How Car Make and Model Affects Your Auto Insurance Costs

September 2, 2023

A good percentage of Americans believe that red cars have higher insurance rates. However, this is a fallacy and one of the main factors that determine your car insurance cost is the make and model. Auto insurance packages are designed on account of the risk that both you and the car pose and how much it will cost to replace it.

What is the difference between car make and model?

Car model and make are often confused and sometimes used interchangeably. However, they are different. The make is the brand, or the manufacturer of the car while the model is the category under that brand. For instance, with Mercedes-Benz GLA, Mercedes-Benz is the make while GLA is the model.

So whether you are buying a new car or shopping for an automotive insurance policy, consider the make and model. It will help to make a better decision and avoid surprises once your insurer quotes a rate for you.

Relationship Between Car Make and Models and Insurance Premiums

As learned, auto insurance rates are not just based on personal factors like credit history or your driving record. Insurers take into account the model and make of your vehicle to tailor-make the premiums for you. That said, below are some factors that will affect your auto insurance package.

Trim Level

Each car comes prepackaged with different features which constitute the level of the model. There are two trim levels; base and fully loaded. Some of the features that set the two apart include internet and Bluetooth connectivity, leather interiors, sunroof, sound systems, et al. All these features improve your car’s convenience and this affects the insurance cost.

The higher the trim level the more features there are and this translates into a higher price. Consequently, this increases the rate of your auto insurance premium. So you'll pay more for a vehicle with a fully loaded trim level than one with a base model.

Engine Power

The engine size would be the last thing anyone thinks about when it comes to getting a quote for their auto insurance. The logic behind this is that cars with bigger engines have higher horsepower hence it is more likely that the driver would drive it at higher speeds. As such, such a driver is prone to getting into an accident and this increases the risk of insuring them. This automatically increases the premiums they would be required to pay.

Vehicle Age

The age of the vehicle is inversely proportional to its worth. A newer car is likely going to have advanced features which might have high replacement costs. This affects the insurance premiums for your new car and you will end up paying high rates.

On the other hand, a vehicle with an older manufacturing date or year might have outdated features and this means less value. Insurance companies tend to quote lower rates for older vehicles because of this.

Vehicle Size

Similar to the engine size, the car size also impacts the insurance premiums. Large cars might cost more to insure because, in case of an accident, they are likely going to cause huge damage to the other car. However, because of their heavy construction, they could provide better crash protection compared to lighter cars, lowering the medical claims for the accident.

On the other hand, sporty or smaller cars are costly to insure because they are faster and more likely to crash. This increases the liability for the insurance company and in turn, increases the premium rates.

Safety Features

Enhanced safety features are meant to reduce the chances of having an accident. The driver is better protected and the possible damage caused by an accident might be less. If your car is newer there is a chance that it is fitted with safety features that will have lower insurance premium rates.

Repair Costs

Luxury features often come with specialized features which make them unique. In case of a repair or replacement, such cars tend to cost more than standard makes. Insurance companies charge more premiums for this reason. Additionally, foreign cars have costlier parts than domestic ones and similarly cost more to insure.

Theft Probability

Comprehensive auto insurance will be high for cars that are more likely to get stolen. The insurance company looks into statistics of the most stolen cars in the market and uses that information to customize a policy for you. Conduct prior research to find out which cars are listed as the most likely to get stolen.

How to Get the Best Insurance Based On Your Car Model and Make

Based on the specific make and model of your car, what steps do you take to ensure that you get the best rates for your insurance package?

Research Your Car Make and Model

For starters, you need to research the type of car you drive to determine how much it would cost to insure. Once you have all the details regarding your car type then it will be easier to get the insurance estimates.

Consider Your Coverage Needs

There are different kinds of coverage to choose from including comprehensive coverage, liability coverage, collision coverage, and underinsured motorist coverage. All of these options have a unique offer, so establish your needs first before choosing. However, a lot of people prioritize lower rates and forget about the need.

Instead of focusing on paying for the cheapest insurance, you will need to be keen on the coverage, and here is why;

Cost-effectiveness is a major perk for anyone shopping for an auto insurance package. However, just because the rates are cheap, that does not warrant the best insurance choice for you. Cheaper rates might end up costing you more in the long run.

For your insurance policy to pay out, a deductible is required. If you choose a cheap insurance policy then this could mean a higher deductible. So it might seem more beneficial to have cheaper insurance but this might cost you higher out-of-pocket expenses that you might not be able to afford when needed.

Low rates translate to minimal protection. So while you might enjoy low premiums, your limit might run out within a short period of time. Paying for higher coverage will help avoid inconveniences in the future; that is paying the difference after the limit runs out.

Shop For Insurance Quotes

By gathering different insurance quotes you can compare options to choose what will work best for you. Insurance companies will not offer you the same rates and besides, they custom make each of their packages uniquely. Checking with different insurers will help identify reputable insurers who have the best coverage alternatives.

Don't Lie to Your Insurer

A lot of people are often tempted to provide inaccurate information to their insurance company. This only results in improper quotes that might not be beneficial to you. It may also potentially harm the claims process so ensure to provide accurate information about your vehicle.

Read Reviews and Ratings

Reviews and ratings from other customers will give you insight into your insurer's services. Reputable companies will always have good reviews and high ratings so be on the checkout for that.

Check for Discounts

Discounts will also earn you good rates for your auto insurance. Besides the brand and model of your car, some of the factors that might award you discounts include good driver discounts, low-mileage discounts, safety feature discounts, and multi-policy discounts.

Consider Policy Terms and Conditions

The last thing you want to ignore when purchasing your auto insurance is the policy terms and conditions. There are a lot of vital details you need to find out about like deductibles, exclusions, and other coverage details.

Customer Service

You will need to renew your insurance policy in the future, so ensure to find a company with the best customer service. You will need a company that is very responsive to your inquiries and handles the claims process smoothly.

Additional Factors Affecting Your Auto Insurance Cost

Here are extra factors that affect your auto insurance cost;

  • Your age: Based on statistics, younger drivers are known to cause more accidents than older ones. In fact, auto insurance premiums start dropping for drivers 25 years and above.
  • Driving record: Insurance companies will check your driving history to determine your premiums. A negative record denotes a reckless driver so the rates will be higher.
  • Your mileage: The more you drive the more likely you will encounter accidents and this will increase your insurance cost.
  • Marital status: Married applicants are considered financially secure by insurance companies and hence are awarded better rates. They are also usually eligible for discounts if they have more than one car in a single policy.
  • Location: If you live in a location that is considered a hub for accidents then you will likely pay higher rates. Also, the cost might vary by the state of residence.

Take Home

There is a very close relationship between your car make and model and your insurance rates. If you are keen on the insurance premiums you pay, then you will need to research the kind of car you want to drive. Different insurers will have different rates for your car, so shop around before making a decision.


Carlos Diaz
I believe in making the impossible possible because there’s no fun in giving up. Travel, design, fashion and current trends in the field of industrial construction are topics that I enjoy writing about.

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