depends on the type of SUV you drive, but also the specifics of your quote.
According to The Zebra, who based quotes on a 30 year old single male with a good driving record, reports annual coverage rates of between $1,222 and $1,427 for a Toyota RAV4.
For the same vehicle, and a similar 30 year old male driver, but living in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles or Dallas, the rate with the cheapest insurer was higher at $1,744, according to Value Penguin.
While this range is reasonably indicative of these types of SUV, the numbers can go up further for larger vehicles. The lowest rates for the Ford Explorer was higher at $1,923 per year but the average rate was $3,587.
Car insurance for SUVs vs sedans
Comparing auto insurance premiums very generally between sedans and SUVs, the cheapest premiums you could find would probably be for a utility vehicle.
In fact, certain types of SUVs can wind up having lower premiums than sedans. According to Value Penguin the average rate for a small SUV is $2,700 compared to $3,114 for a compact car and $3,120 for a midsize sedan.
Taken as a percentage of the sticker price, the cost of these vehicles seem cheaper still. For instance according to The Zebra, a policy for one of the most affordable compact SUVs, the Honda CR-V, the example average annual premium is just over $1,200.
The cheapest compact sedan of those analyzed starts $16,975 is the cheapest option among sedans, setting you back $1,372.
In terms of a percentage for what you’ll pay on top of the cost for the car, compact SUVs again come out as the better value.
Of course, there are a few things to keep in mind here. Average insurance rates are usually based on a quote for a hypothetical driver who may have little in common with your own coverage needs.
The second is that that doesn’t go for all types of SUVs. If you look at the list there aren’t many larger, 7-seater style SUVs in these comparisons. So, it isn’t really the case that all SUVs are cheaper than all sedans when it comes to getting an auto policy.
Why can SUV insurance work out cheaper?
The car you drive is obviously a key factor that affects your insurance rate, but there’s a variety of additional factors to do with your vehicle that impact your premiums.
Insurers will look at things such as the potential cost to repair, the safety record of the vehicle, the chances it could be stolen, and how much damage it could cause to other people’s property.
These factors in turn will have different impacts on different types of coverage. For instance, you can see the impact of this on your specific vehicle using our car insurance calculator tool.
As well as minivans and trucks, compact SUVs like the Honda CR-V or the Toyota RAV4 tend to have the relatively beneficial impact on your collision insurance premiums.
However, when it comes to cars that are more beneficial for your liability insurance premiums, cars like luxury sedans tend to have the advantage. Larger trucks and SUVs can actually push up the premiums for this part of your coverage.
Not all SUVs are cheaper
This fits with analysis of rates. According to ValuePenguin, larger SUVs such as the Ford Explorer or the Toyota Highlander are among the most expensive SUVs to insure.
Compared to the smaller SUVs with a lower sticker price, getting a policy for these larger SUVs could cost more.
What else impacts your premiums?
Considering the range of figures given here that impact the cost of your auto insurance, it’s clear why it is so important to keep in mind that the numbers quoted here are only average for a specific driver type. Actually, the rate could change if even one of the following factors is different:
- Vehicle age
- Driving history
- Insurance history
- Credit score
- Coverage limits
- Zip code
So if you’re wondering why your auto insurance is expensive, there is likely more to it than just your choice of vehicle. Likewise the big difference are between types of vehicle, so between a midsize sedan and a Crossover SUV, or a compact car and a minivan rather than between makes of similar cars.
How to find a better quote for SUV insurance
As you can see for the range of rates quotes for the same driver with the same car, the car insurance company you choose will also have a big impact on your rates.
This is why shopping around and getting quotes from different companies is key to saving money on car insurance.
This can be kind of a hassle, which is why we’re here to help.
Cover can find you the best rate from over thirty different insurance providers.