Comparing the Big Three Domestic Automakers: Which is Cheapest to Insure?

by | | 6/15/2012

While Ford, General Motors and Chrysler are widely known as the "Big Three" automakers in America, we are willing to bet consumers are less familiar with the costs associated with insuring vehicles produced by these companies.

It is no secret that these automakers spend millions of dollars each year in marketing to distinguish themselves from one another. These distinctions are perpetuated by passionate brand evangelists and fervent followers. Moving beyond the commercial fanfare and consumer preferences, we wanted to take a closer look at the cost to insure vehicles made by the most prominent domestic manufacturers. After all, choosing a particular car, truck or SUV is only part of the story. For the purpose of the latest study, we examined the average cost to insure vehicles produced by Ford, Chevrolet (a General Motors brand) and Chrysler. We also examined the average age of the vehicles driven by each respondent to see if there were any specific company trends.

As it turns out, the three companies are close competitors when it comes to the average annual cost for insurance. So close, in fact, that there wasn't a statistically significant differential in the insurance premiums. The average reported cost to insure Ford and Chevrolet was $843.42 and $819.82, respectively. Chrysler vehicles averaged slightly higher at $860.44. Vehicle age didn't play a big role in distinguishing the brands either. Chrysler vehicles were the oldest on average at 8.82 years, Ford came in second at 8.75 years old and Chevrolet models were the newest at 8.38 years.

We did see a marked difference when comparing three full-size sedans from the aforementioned companies. During this second look we studied the cost to insure the Ford Taurus, Chevrolet Impala and Chrysler 300 models released in the last seven years. The Taurus was the cheapest to insure at $779.95 followed by the 300 at $825.71. Surprisingly, Chevrolet's Impala was significantly more expensive to insure at $1240.61 each year. It isn't abundantly clear which factors lead to the higher costs associated with insuring Chevrolet's full size sedan, although when the three base models are lined up side by side, the Impala sports the most powerful engine.

So what can the average driver looking to save money on protection infer from these statistically similar findings? For those in the market for a new car, it may be more prudent to spend time comparing the insurance costs of specific "Big Three" models rather than becoming caught up in the brand popularity debates. For example, the aforementioned comparison of recent full size models showed the Chevrolet Impala could be up to 59% more expensive to insure than a competing Ford Taurus.

If you own a vehicle from one of the these companies, chances are your driving history and coverage levels will influence the cost of insurance more than the particular make when compared to the other domestic manufacturers. Finally, all drivers and car buyers should compare car insurance quotes on a regular basis to ensure they are receiving the best coverage. Car insurers regularly make adjustments to the underwriting process and pricing structure. Additionally, personal factors such as age or commute length can affect car insurance rates. allows drivers to compare car insurance for free by completing a simple form.

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