What Type of Vehicle is Cheapest To Insure?

What type of vehicle is cheapest to insure?

There are lots of myths out there about what kind of car or truck will cost you more or less to insure. Most Ontarians would assume that a sports car will come with higher premiums, especially a red one. Not necessarily true. We also think that the bigger and more expensive the car, the more we’ll pay for insurance. The fact is that there are some general rules you can follow, but the biggest factor is how likely you are to be injured in an accident, not the value of the car.

With insurance premiums always seeming to go up, many Ontarians are looking for ways to keep their premiums as low as possible. In that sense, there are some factors that you just can’t control, like the number of speeding tickets already on your record, and others that would require too big an effort to be worthwhile, like moving from Toronto to Sarnia.

One factor that is in your control, at least once every 4 to 10 years when you’re in the market for a new ride, is the kind of car you drive. But before you assume that the cheaper the car, the cheaper the insurance, let’s get this out of the way. The value of the car is a factor, but it’s definitely not the biggest factor. And there are countless examples where the cost of buying up to a nicer model can be offset significantly by the resulting premium savings.

How Do Premiums For Different Vehicles Compare?

We don’t have time to run quotes for the tens of thousands of different combinations of year, make and model that are available in Ontario, but here’s a sampling of different types of vehicles that are available in Ontario.

Key Findings:

  • Driving a cheaper vehicle won’t necessarily save you money on insurance, but the value of the vehicle clearly affects the premium.
  • Larger vehicles seem to be cheaper to insure (Pickups, vans); although, SUVs buck that trend.
  • Driving a pickup is generally the best way to save on premiums (25% cheaper than an SUV)
  • Hybrids are not necessarily cheaper to insure than their gas-powered counterparts (Hybrid SUV is 17% cheaper, Hybrid Sedan is 9% more expensive)
  • Electric vehicles are a good insurance value (most expensive vehicle on the list, but third lowest premium).

Show Me the Data

  • For each model listed, we ran quotes for 5 different drivers in 5 different cities, with different driving records, genders and ages.
  • We tried to keep the vehicle values in the same ballpark ($32,000 to $48,000).
  • All had winter tires but no other discounts.
Examples of Ontario Auto Insurance Rates by Driver Profiles and Vehicle Make/model
  Premiums
Vehicle Type Harpreet Ting Justice James Rana Avg. MSRP % of MSRP
Pickup (2021 Ford F150 XLT Supercrew 4WD) $1,461 $1,363 $2,567 $791 $814 $1,399 $34,299 4.1%
Van (2021 Ford Transit Connect XL) $1,565 $1,438 $2,753 $822 $844 $1,484 $32,419 4.6%
Electric (2021 Chevy Bolt LT 5DR) $1,677 $1,439 $2,705 $836 $852 $1,502 $47,248 3.2%
Hybrid SUV (2021 Toyota RAV4 LTD Hybrid 4DR AWD) $1,715 $1,492 $2,809 $878 $906 $1,560 $45,098 3.5%
Sedan (2021 Honda Accord EXL 4DR) $1,698 $1,537 $3,215 $883 $900 $1,647 $36,965 4.5%
Minivan (2020 Dodge Grand Caravan SE) $1,825 $1,632 $2,921 $952 $985 $1,663 $33,595 5.6%
Sportscar (2021 Hyundai Veloster N Turbo 3DR Hatchback) $1,797 $1,638 $3,033 $950 $968 $1,677 $39,689 4.2%
Wagon (2021 Subaru Outback 2.5i LTD Wagon AWD) $1,782 $1,641 $3,370 $941 $953 $1,737 $41,155 3.4%
Crossover (2021 Kia Sportage SX Turbo 4DR AWD) $2,007 $1,654 $3,211 $959 $971 $1,760 $41,995 4.2%
Compact (2021 Mazda3 Sport GT 2.5T i-ACTIV 5DR AWD) $1,881 $1,688 $3,344 $977 $988 $1,776 $35,595 5%
Hybrid Sedan (2021 Honda Accord Hybrid 4DR) $1,779 $1,588 $3,795 $941 $970 $1,815 $39,349 3.9%
SUV (2021 Toyota RAV4 LTD 4DR AWD) $2,019 $1,742 $3,612 $1,001 $1,005 $1,876 $43,418 3.8%

Harpreet, male, 35, single, clean record
Markham, ON (postal code L3P), winter tires
Vehicle Type Premium MSRP % of MSRP
Compact (2021 Mazda3 Sport GT 2.5T i-ACTIV 5DR AWD) $1,881 $35,595 5.3%
Crossover (2021 Kia Sportage SX Turbo 4DR AWD) $2,007 $41,995 4.8%
Electric (2021 Chevy Bolt LT 5DR) $1,677 $47,248 3.5%
Hybrid Sedan (2021 Honda Accord Hybrid 4DR) $1,689 $39,349 4.29%
Hybrid SUV (2021 Toyota RAV4 LTD Hybrid 4DR AWD) $1,715 $45,098 3.80%
Minivan (2020 Dodge Grand Caravan SE) $2,019 $33,595 6.01%
Pickup (2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 WT REG CAB 2WD) $1,461 $34,299 4.26%
Sedan (2021 Honda Accord EXL 4DR) $1,797 $36,965 4.86%
Sportscar (2021 Hyundai Veloster N Turbo 3DR Hatchback) $1,698 $39,689 4.28%
SUV (2021 Toyota RAV4 LTD 4DR AWD) $1,825 $43,418 4.20%
Van (2021 Ford Transit Connect XL) $1,565 $32,419 4.83%
Wagon (2021 Subaru Outback 2.5i LTD Wagon AWD) $1,553 $41,155 3.77%

Ting, female, 40, divorced, 2 minor tickets
Windsor, ON (postal code N9E), winter tires

Vehicle Type Premium MSRP % of MSRP
Compact (2021 Mazda3 Sport GT 2.5T i-ACTIV 5DR AWD) $1,688 $35,595 4.7%
Crossover (2021 Kia Sportage SX Turbo 4DR AWD) $1,654 $41,995 3.9%
Electric (2021 Chevy Bolt LT 5DR) $1,439 $47,248 3%
Hybrid Sedan (2021 Honda Accord Hybrid 4DR) $1,489 $39,349 3.78%
Hybrid SUV (2021 Toyota RAV4 LTD Hybrid 4DR AWD) $1,492 $45,098 3.31%
Minivan (2020 Dodge Grand Caravan SE) $1,742 $33,595 5.19%
Pickup (2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 WT REG CAB 2WD) $1,363 $34,299 3.97%
Sedan (2021 Honda Accord EXL 4DR) $1,638 $36,965 4.43%
Sportscar (2021 Hyundai Veloster N Turbo 3DR Hatchback) $1,537 $39,689 3.87%
SUV (2021 Toyota RAV4 LTD 4DR AWD) $1,632 $43,418 3.76%
Van (2021 Ford Transit Connect XL) $1,438 $32,419 4.44%
Wagon (2021 Subaru Outback 2.5i LTD Wagon AWD) $1,395 $41,155 3.39%

Justice, gender x, 22, common law, clean record
Toronto, ON (postal code M4X), winter tires

Vehicle Type Premium MSRP % of MSRP
Compact (2021 Mazda3 Sport GT 2.5T i-ACTIV 5DR AWD) $3,344 $35,595 9.4%
Crossover (2021 Kia Sportage SX Turbo 4DR AWD) $3,211 $41,995 7.6%
Electric (2021 Chevy Bolt LT 5DR) $2,705 $47,248 5.7%
Hybrid Sedan (2021 Honda Accord Hybrid 4DR) $2,734 $39,349 6.95%
Hybrid SUV (2021 Toyota RAV4 LTD Hybrid 4DR AWD) $2,809 $45,098 6.23%
Minivan (2020 Dodge Grand Caravan SE) $3,612 $33,595 10.75%
Pickup (2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 WT REG CAB 2WD) $2,567 $34,299 7.48%
Sedan (2021 Honda Accord EXL 4DR) $3,033 $36,965 8.21%
Sportscar (2021 Hyundai Veloster N Turbo 3DR Hatchback) $3,215 $39,689 8.10%
SUV (2021 Toyota RAV4 LTD 4DR AWD) $2,921 $43,418 6.73%
Van (2021 Ford Transit Connect XL) $2,753 $32,419 8.49%
Wagon (2021 Subaru Outback 2.5i LTD Wagon AWD) $2,350 $41,155 5.71%

James, male, 60, married, 1 minor ticket
Cornwall, ON (postal code K6J), winter tires

Vehicle Type Premium MSRP % of MSRP
Minivan Compact (2021 Mazda3 Sport GT 2.5T i-ACTIV 5DR AWD) $977 $35,595 2.7%
Minivan Crossover (2021 Kia Sportage SX Turbo 4DR AWD) $959 $41,995 2.3%
Minivan Electric (2021 Chevy Bolt LT 5DR) $836 $47,248 1.8%
Minivan Hybrid Sedan (2021 Honda Accord Hybrid 4DR) $865 $39,349 2.20%
Minivan Hybrid SUV (2021 Toyota RAV4 LTD Hybrid 4DR AWD) $878 $45,098 1.95%
Minivan Minivan (2020 Dodge Grand Caravan SE) $1,001 $33,595 2.98%
Minivan Pickup (2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 WT REG CAB 2WD) $791 $34,299 2.31%
Minivan Sedan (2021 Honda Accord EXL 4DR) $950 $36,965 2.57%
Minivan Sportscar (2021 Hyundai Veloster N Turbo 3DR Hatchback) $883 $39,689 2.22%
Minivan SUV (2021 Toyota RAV4 LTD 4DR AWD) $952 $43,418 2.19%
Minivan Van (2021 Ford Transit Connect XL) $822 $32,419 2.54%
Minivan Wagon (2021 Subaru Outback 2.5i LTD Wagon AWD) $816 $41,155 1.98%

Rana, female, 50, single, clean record
Owen Sound, ON (postal code N4K), winter tires

Vehicle Type Premium MSRP % of MSRP
Compact (2021 Mazda3 Sport GT 2.5T i-ACTIV 5DR AWD) $988 $35,595 2.8%
Crossover (2021 Kia Sportage SX Turbo 4DR AWD) $971 $41,995 2.3%
Electric (2021 Chevy Bolt LT 5DR) $852 $47,248 1.8%
Hybrid Sedan (2021 Honda Accord Hybrid 4DR) $892 $39,349 2.27%
Hybrid SUV (2021 Toyota RAV4 LTD Hybrid 4DR AWD) $906 $45,098 2.01%
Minivan (2020 Dodge Grand Caravan SE) $1,005 $33,595 2.99%
Pickup (2021 Chevy Silverado 1500 WT REG CAB 2WD) $814 $34,299 2.37%
Sedan (2021 Honda Accord EXL 4DR) $968 $36,965 2.62%
Sportscar (2021 Hyundai Veloster N Turbo 3DR Hatchback) $900 $39,689 2.27%
SUV (2021 Toyota RAV4 LTD 4DR AWD) $985 $43,418 2.27%
Van (2021 Ford Transit Connect XL) $844 $32,419 2.60%
Wagon (2021 Subaru Outback 2.5i LTD Wagon AWD) $827 $41,155 2.01%

What Should I Look For In General?

Generally, the cost of injuries if you should get in an accident is the biggest factor in how much a given vehicle will run you in premiums. Now ask yourself this question: If a Ford F-150 and a Honda Civic collide, which vehicle would you rather be in? Most people would correctly pick the truck, and they’d be right. Because of its weight and the fact that the driver and passengers ride higher up in the pickup truck, passengers in the truck are much less likely to die, and much less likely to have serious injuries in an accident. The statistics bear this out.

After that, of course, you also want to look at specific safety features like side airbags, lane departure sensors and other collision avoidance technologies. In terms of overall insurance costs, these features will generally save you some money, but not as much as you might think, given the added time, complexity and cost involved in repairing vehicles with cameras and sensors built right into every bumper, windshield and mirror.

But hey, it would be wrong to tell you that the price of the car doesn’t also matter. It does. Harpreet, who would pay $1,797 a year to insure a Honda Accord EXL (MSRP $36,965), would pay $3,458 to insure a BMW 750i xDrive (MSRP $126,840).

But What Exactly Is the Difference in Premium From One Car to the Next?

Nobody publishes a list of how much it costs to insure the different cars on the Canadian market, because the reality is that you can only arrive at a final premium after you combine the details of the vehicle with all the other factors, like your address, driving experience, tickets, at-fault accidents etc.

The closest thing is a document published yearly by Insurance Bureau of Canada called “How Cars Measure Up”. Using claims data from the insurance industry, this guide shows you how a particular vehicle compares to others in terms of the cost of different kinds of claims: Accident Benefits (AB), Direct Compensation – Property Damage (DCPD), Collision and Comprehensive. Using colour coding, you can see if the vehicle is average (yellow), below average (green) or above average (red) in terms of claims costs.

Pay particular attention to AB and DCPD because these coverages are mandatory, but of course if you’re buying a new car and want full coverage, they will all affect your final premium. If the vehicle you have your eye on is marked green, especially under AB, which is about injuries, then not only are you buying a car that will likely keep you and your family safe, but you’ll probably save a couple bucks as well.

How Are Larger Vehicles Affecting Rates Overall?

Every car that is replaced by a pickup also means that there’s an additional 1,680 lbs of moving metal on the road. It’s easy to be lulled into thinking that larger vehicles are safer, and it’s definitely true in terms of crash test results, which tell us that you’re 2-3 times more likely to die in a car vs. in an SUV. But those results measure the safety of the passengers inside the vehicle. There’s no data on how much more damage those larger vehicles do to other cars in a collision.

It’s interesting to note that the IIHS says, …a heavier vehicle will typically push a lighter one backward during the impact. As a result, there is less force on the occupants of the heavier vehicle and more on those in the lighter vehicle… So it’s possible that these larger cars could be causing more serious harm to passengers in other vehicles.

The reality in the auto insurance market is that individually, you’ll pay a lower premium for most pickups than you will for a hatch-back. That’s mostly because the occupants of the truck are less likely to get hurt. It’s harder to determine how larger vehicles affect overall claims costs – and therefore premiums, but it’s certainly one factor that deserves consideration.

OK, So How Much For My Car?

Your vehicle can make a significant difference in what you end up paying for auto insurance, but not nearly as much as your age, where you live, and your driving record. The only way to get an accurate and competitive price for your auto insurance is to call your broker. If you don’t have one, how convenient, we happen to have a few, and they’re fantastic! A 15 minute call will probably get you at least a dozen quotes. A couple of those are going to be just right for you. We’ll be expecting your call.

Have us shop the market for your Car insurance in Toronto
Contact a Mitchell & Whale broker to get a quote on Ontario car insurance: Speak with a broker today: 1-800-731-2228


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