Buying a car is one of the biggest financial decisions you'll ever make, and there are lots of things to consider before you hand over your hard-earned cash–and lots of mistakes you can make that could end up costing you unnecessarily!
You can always save a few bucks by buying a second-hand car, but be careful not to get blinded by the price sticker. You might think that your $500 clapped-out rust bucket is a great bargain, but chances are, it's going to cost you a small fortune in repair bills. Buying a new car may be more expensive initially, but new cars come with warranties, which means you don’t have to open your wallet in the event that something goes wrong with your wheels.
And don’t forget that the sticker price is far from the end of the story. You need to factor in the other costs involved in owning and running a car before deciding whether or not you can afford the motor you have your sights on. For example, you need to work out how much you’re going to have to shell out in insurance payments to ensure your investment is protected in the event of an accident.
If you have your heart set on a new car but don’t want to pay through the nose for your insurance, then check out the options on the list below.
20 Jeep Grand Cherokee - $1,325
You might think that SUVs are out of reach if you’re looking for a new car with low insurance premiums, but think again. SUVs are among the safest cars on the market, which means that their insurance premiums can often be much lower those of cheaper, smaller, and less powerful cars.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee is a classic SUV and has been a common sight on our streets since 1993, when it was first manufactured.
The 70 safety features on the 4x4 Jeep Grand Cherokee have even led to it being named one of the top ten safest SUVs by Autobytel. The most basic Jeep Grand Cherokee model, the Lardeo, has a starting price of $30,000, one of the more expensive vehicles on this list, and yet, it costs an average of just $1,325 to insure for a year.
19 Ford Explorer - $1,313
Sticking with the SUV theme, the Ford Explorer is the next vehicle on the list of cheapest cars to insure. Starting at $32,000 for the most basic model but with an annual average insurance premium of just $1,313, the Ford Explorer is the classic soccer-mom car—ideal for those who want to travel in comfort while keeping their families secure behind a raft of Ford safety features. As well as airbags, the Ford Explorer also comes with Traction Control, Advancetrac– which helps you keep control on different road surfaces–and the Ford Canopy System, which actually deploys airbags from the roof in the event of a collision—everything you could need to keep yourself and your passengers safe. No wonder the insurance premiums are so low!
18 Chevy Silverado 1500 - $1,288
The Chevy Silverado doesn’t just have the most American-sounding name, it's also Chevrolet’s take on the classic American car, the pickup truck. This award-winning truck, which has taken home prizes for durability and dependability, is ideal for those who actually need a pickup truck for work, as well as those who just like how they look. And with insurance costs as low as $1,288 per year, depending on other factors, and a starting price of just $29,000, it's well within the financial reach of many American consumers. This tough cookie can tow weights up to 12,500 lbs, while also boasting impressive fuel economy figures—something else to take into consideration when calculating the long-term costs of owning and driving a Chevy Silverado.
17 Nissan Rogue - $1,287
The Rogue is Japanese firm Nissan’s take on the compact SUV, made for the US and Canadian markets, and the best-selling Nissan vehicle in North America. This stylish SUV is cheaper than many of the US-made SUVs of a similar size, with a starting price of just $24,800, with annual insurance premiums coming in at a very affordable $1,287 per year. The 2.5L 4-cylinder engine generates an impressive 170 hp yet still manages to get 33 MPG on the highway. If you want to be even more fuel efficient, then just slip your Nissan Rogue into Eco Mode. Family drivers will enjoy the reassurance of safety features like Rear Cross Traffic Alert, which warns you about traffic getting too close, and Automatic Emergency Braking, which prevents front-on collisions.
16 Hyundai Elantra - $1,431
Buying a brand-new vehicle doesn’t mean you have to shell out a small fortune at the car lot. The Hyundai Elantra, for example, costs just $17,000–plus an additional $1,431 for your annual insurance premium. The Elantra might come at a bargain basement price, but it looks surprisingly stylish and has a 2.0L engine under the hood, which generates 147 hp and a top speed of 116 mph. More important for calculating insurance premiums, the Hyundai Elantra comes with several safety features as standard, including ABS brakes, front and rear crumple zones, driver and passenger airbags, and a driver’s side mirror that helps to eliminate that pesky blind spot. The Elantra was even endorsed by Deadpool actor Ryan Reynolds in Hyundai’s Superbowl ad in 2016.
15 Hyundai Sonata - $1,413
South Korean car-manufacturer Hyundai make their second appearance on the list of the cheapest cars to insure with the Hyundai Sonata, which is a step up from the Elantra in terms of features and in terms of price.
Starting at $22,000 for a brand new model, plus an average annual insurance premium of $1,413, the Sonata is still something of a bargain–and looks much more stylish than a budget car has any right to!
Under the hood, the Hyundai Sonata has a 2.4L engine and has even managed to reach a top speed of 147 mph–albeit under racetrack conditions! You even get a few extra safety features with the Sonata, such as a rear-view camera, as well as the standard ABS brakes and airbags.
14 Ford Fusion - $1,379
Ford has been one of the most respected names in car manufacturing since the first Model T rolled off Henry Ford’s production line in 1908, and the Ford Fusion is one of the company’s most popular vehicles around the world.
With a starting price of just over $22,000 and average annual insurance costs of $1,379, the Fusion is affordable for the many American families who want to buy an American car.
With a 2.5L engine as standard and safety features like ABS brakes, rear-view camera, and driver and passenger airbags, the Fusion is as popular with young families as it is with young drivers, who like the combination of Ford’s reliability and the Fusion’s fun style and interior gadgets, including an entertainment system that uses voice recognition.
13 Toyota Camry - $1,377
Japanese motor manufacturer Toyota has become one of the most successful car companies, and the Toyota Camry, their mid-size sedan, is one of their best-selling models. It may seem like a budget option, with a starting price of just $24,000, but the Camry has some fans among the rich and famous, too. Hollywood star Samuel L. Jackson is often pictured driving around in his Toyota Camry, though it’s unclear whether he paid more or less than the average $1,377 insurance premium for his car. The basic Camry model comes with a 2.5L engine and 8-speed automatic transmission and includes safety features, such as ten airbags throughout the vehicle and Blind-Spot Monitor and Toyota Safety Sense, a proprietary system that's designed to prevent collisions.
12 Chevy Malibu - $1,359
The Malibu mid-size car has been made by US car manufacturer Chevrolet since 1964, with a short break between 1983 and 1997. With a starting price of almost $22,000, it's a piece of American motoring history that's well within the reach of most motorists, and the average insurance premium for the Chevy Malibu is just $1,359 per year.
The winner of an award for “Most Dependable Midsize Car” in 2015, the Chevy Malibu has a colorful history.
The model was a popular choice for Nascar racers between 1973 and 1983, and Saddam Hussain even ordered a fleet of 25,000 Chevy Malibus in 1981, as he planned for them to become Baghdad’s taxis! The 2018 model has a 1.8L hybrid engine, so you can save money and help save the environment at the same time.
11 Ford F-150 - $1,356
One of the more expensive cars on this list, the Ford F-150 truck has a starting price of $28,000, yet its average annual insurance premium is just $1,356, reflecting the fact that if you get into a crash while driving a Ford F-150, it's the other car that's going to come off worse! The 3.3L V6 engine provides more than enough power for whatever lifting and towing you need to do in your Ford F-150, while the award-winning truck also comes with tons of safety features, so you can at least try and avoid collisions! The rear-view camera doesn’t just help you park safely, but it also comes with Dynamic Hitch Assist to aid you in getting into the right position for getting hooked up to trailers.
10 Honda Accord - $1,332
Back to Japan now and the Honda Accord, a four-door sedan that's been made in one shape or another since the mid-1970s. The starting price for the current Honda Accord, the tenth generation of the popular car, is $23,500, plus average insurance costs of $1,332, although more expensive turbo and hybrid options are available if you feel the need for speed or want to take a more environmentally friendly approach to motoring.
The Honda Accord is also packed with safety features, which goes some way to explaining the low insurance premiums!
You get a multi-angle rear-view camera and the Honda Sensing collision-prevention system, along with your 1.5L VTEC engine. Even long road trips are great fun thanks to the Accord’s high-tech sound and entertainment system, which is compatible with all your Apple gadgets.
9 Toyota RAV4 - $1,285
There are several SUVs on this list, an indication of just how much insurance companies love all the safety features that manufacturers build into their leisure vehicles. If you want to cut your insurance costs, it would seem that the best way to go about it is to buy an SUV next time you're car shopping.
The Toyota RAV4 is very much an SUV but aimed more at young, outdoorsy types than the safety-conscious family man.
With a starting price of $24,000 and an average annual insurance premium of $1,285, the RAV4 is totally affordable for young professionals. Included as standard are rear-view cameras, Toyota’s own Safety Sense collisions-prevention technology, and a top-of-the-range entertainment system to keep you amused on long road trips.
8 Toyota Tacoma - $1,282
Toyota boasts several entries in the list of most affordable vehicles to insure, and next up is the Toyota Tacoma. The Tacoma is Toyota’s take on the good old-fashioned pickup truck, and though it might seem weird for a Japanese company to make an All-American pickup truck, the Tacoma is pretty popular with drivers. The $25,000 car is designed to deal with whatever terrain you can throw at it and can tow up to 6,800 lbs in weight while you’re at it. The
V6 engine gives you plenty of power under the hood, while features like Crawl Control and Multi-Terrain Select even allow you to head off-road in your Tacoma.
If you’re planning on off-roading a lot, your insurance premium might be a little higher than the average $1,282, however.
7 Toyota Highlander - $1,234
Third appearance in a row for Toyota on the list of cheapest cars to insure, this time, in the form of the company’s mid-size SUV, the Toyota Highlander. Average insurance premiums cost just $1,234 per year, with the most basic model of the vehicle itself selling for $31,000. The Highlander makes a great family car, especially if your family is a large one, as it can seat up to eight people, with split seating available to help you pack in as much luggage as possible along with your kids. It even takes into consideration the needs of the modern family, boasting five USB points so that everyone can charge their devices without arguments. Don’t forget the Highlander’s safety features, including collision-prevention technology and a rear-view camera as standard.
6 Jeep Wrangler - $1,229
Back to the USA for classic SUV, the Jeep Wrangler. This is one SUV that isn’t aimed at the family market–although it does boast several features–but is marketed towards young adventurers who will want to put their Jeep Wrangler through its paces, off-roading in challenging environments. The most basic model, the 2-door Jeep Wrangler Sport, costs from $27,000, and it's this model that can be insured for as little as $1,229 per year. The Wrangler’s 3.6L V6 engine provides plenty of power for getting up and down muddy tracks, if that’s your idea of a good time, while the car also comes with Electronic Stability Control and Hill Start Assist, as well as driver and passenger airbags, just in case your off-roading adventure goes wrong!
5 Ford Escape - $1,217
The Ford Escape isn't the kind of car that excites, which is probably why it's so popular with soccer moms (and dads) who want to keep their little ones safe. Nevertheless, there are some famous faces who've seen the potential in this particular SUV. When singer Selena Gomez got her license, the first car she bought was a Ford Escape, though she has now graduated to a much flashier Porsche. With prices starting at $24,000 and insurance costing as little as $1,217, this SUV is an affordable option for many American families. Under the hood, the Ford Escape has a 2.5L engine and features ABS brakes as standard, along with blind-spot mirrors and a rear-view camera to assist with parking and prevent any accidental bumps.
4 Chevy Equinox - $1,209
The Chevy Equinox is a bargain bucket SUV–at least as far as the price is concerned. Don’t let the low sticker price worry you, however, as the Equinox still boasts plenty of safety features. No corners have been cut with this car, despite the low starting price of $23,500 and low insurance premiums of around $1,209. Insurance isn’t the only area where you can save some cash with the Chevy Equinox; this family-friendly SUV is also very fuel-efficient, getting an impressive 39 miles-per-gallon on the highway. Included as standard is collision-prevention technology, which will warn you when other drivers or pedestrians are getting too close, and will even correct your steering-wheel position if you accidentally veer out of your lane while driving.
3 Jeep Cherokee - $1,182
You've already seen the Jeep Grand Cherokee on this list, but now comes the Jeep Cherokee, its baby brother and predecessor. While the Jeep Cherokee has been about since the 1970s, the bigger (and more expensive) Jeep Grand Cherokee made its first appearance on our streets only in 1993.
The Jeep Cherokee is cheaper to insure and cheaper to buy, with a starting price of around $26,000, depending on what extras you decide to add on.
Described as a “compact SUV,” it still boasts all the best features of larger SUVs; you just have to settle for a little less room on the inside and a little less power under the hood, although even the most basic Jeep Cherokee model comes with a 2.4L engine.
2 Subaru Outback - $1,176
Subaru is another Japanese car manufacturer that makes popular and affordable SUVs for the North American market, the most affordable and most popular of which is the Subaru Outback. Powered by the 2.5L, 4-cylinder Subaru Boxer engine, the Outback boasts a top speed of 123 mph—although why any responsible family-oriented SUV-owner would even be dreaming of hitting those kinds of speeds is beyond me. With prices starting at just under $26,000 and average insurance costs coming in at around $1,176, it’s clear that the insurance industry has appreciated the Outback’s safety features when calculating premiums for drivers. These safety features include ABS braking, a rear-view camera, and a brake override system, which brings the car to a safe stop if both the brakes and the accelerator are pressed at the same time.
1 Honda CR-V - $1,146
The cheapest car to insure on our list is another SUV, this time made by Honda. The Honda CR-V isn’t just affordable, it’s also efficient, boasting an impressive 26 MPG in the city and 32 MPG on the highway. You won’t just save money on gasoline if you buy a Honda CR-V; you'll also save money on insurance, provided your own driving record is clean, of course. The average annual premium for the Honda CR-V is around $1,146, while the starting price for the vehicle itself is $24,000. Powered by a 2.4L engine and capable of producing 184 hp and a top speed of 124 mph, the Honda CR-V also comes with an Eco Assist mode, which will come in handy if you want your vehicle to be even more efficient and environmentally friendly.
Sources: marketwatch.com; ford.com