Top 10 SUVs With Lowest Insurance Expense: Edmund’s Survey

August 10, 2010

Need to buy an SUV? Want to cut your monthly expenses? One way of doing so is to reduce your insurance costs. On average it costs 10 to 20 percent more to insure a sports utility vehicle compared to a regular car. This is over and above the higher purchase and maintenance costs of sports utility vehicles, especially if the SUV you hope to purchase has four-wheel drive. It can also cost more to fill-up the gas tank of these larger vehicles.

To the rescue comes the data team. They researched the insurance costs of 2010 SUVs and crossover models and compiled a list of the ten with the lowest costs. Don’t wait too long. The last of the 2010 models are on sale at most dealerships right now.

The Top Ten SUVs with the Lowest Insurance Costs
Rankings are based on five-year projections and reflect the trim level that's least expensive to insure:

1) Hyundai Tucson
2) Jeep Patriot
3) Kia Sportage
Jeep Wrangler
5) Jeep compass
6) Honda Element
7) Subaru Tribeca
Honda CR-V
Audi Q7
10) Chevrolet Equinox

Why are SUV Insurance Rates Higher?
Let’s begin by acknowledging how popular SUVs are. One in eight vehicles on U.S. roads is a sports utility vehicle or crossover model. Insurance costs are higher for these popular vehicles because of four main reasons:

- SUVs are generally larger than other vehicles. When they collide with smaller cars, trucks, or even smaller SUVs, they generally do more damage to them. This increases insurance payouts and raises liability premiums.
- What if you’re a safe driver? That helps, but not as much as you may expect.SUVs have inherent safety issues that increase accident rates, even for good drivers. The main issue has to do with the fact that SUVs are “top heavy” because they sit higher off the ground. Without new safety features like “electronic stability control,” this can cause them to roll over more easily in emergency steering situations.
- Thieves tend to steal vehicles that reflect the buying trends in their geographical area.This means that SUVs are as popular with thieves as they are with the general population.
SUVs can be more costly to repair.

Add up these factors, and owning an SUV results in higher insurance costs--if you’re a safe driver or not. The above list will give you the best chance of reducing those costs for 2010 models.

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