Are Smaller Vehicles More Costly to Insure?

by | | 9/28/2012

There are many variables that insurers use to determine the cost of an auto insurance policy. While each one influences rates to some extent, some are notably more significant than others. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) research shows smaller vehicles are responsible for higher insurance payouts when involved in accidents or traffic incidents.

The Hyundai Accent, Kia Rio, Toyota Yaris and Chevrolet Aveo models were named as some of the worst when it comes to personal injury and medical payouts while the Nissan Versa and Mitsubishi Lancer are deemed worse than average in every category, according to The Christian Science Monitor. compared the cost to insure these models in the latest commissioned survey.

According to the survey results, the Chevrolet Aveo was the cheapest to insure at an average of $684.00 anually. The Toyota Yaris followed at $779.88 and the Mitsubishi Lancer came in third with an average annual premium of $881.00. The Hyundai Accent was the fourth least expensive vehicle to insure at $892.18 each year while the Nissan Versa and Kia Rio rounded out the list with respective average premiums of $926.00 and $940.70.

The Results

The following are the models included in the most recent cost to compare survey, ordered least to most expensive:

  • Chevrolet Aveo - $684.00
  • Toyota Yaris - $779.88
  • Mitsubishi Lancer - $881.00
  • Hyundai Accent - $892.18
  • Nissan Versa - $926.00
  • Kia Rio - $940.70

Additional Considerations

While smaller cars may be responsible for higher payouts, vehicle value can certainly come into play. According to a recent Los Angeles Times article, claims from the Ferrari California average $82,112. This is almost certainly attributed to their hefty $200,000 price tag. So what can you do to save money on insurance premiums?

Do Your Research: Using an unbiased source such as allows consumers to compare auto insurance rates from several different companies at once. Since each insurer uses a different criteria to establish rates, there will likely be a significant range among competing premium estimates.

Be Willing to Compromise: Sure, you may look better in that sports car, but can you truly afford the insurance premiums. Always consider this factor when shopping for a new or used model and go to the dealership with an open mind. Maybe this means settling for a four door model instead of a coupe. Perhaps you opt for a less powerful engine but gain better gas mileage and a lower premium.

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