Car insurance cheaper for a minivan than a sedan

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Toyota Sienna minivan

The Toyota Sienna minivan may not be an exciting car, but it has the lowest cost of car insurance. Photo Credit: JBleeker/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY-SA

One of the biggest considerations one has to make when buying a car is the cost of insurance. A recent survey indicates that big family vehicles are the cheapest to insure compared to economical small sedans.

Family values

Car insurance, just like any other insurance, depends on the amount of risk posed. If a vehicle is at a high risk of being damaged, the amount of the car insurance premium goes up.

Thus, it would stand to reason, according to Time magazine, that small, economical, gas-sipping and reliable cars that never break down and can’t go fast enough to get people into real trouble would carry the lowest cost. However, it turns out that the least expensive cars to insure are actually family vehicles, such as minivans and SUVs that aren’t geared for speed or serious off-roading.

Safest drivers get cheapest insurance

The average cost of insuring a particular model of car is published annually by, an insurance comparison website. This year’s survey found that big, sturdy family vehicles carried the lowest annual cost of insurance. The cheapest three were the Toyota Sienna at $1,111, the Jeep Patriot at $1,116 and, according to Forbes, the Jeep Compass at $1,118.

[Check out a new Toyota Sienna in Atlanta, Ga., a great place to shop for Toyotas]

Small, economic sedans, on the other hand, were almost double the cost. The Honda Civic costs $2,353 per year, which according to MarketWatch is almost as much as the Nissan GT-R, which costs $2,457 per year to insure. The Civic sedan could never be mistaken for GT-R, which produces almost 600 horsepower and goes from 0 to 60 in 2.9 seconds and costs almost $100,000.

Some things never change

Cars like the Honda Civic tend to be driven by younger people, many in urban settings. Young people tend to crash more and drive more irresponsibly than people who are a bit older and need a vehicle they can use to shuttle the kids and their stuff around in. Also, smaller cars tend to sustain much more damage in crashes, and luxury vehicles tend to cost more to fix if something goes wrong. That’s why the survey has had similar results in past years.

In 2010, according to Jalopnik, the cheapest car to insure was the base Mazda Tribute, at $1,070 per year, followed by the Honda Odyssey at $1,095 and the four-wheel-drive Mazda Tribute, at $1,103. In 2011, according to Daily Finance, the cheapest car to insure was the Chrysler Town and Country minivan at $1,092 followed by the four-cylinder Toyota Sienna at $1,101 and the Sienna LE at $1,108.






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