Before you get seduced by a beautiful new high-end car at a bargain basement sticker price, find out how much you will pay to insure this beguiling beauty.
That “new car smell” is so overwhelmingly intoxicating! Still, you must remain clear-headed and determined. With interest rates low, dealers’ inventories high, and car sales still a little sluggish, you can find spectacular deals on great cars. Some new-car prices will send you into “reverse sticker shock,” making you shake your head in awe and wonder at the amazingly low bottom-line price tags. Buyer beware, though, because you may pay more to insure your dream car than you pay to own it.
Five significant factors drive-up the cost of your insurance:
- Small, sporty cars cost more. “Sporty” is a polite term for a little car with a very powerful engine. Smaller high-tech engines often deliver more horsepower than old muscle-cars ever could; and inexperienced drivers frequently cannot handle the dangerous combination of big power and little body. Moreover, many manufacturers substitute aluminum and fiberglass for heavier steel body parts to increase both performance and energy efficiency. Therefore, when a little car does crash, it is far more likely to sustain catastrophic damage than a big car. Subaru Impreza WRX, Acura RSX, and Nissan Sentra SE-R have the highest collision rates largely because of how their young drivers push the edges of the performance envelope.
- Teen-appeal costs extra. One tiny factoid tells the whole story. Fifth among vehicles that cost the most to insure, the Scion tC has by far the youngest demographic. A whopping 35 percent of its buyers are under 25 years old. Therefore, lots of tCs bump into other cars and other things; and most of their parts cost a lot of money to replace and repair. Your monthly insurance premium on a Scion tC easily may eclipse your loan or lease payment.
- Thief-appeal costs even more. The National Highway Transportation Safety Board ranks cars’ theft risks according to how many are stolen per thousand produced. Of course, high-value exotic cars have the highest theft rates: In 2010, the $92,000 Audi S8 sedan topped the list with 8.81 thefts per 1,000 vehicles produced; but, in the continental United States, only two S8s were gone in sixty seconds. Ford Shelby Mustang GT placed second with 8.61 vehicles per 1,000 stolen, but they too are rare. Among the cars ordinary people frequently buy, BMW 5-series, Lexus 300s, and Mercedes C-Class were most likely to vanish from owners’ driveways. Not surprisingly, retro-styled Dodge Charger full-size sedan suffered 6.47 thefts per 1,000, putting it solidly among the ten cars most at-risk.
- If you will do damage, expect to pay more. Big SUVs—Hummers, Suburbans, and Expeditions—resist damage themselves, but they brutally bash smaller vehicles with which they collide. Naturally, families gravitate to these behemoths because they are indestructible kid-carriers, but the cost of insuring a monster tot-transport easily can eclipse the regular monthly lease or loan payment. Growing families should take careful note: With low accident and theft rates, and with very low cost of repairs, the Ford Explorer numbers among the vehicles with by far the lowest insurance costs.
- High-dollar repairs mean high-dollar insurance. Many manufacturers are substituting aluminum and fiberglass parts for old-fashioned steel components in order to improve energy efficiency. Good news at the gas pump, but bad news at the repair shop, because these high-tech parts are both expensive and difficult to repair or replace; and you pay for your mechanic’s or body shop’s inconvenience. Before you commit, crunch the numbers to determine whether the few extra miles-per-gallon ultimately will balance against your higher insurance premiums.
Sadly but truly, decidedly un-glamorous mini-vans and mid-size family sedans, standard issue for the majority of American families, emerge as the best values by just about every measure. Insurance companies like all those anonymous commuter cars because they come equipped with lots of standard safety features, the engines cannot over-power the bodies, they will not do much damage because they have impact-absorbing bumpers and crumple zones, and the people who drive them tend to be responsible, cautious grown-ups. As you shop, you repeatedly will see that boring is always a bargain.
Author Stephen Anderson is an insurance consultant who strongly sugggests that you search online and Compare Auto Insurance Quotes to make certain you are getting the best possible prices. Quotes are available by state or city, such as Compare Nevada Auto Insurance Rates.