Auto Insurance Rates and the Kind of Used Car you Drive

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How the type of used car you drive can impact the auto insurance rates you'll pay

If you're buying a used car, the kind of car you drive can impact the auto insurance rates you'll pay.  In this section, we look at different types of used cars and the costs to insure them, to help you make a smart used car buying decision. 

Big ticket price tags bring big ticket premiums

Auto insurance rates are usually impacted by a car's price — hence, the more expensive the car, the more expensive the insurance.  If a car costs more to purchase, it typically costs more to repair, especially when it comes to foreign brands whose parts are usually more expensive and harder to get.  What's more, if an expensive car is totaled, its replacement costs will be higher.  As a result, its insurance costs will probably be higher too. 

When it comes to auto insurance, size matters

The size of the used car you drive directly impacts the auto insurance rates you'll pay.  If you think smaller cars mean smaller premiums, think again.  Insurance companies consider smaller cars riskier to insure, typically because they're driven — and driven faster — by younger, more inexperienced drivers.
Conversely, large vehicles like trucks and SUVs, tend to cause more damage in an accident.  As a result, you'll probably pay more in insurance premiums for big cars.
Your best bet is to stick with pre-owned midsized family cars such as minivans, sedans, or crossovers, since these are the types of cars that typically cost less to insure.

The power of the insurance premium

If you're thinking about buying a souped up used car, think again.  As a general rule, the more powerful the car, the higher the insurance premiums.  Cars with lots of horsepower are typically driven faster and more aggressively.  As a result, the costs to insure them tend to be higher.  Be sure to do your homework when buying a used car, since the same makes and models can have different horsepower among different trim levels.

Increased auto insurance rates for sports cars

And if you're thinking about buying a pre-owned sports car, you might want to reconsider.  Not only are sports cars driven at higher rates of speed, they can sustain a serious amount of damage in an accident.  What's more, they're likely to be stolen more frequently than other cars, which directly impacts their insurance rates. 

Stolen cars, skyrocketing auto insurance rates

Unfortunately, you'll probably pay higher auto insurance rates for cars with a higher likelihood of theft.  Cars with desirable parts, or high profile vehicles such as sports cars, can be a target among thieves. Research information provided by the Highway Loss Data Institute before you buy a used car, to determine which ones are stolen more often than others.  You can save money on auto insurance by avoiding cars that are theft targets.

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