Insuring a smart Car

If there's one vehicle on the road today that's sure to elicit at least a few gasps and comments, it's the smart fortwo. This impossibly diminutive vehicle is the most popular offering to date by the brand. These ultra-compact cars were designed with cramped urban environments in mind, but they are also exceptionally fuel efficient. With remarkable fuel economy ratings, smart cars, as they're affectionately called, are very cheap to own. Another thing that keeps the cost to own one on the low end of the scale is insurance. Although specific numbers aren't available, it is generally very affordable to insure one of these cars. In fact, AOL Autos includes the smart fortwo on its list of the least expensive vehicles to insure. If you'd like to own a car that doesn't do a lot of damage to your pocketbook, one of these cars may be right for you. Discover why they are so cheap to insure below.

How smart Became a Brand

Although they are relative newcomers in the U.S., these cars have been around for quite awhile. It all began in 1993, when Swatch, the Swiss watchmaker, teamed up with Daimler-Benz. The alliance may seem strange, but both companies wanted to play a part in designing ultra-compact vehicles with funky, interesting designs. The engineering would come from Daimler-Benz, and the styling would come from Swatch. While the company was headquartered in Switzerland, it was called the Micro Compact Car AG. It was renamed after moving to Germany. In addition to being tiny, the automaker's cars feature "tridion" designs that help them stand up well to larger vehicles. Three layers of steel are crafted to take and redistribute energy during a crash.

Cheap Prices Make Insurance Cheap

One of the biggest missteps that the manufacturer made was the introduction of a few new models that were on the pricier end of the scale. No one wanted anything to do with them, and the company nearly went out of business. Fortunately, it returned to producing affordable vehicles again. The fortwo hatchback has a starting MSRP of $12,490. The fortwo convertible's starting MSRP of $17,700 is very affordable as well. Insurers face cheaper claims with cheaper cars, so it makes sense that it doesn't cost too much to insure one of these cars.

Non-Existent Theft Rates Reduce Expenses

It should come as no surprise that the cars don't appear on the lists of most-stolen vehicles that are maintained by the National Insurance Crime Bureau. They almost look small enough to pick up and carry away, but they are clearly not popular with thieves. Insurers like that and give those types of cars lower premiums. That is another reason why the cars are so incredibly affordable to insure.

Superior Safety Ratings are Bonuses Too

At a glance, it would seem like their cars would be somewhat dangerous. That's not the case at all. As mentioned above, these vehicles feature "tridion" designs. The black and silver portions that you see on these cars are made out of three layers of steel. Upon impact, the energy from a crash is redistributed in a way that minimizes damage. The smart fortwo has received all top ratings of "Good" from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, and insurers give these cars low rates as a result.

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