Survey: Nissan Vehicles Cost 11% More Annually to Insure than Toyota
by Andrew Evans | Automobile.com | 6/08/2012
In the current unpredictable economic climate, Toyota owners may be able to breathe a sigh of relief. The latest Automobile.com survey shows Nissan drivers pay 11.3% more in auto insurance premiums than Toyota drivers.
According to the commissioned survey, those who drive Nissan vehicles pay $989.47 each year while Toyota customers pay $889.15. Toyota models such as the Sienna and Highlander, which appear on Forbes' Least Expensive Cars to Insure list, undoubtedly contribute to the insurance cost disparity between the rival Japanese automakers.
There are a number of factors that could lead to the difference in premiums. For example, Automobile.com found that vehicles driven by Toyota respondents were, on average, 1 year older than those driven by Nissan respondents. Vehicle age can strongly influence premiums and could be playing a role. Toyota also has a history of producing vehicles with low repair costs, according to CarMD. The automotive site reports Toyota makes the cheapest cars to repair, on average. When a vehicle is relatively inexpensive to repair, insurers will often pass the savings along to policyholders.
However, the survey also revealed good news for certain Nissan drivers. According to respondents, the Nissan Altima model is cheaper to insure than rival Toyota Camry, bucking the overall insurance cost average. When compared directly, the Nissan Altima costs an average of $968.83 to insure while the Toyota Camry is $1060.60. Surprisingly, the Camry is an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick for 2012, while the Altima is not included on the list. Vehicle safety is another strong indicator for insurance premiums. This deviation highlights the importance of comparing quotes on a model by model basis to get a more accurate perspective of the annual cost of insurance.
Toyota is currently enjoying a sales advantage over Nissan, according to a MotorIntelligence.com report highlighting last month's top 20 domestic sales list. The site reports sales of the Toyota Camry are up 44.2% for a total of 39,571 units in May, compared to last year. In addition to the Camry, the Corolla, Prius and RAV4 models rounded out the top 20 for Toyota. Nissan only contributed one model to the list, the Altima. It appears Toyota's recall woes of the last several years haven't adversely affected policyholders.
While Toyota owners may benefit from an overall lower insurance premium advantage, Nissan owners and enthusiasts do have options to bridge the cost gap. Potential car buyers who favor Nissan may want to consider a model such as the Altima, which may beat the annual insurance premiums associated with Toyota's Camry. Current Nissan owners can add features such as aftermarket alarm systems which could lower monthly premiums, depending on the insurance company.
Although Toyota bests Nissan in the overall cost comparison, they showed vulnerability when compared to other major competitors. Respondents revealed Toyota vehicles cost almost 10% more to insure annually when compared to Chevy.
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