Five Least Expensive Family Cars to Insure
The least expensive family-friendly car to insure, according to a 2009 study by Insure.com, is the Hyundai Santa Fe, a mid-sized SUV, costing $832 annually to insure. The Santa Fe's sticker price ranges from $21,695 to $30,545.
Next in line is the Kia Sportage, a small SUV, which costs $840 to insure annually. The Sportage's sticker price ranges from $16,695 to $23,400.
The third least expensive car to insure is the Hyundai Entourage, a minivan, with an annual insurance cost of $857. The Entourage's purchase price ranges from $23,995 to $29,895.
Fourth in line is the Kia Sedona, a minivan, which costs $857 annually to insure. The Sedona's price tag starts at $21,245.
Rounding out the top five is the Kia Rio5, a small station wagon, costing $870 per year to insure. The Rio5's base price ranges from $14,175 to $15,125.
Two common denominators in all five of these cars are their high safety ratings and low profiles.
How Car Insurance Rates are Determined
When a new car model comes onto the market, it has a clean slate with no data to suggest whether it is more or less likely to be involved in an accident. The cost of that model's insurance coverage cost is based primarily on its Manufacturer's Retail Sale Price (MSRP), according to Kim Hazelbaker, Senior Vice President with the Highway Loss Data Institute (HDLI). The most basic assumption is the lower the cost of car; the less it will cost to repair in the event of a collision.
The second factor that weighs heavily on the cost of car insurance coverage is the car's performance level. The HLDI has documented a link between high risk drivers and the types of cars they choose, and riskier drivers definitely prefer high performance cars. High performance cars are identified in two ways, the ratio between horsepower and weight, and the time it takes the car to go from 0-60 miles per hour.
Once a model has been on the road from one to three years the HLDI has adequate data to determine its actual frequency of accidents and repair costs, and its insurance cost is adjusted upward or downward accordingly. Theft rate is another key factor that weighs into the cost of car insurance rates.
If your goal is to find a family friendly car that is inexpensive to insure, then look for lower-end sedans and minivans with a low profile, moderate horsepower, and as many safety features as possible.