Insuring America's 10 cheapest cars

By Des Toups, Posted on 01 May 2013

insuring cheap carsCheap cars don't always sell very well, writes automotive journalist James Healey in USA Today.

Sparked by the introduction of Nissan's 2014 Versa, at $12,780 the least expensive new car model sold in the U.S., Healey rounded up nine more cheap-mobiles for comparison. (See "10 cheapest cars: Why (almost) nobody buys them.")

Healey notes that actual transaction prices for these cars tend to be much higher. Either dealers don't stock a bare-bones model, or buyers don't want hand-cranked windows.

They also might find that any savings on the car disappears on car insurance.

We priced coverage on each of these cars for a young driver, figuring that these are the most price-sensitive buyers on the planet. The Nissan, while the cheapest to buy, is among the more expensive to insure. Over the length of a five-year car loan, for example, the Nissan would cost our sample driver $1,600 more to insure than the next cheapest car, the Chevrolet Spark.

We also threw in the $15,995 Jeep Patriot, a larger sport-utility that routinely ranks among the cheapest vehicles to insure, for comparison.

Vehicle

Monthly

Annual

Nissan Versa S Sedan, $12,780

$201

$2,281

Chevrolet Spark LS Hatchback, $12,995

$173

$1,962

Smart ForTwo Pure Coupe, $13,240

$138

$1,568

Ford Fiesta S Sedan, $13,995      

$186

$2,109

Kia Rio LX Sedan, $14,350

$205

$2,328

Ford Fiesta S Hatchback, $14,995

$186

$2,109

Chevrolet Sonic Sedan, $14,995

$187

$2,123

Toyota Yaris 3-door, $15,165

$182

$2,061

Kia Soul, $15,175

$177

$2,012

Hyundai Accent GLS Sedan, $15,340

$194

$2,194

Jeep Patriot 4x2, $15,995

$165

$1,864

We compared car insurance quotes for 50/100/50 liability coverage ($50,000 bodily injury liability, up to $100,000 per accident, and $50,000 property damage liability), plus personal injury protection, for a 24-year-old male living in Daytona Beach, Fla. The driver has no tickets, no accidents and good credit. We selected $500 deductibles for comprehensive and collision coverage.

Related articles:

Cheap car insurance for young drivers

5 ways to compare car insurance companies

Understanding state minimum car insurance requirements

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About

Des Toups

Des Toups

Managing editor

Des Toups is a writer, editor and expert on insurance, cars and personal finance. He has written extensively about all three for national publications such as MSN and major newspapers such as the Seattle Times. He has been quoted about insurance issues in The New York Times, USA Today and Kiplinger's.

Email: dtoups@quinstreet.com

Follow him on Twitter @destoups

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