Small engines, cars designed for families and plenty of advanced safety features will always lead to a lower car insurance premium. We looked at more than 2,500 cars to find the cheapest car to insure.
Check out the cars with the cheapest insurance in 2023 and the features that keep their premiums low.
How much does insurance for the cheapest cars to insure cost?
When it comes to cheap car insurance, the Subaru Forester 2.5I Wilderness costs a mere $1,353 to insure and even the most expensive vehicle on our list comes in at $1,415 a year for coverage – the Jeep Wrangler Willys Sport.
While all of the cars on our list are cheap to insure, the overall cost of car insurance dropped a tiny amount for the second year in a row in 2023. This year, the national average for car insurance dropped 0.54% to $2,011 from $2,022.
See the table below for the cheapest vehicles to insure for 2023.
What are the cheapest cars to insure in 2023?
CarInsurance.com compared car insurance rates in every state for approximately 3,000 different vehicle models to find the cheapest vehicles to insure in 2023.
This year the Subaru Forester 2.5 Wilderness came out on top. The Forester cost $1,353 to insure and was one of three Subarus that landed in the top 20 cheapest cars to insure.
The other cheapest cars to insure were SUVs, starting to dominate the U.S. car market. SUVs made up 18 of the top 20 cheapest vehicles to insure on our list. Premiums ranged from $1,353 a year for the Forester to $1,415 for the Wrangler Willys Sport, according to a CarInsurance.com rate analysis.
Every vehicle on our list came in well below the national average of $2,011.
Here is a quick look at the top five cheap new cars to insure for 2023.
Subaru Forester 2.5I Wilderness is the cheapest SUV to insure
Subaru had the cheapest SUV to insure this year with the Forester 2.5l Wilderness, which costs just $1,353 annually. This is 33% less than the national average of $2,011. Two other Subaru vehicles ranked in the top 20 cheapest cars to insure, the Outback 2.5I finished 15th while the Forester 2.5I Sport landed in 17th place.
Subaru has been at the forefront of advanced safety features, making them standard well before their competition.
“All Subaru Forester models come standard with EyeSight Driver Assist Technology, which includes active safety features like Advanced Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Centering Function. Subaru has earned numerous awards for quality, including an IIHS Top Safety Pick for the 2022 Forester,” says Carl Anthony, managing editor of Automoblog and AutoVision News.
The Wilderness also comes standard with symmetrical all-wheel drive, which helps keep this vehicle on the road even when conditions get ugly – helping to prevent accidents and claims.
Hyundai Venue SE
The Hyundai Venue SE joined our list this year with an annual premium of $1,360. Its low starting MSRP of $19,000 certainly helps keep insurance costs low as does its smallish 1.6L DPI 4-cylinder engine that puts out only 121 HP.
“The Hyundai is not particularly powerful. The power-to-weight ratio is such that an experienced driver should be able to handle the car in a variety of situations,” says Brian Moody, executive editor for Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book.
Insurers love small engines since they tend to be involved in fewer accidents, and basic interiors, keeping repair costs low. It also has advanced safety features as standard, including forward-collision avoidance assist with pedestrian detection, lane-keeping assist and driver attention warning.
Honda CR-V LX
The Honda CR-V LX moved into the number three cheap SUV insurance spot with an annual premium of $1,366. The CR-V wasn’t the only Honda vehicle that landed on our list – four Hondas in the top 20 cheapest cars to insure this year (the most of any car manufacturer) including two CR-V and the HR-V trim levels.
Honda has been in the safety business for a long time; their vehicles tend to come loaded with safety features that keep insurance costs reasonable. Honda Sensing is standard across the CR-V lineup, including the LX.
“In addition to having the latest advanced driver assist features, the Honda CR-V has traditionally received high marks from NHTSA and the IIHS, thanks to the automaker’s proprietary Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) design. ACE is a uniquely engineered network of front frame structures that absorbs and deflects crash energy, meaning Honda vehicles, like the CR-V, hold up well structurally in the event of an accident,” Anthony says.
The CR-V comes with standard forward collision mitigation, which will warn you of an impending collision and apply the brakes if necessary, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high beams. Cars loaded with advanced safety features tend to be involved in fewer accidents, preventing claims and leading to lower insurance costs.
Mazda CX-30 S
The Mazda CX-3 was a regular on our cheapest cars to insure for years and the CX-30 has now replaced it. The CX-3 was discontinued after the 2021 model year with the CX-30 taking its place. The CX-30 is a more powerful, larger and upscale version of the CX-3, so it is now Mazda’s premier offering in the subcompact-crossover market. It costs $1,379 on average to insure this beauty, making it the fourth-cheapest vehicle to insure.
The CX-30 S is a small CUV that is extremely popular with families and is loaded with safety features. The CX-30 S has a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that can crank out 186 horsepower and is loaded with standard safety features such as adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist with lane-departure warning, and automated emergency braking.
Smallish engines, which are popular with families, and tons of standard advanced safety equipment lead to reasonable insurance costs which is why the CX-30 makes our list year after year.
Toyota C-HR XLE
This sub-compact SUV is one of three vehicles that Toyota landed on our cheapest-to-insure list. On average, the C-HR XLE will set you back $1,384 a year to insure. A reasonable starting price of $24,000 helps keep the premium low as does a smallish four-cylinder engine, which puts out only 144 horsepower.
“The C-HR XLE is loaded with safety features,” Anthony says. “Standard on every C-HR is Toyota’s Safety Sense 2.5 package, a comprehensive suite of active safety systems. It includes pre-collision and pedestrian detection, road sign assist, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and automatic high beams. A blind spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert is added to the XLE and Limited models.”
Toyota sells so many cars that repair costs stay low, plenty of parts are available, and, in most cases, they are easy to repair.
Why does your car affect insurance rates?
Insurance companies love statistics and use them extensively in their premium-setting algorithms. Unfortunately, statistics show that certain vehicle types are involved in more accidents and claims while others are involved in far fewer accidents that result in a claim.
Cars with cheap insurance are often designed with families in mind and tend to have smaller engines, be loaded with safety features, and are often driven by parents with kids in the car, which leads to more careful driving and fewer accidents.
Safety features such as airbags, lane departure, backup cameras, and automatic restraint systems are all factored into an insurance premium and typically push your insurance rate down. Minivans and SUVs are a good example and often come with some of the lowest insurance premiums on our list.
What is the cheapest type of car to insure?
As our list clearly points out, your vehicle type will impact your insurance rates. Insurers consider a wide variety of risk factors and certain vehicle types have more risk than others. When we ran the numbers, looking for cheap cars to insure, vans came out on top followed by trucks.
Here is a quick overview of the cheapest types of vehicles to insure:
- Vans: Vans are the cheapest vehicle type to insure with an average premium of $1,443. This is because cargo vans tend to be bare-bones regarding tech and interior features. They are cheap to repair and don’t usually come with a massive sticker price.
- Trucks: Pickups are the second cheapest category to insure with an average premium of $1,684. Pickups tend to be cheap to insure because the entire back end of the vehicle is simply a bed, which means there are no expensive interior trims and tech to repair or replace after an accident.
Tips for choosing the cheapest cars to insure
The vehicle you choose will absolutely impact how much you pay for car insurance — avoiding sports and luxury cars is an excellent way to save money on your insurance costs.
Here are a few more tips for finding cheap cars for insurance:
- Avoid EVs: While EVs may be the future of cars, they are still expensive to insure. This is mainly due to the battery and repair costs. Battery packs can cost up to $20,000 to replace, so insurers factor that cost into your premium. Repair costs can be higher as they often require specially trained mechanics to work on them.
- Avoid luxury and sports cars: Sports cars are designed for speed, often leading to accidents and claims. A large engine under the hood will always lead to a massive insurance premium. Luxury cars usually come with a huge sticker price (the Maserati Quattroporte starts at $101,000) and expensive trims. Teak wood and leather are more expensive to repair or replace than plastic and fabric and your insurer will factor that into your premium.
- Avoid cars that thieves love: If your vehicle is popular with car thieves, you will pay more for coverage regardless of whether you have ever had a car stolen. Insurers have to replace your vehicle if it is stolen so if your car is a bigger risk for theft, they will charge you for it. The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) puts out a vehicle theft report every year: Avoid vehicles on the list – the Chevrolet Silverado pickup tops the list.
- Consider a used car: In most cases, consider an older vehicle if you are looking for a cheap car to insure. Older technology, cheaper repair costs and a lower sticker price (depreciation has lowered its value) all make used cars cheaper to insure than a brand new one.
Which trim and model features make a car cheaper to insure?
If you are hoping to save some money on your car insurance, look for these trim levels and model features:
- Trim: Most vehicles come in a few different trim levels. For example, the 2022 Honda Civic has four trims: the LX, Sport, EX, and Touring models. Choose the base-level vehicle if a low insurance premium is your most significant consideration. This will be the lowest-priced trim with the least expensive features. As you move up the trim levels, the base price, technology, and interior trims tend to get more expensive and higher repair costs will push up your insurance premium.
- Advanced safety features: Look for a trim level where advanced safety features come as standard equipment. Many car makers have made their advanced safety systems standard equipment across all trim levels, including the base model. Advanced safety features such as adaptive cruise control, lane assist, pre-collision throttle management and autonomous braking can discount your insurance.
- Security systems: A stolen car means your insurer must pay for a replacement vehicle. They will discount your premium if your vehicle has an anti-theft device installed. The discount may be even bigger for GPS tracking devices.
Resources & Methodology
National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB). “Hot Wheels.” Accessed July 2022.
Recurrent. “Costs to Replace an EV Battery and How to Avoid It.” Accessed July 2022.
The New York Post. “This pickup truck was the most-stolen vehicle of 2021.” Accessed July 2022.
CarInsurance.com commissioned Quadrant Information Services to calculate average auto insurance rates for around 3,000 2022 car models. Averages are calculated using data from seven large carriers, such as Allstate, AmTrust, Farmers, GEICO, Nationwide, Progressive and State Farm, in 10 ZIP codes per state. The rankings were based on each car model’s best-performing standard set of features.
Averages are based on full coverage for a single 40-year-old male who commutes 12 miles to work each day, with policy limits of 100/300/50 ($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.