"Family vehicles driven by soccer moms aren't as likely to get into crashes as flashier sporty models," Rader says. "Soccer-mom vehicles are driven by people who are generally not driving aggressively, aren't speeding and often aren't driving during peak commuting hours."
Discounts for added safety equipment can also bring insurance costs down. Such equipment includes electronic stability control, which can help drivers avoid accidents, and overhead airbags, says Peter Moraga, a spokesman for the Insurance Information Network of California.
Car insurance rates where you live
"When shopping for a vehicle, you have to look for safety, as opposed to sexy," advises Moraga. "A safer car is not only going to save your life, it's also going to lower your insurance rates."
Consider this: If you live in California, the difference between the most- and least-expensive cars to insure there is more than $4,700 annually (that's for premiums on an Aston Martin DB9 Volante, compared with those of a Chevy Traverse LS).
If you live in New York, the Aston Martin DB9 series and the Rolls Royce Phantom top the list. Wave if they pass your Chrysler Town & Country LX or Nissan Cube SL and remind yourself that you've scored some of the lowest car insurance rates in the state.
|2011 vehicles with the lowest insurance rates|
|Rank||Make||Model||Style||Cylinders||National average annual premium|
|1||Chrysler||Town & Country LX||4-door minivan||6||$1,091.80|
|3||Toyota||Sienna LE||5-door minivan||4||$1,107.70|
|4||Honda||Odyssey LX||5-door 2WD minivan||6||$1,114.62|
|5||Nissan||Murano SL||2WD 4-door SUV||6||$1,127.89|
|6||Jeep||Wrangler Unlimited Sport||4WD 4-door SUV||6||$1,131.27|
|7||Honda||Odyssey EX||5-door 2WD minivan||6||$1,138.16|
|9||Ford||Escape XLS||4WD 4-door SUV||4||$1,150.26|
|10||Toyota||Highlander||4-door 2WD SUV||4||$1,154.02|
|11||Honda||CR-V LX||5-door 2.4L SUV||4||$1,155.44|
|12||Hyundai||Santa Fe GLS||4-door 2WD SUV||4||$1,157.66|
|13||Jeep||Patriot Sport||2WD 4-door SUV||4||$1,157.70|
|14||Jeep||Wrangler Unlimited Sahara||2WD 4-door SUV||6||$1,161.20|
|15||Jeep||Wrangler Sport||4WD 2-door 3.8L SUV||6||$1,162.97|
|16||Mazda||Tribute I||2WD 4-door SUV||4||$1,163.24|
|17||Ford||Escape XLT||4WD 4-door SUV||4||$1,166.20|
|18||Chrysler||Town & Country Touring||4-door minivan||6||$1,167.38|
|19||Honda||Odyssey EX-RES||5-door 2WD minivan||6||6 $1,167.93|
|20||Subaru||Forester X||4-door AWD SUV||4||$1,170.45|
|2011 vehicles with the highest insurance rates|
|Rank||Make||Model||Style||Cylinder||National average annual premium|
|1||Mercedes||SL65 AMG||2-door convertible||12||$3,543.81|
|2||BMW||750i||4-door sedan hybrid||8||$3,280.70|
|3||BMW||750Li||4-door sedan hybrid||8||$3,280.70|
|4||Mercedes||SL63 AMG||2-door convertible||8||$3,263.46|
|5||Mercedes||S65 AMG||4-door turbo sedan||12||$3,220.86|
|6||Aston Martin||DB9||2-door coupe||12||$3,120.45|
|8||Porsche||911 Carrera S||2-door cabriolet||6||$3,092.31|
|9||Aston Martin||DB9 Volante||2-door convertible||12||$3,088.96|
|10||Mercedes||G55 AMG||4WD 4-door SUV||8||$3,086.49|
|11||Mercedes||CL65 AMG||2-door coupe||12||$3,063.73|
|12||Mercedes||CL63 AMG||2-door coupe||8||$3,058.69|
|13||Porsche||911 Carrera 4S||2-door cabriolet||6||$3,046.87|
|15||Jaguar||XJ L Supercharged||2WD 4.2L 4-door sedan||8||$2,940.94|
|16||Jaguar||XJ L Supersport||2WD 4.2L 4-door sedan||8||$2,940.94|
|17||Porsche||911 Carrera 4||2-door cabriolet||6||$2,921.61|
|18||Porsche||911 Carrera S||2-door coupe||6||$2,919.90|
|19||Mercedes||S63 AMG||4-door sedan||8||$2,898.30|
|20||Jaguar||XJ Supercharged||2WD 4.2L 4-door sedan||8||$2,853.24|
Insure.com commissioned a study from Quadrant Information Services that calculated the average premiums using auto insurance rates from six large carriers (State Farm, Allstate, Progressive, Geico, Farmers and Nationwide) in 10 ZIP codes per state. Not all models are available for calculating average rates, especially some exotic vehicles, which is why you won't see Lamborghinis on the list -- although you can assume those carry hefty insurance bills.
Averages are based on a single 40-year-old male driver who commutes 12 miles to work each day, with policy limits of $100,000 for injury liability for one person, $300,000 for all injuries and $50,000 for property damage in an accident, and a $500 deductible on collision and comprehensive coverage. The study further assumed a clean driving record and good credit. The rate includes uninsured motorist coverage. Average rates are for comparative purposes; your rate will depend on your personal factors.
This article was reported by Barbara Marquand for Insure.com.
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