Want Cheap Car Insurance? Buy the Right Car

InsuranceLecturer — Ever since the Model T Ford took to the roads, insurers have been collecting statistics on accident rates. This represents a century of data showing which manufacturers produce the safest vehicles and how much they cost to repair.

Today the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration collate all the data from systematic crash and rollover testing so there’s a clear understanding of which makes and models are the safest.

More importantly, this data is fed back to the manufacturers with recommendations as to how safety can be improved in the design of the next generation of vehicles. As a country, we’ve never had a safer set of vehicles to drive.

The downside of this safety bonanza is the number of drivers who think they can drive the current vehicles faster without risking injury should there be a crash.

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The insurance companies are going to assigning vehicles to classes for calculating the rates. In total there are some 750 models on the market. The first factor to understand is that the lowest rates go to the models favored by families.

As a rule, they are driven more carefully to reduce the risk of injuring any children on board. Indeed, no matter what the reason, all the models which crash less often are allocated to the groups with the lowest premium rates.

So if you’re looking for cheap car insurance, it all starts with a combination of the risk of an accident and the average cost of repairing the damage. For the record the least expensive vehicles to insure are crossovers and SUVs.

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Of course, this assumes you always think about the cost of insurance when you go out to buy a new vehicle. Remember this is not a national rate. Whether you can find cheap car insurance will depend on traffic conditions in your state.

Rural states with low population density have lower rates than states with large cities and a high population. Research suggests only about 20% of buyers ask about insurance before confirming the choice of model. Sometimes this is because the extra cost is marginal.

So if you’re in the market for a top-of-the-range Mercedes-Benz, Porsche or Jaguar, the fact you will be paying an average of not less than $3,000 for basic insurance is not relevant when you look at the retail price of the vehicle.

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Even when the rate rises, owners are not deterred. So, for example, it costs more than $6,000 to insure an Audi Quattro in Washington. The message should therefore be clear. If you are genuinely in search of cheap car insurance, do you research before you buy.

Identify which makes and models have the lowest rates. That’s the only sure way to find cheap car insurance when you are buying for the first time or replacing your current vehicle.