10 Used Cars That Cost the Least to Insure
The list of the used cars that cost the least to insure is wide-ranging. In addition to the expected small cars, it also includes a mid-size sedan, sports coupe, and battery-electric vehicle. The list was compiled with the expert help of Mercury Insurance’s research and development team, who examined 2016 model year cars available in the U.S. It’s based on Mercury’s price for full coverage: liability, comprehensive, and collision, as well as minor coverages such as uninsured/underinsured motorist.
“An important part of vehicle ownership is the cost to insure, and this list is a helpful guide,” said Chong Gao, director of product management R&D for Mercury Insurance. “We looked at factors such as cost to repair, price, engine type and size, and vehicle type when compiling the list. These cars could save drivers up to 70% on their auto insurance premium compared to the most expensive cars.”
1. 2016 Chevrolet Spark
If the vehicle is very inexpensive to begin with, it follows that its parts are inexpensive too. And since the price of parts figures into the cost to repair it this is an important part of the cost to insure. The Chevrolet Spark, one of the most popular small cars in the world, meets those criteria, and it is the winner in the cost-to-insure sweepstakes.
This four-passenger hatchback currently sells at one of the lowest prices of any vehicle of its vintage. It’s powered by a 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 98 horsepower. In addition to its low cost-to-insure, it also is economical on fuel with EPA ratings of 30 mpg city/41 mpg highway and 34 mpg combined. Traction control, Bluetooth connectivity, and rearview camera system were standard equipment on all 2016 models.
2. 2016 Fiat 500
The Fiat 500, like the Spark, is a minicar with the associated cost advantages that brings. It is also a remarkably cool car with a panache that belies its low price. It draws inspiration from the classic styling of the legendary Fiat 500, a car that has inspired a cult much like the Volkswagen Beetle and MINI Cooper.
The 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine in the base Pop trim delivers just 101 horsepower, but the car's light weight and compact size enable it to deliver some fun-to-drive performance. Its European flair is enhanced by the inclusion of upscale touches like heated mirrors, cruise control, and remote keyless entry. While rear-seat passengers get second-class space, the two front seats are roomy and comfortable. The folding rear setback opens up a good-sized cargo area.
3. 2016 Chrysler 200
If you don’t remember the Chrysler 200 sedan, you have a good excuse. Chrysler sold few 200s because the market shifted to SUVs, and the model was discontinued. But while the Chrysler 200 didn’t have staying power in the market, it did have what it takes to score very well on the list of used cars that are least expensive to insure.
The Chrysler 200 has other things going for it, too. It is among the largest cars on this list, and it offers a generous 16-cubic-foot trunk. The 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine is not quite so generous with power, but its 184 horsepower is enough to provide more-than-adequate acceleration. For a car its size, fuel economy is good at 23 mpg city/36 mpg highway/28 mpg combined. The 200 is filled with standard convenience features including Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control, pushbutton start, and remote keyless entry.
4. 2016 Buick Verano
The Buick Verano is a well-equipped compact sedan launched just as the U.S. car market was making a pronounced swing away from cars toward SUVs. What this means to you the used-car buyer is that the Verano represents a significant bargain, and not just in its attractive cost-to-insure.
A typical 2016 Verano is stuffed with premium features, including a navigation system, Bluetooth connectivity, remote start, remote keyless entry, and cruise control. It is powered by a 180-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine matched with a six-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy is fair with an EPA rating of 21 mpg city/32 mpg highway/25 mpg combined. As a Buick, the Verano offers a premium-grade interior with a touchscreen, and it is “quiet-tuned” to deliver more tranquility.
5. 2016 Honda Fit
A longtime leader in its area of the market, the Honda Fit subcompact hatchback offers driving enjoyment and versatility that outclass its competitors. The car isn’t what you’d call fast, but its perky acceleration and superior handling give it a fun-to-drive nature lacking in most subcompacts.
Powered by a 130-horsepower 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that is mated to a CVT automatic, the Fit delivers fuel economy of up to 33 mpg city/40 mpg highway/36 mpg combined, according to the EPA. The 2016 Honda Fit is fitted with a lot of standard items including Bluetooth, cruise control, and remote keyless entry. It is a hatchback, which adds to its versatility and carrying capacity. The Fit attracts young buyers, and that typically means higher insurance rates, so we are pleased to see it make this list.
6. 2016 Hyundai Elantra
The Hyundai Elantra is a very pleasant five-passenger compact sedan that offers a great deal in addition to its high-ranking cost-to-insure record. The 2016 Elantra has a lot of standard equipment like cruise control and remote keyless entry that is lacking on its competitors. It has 14.8 cubic feet of trunk space, larger than some luxury sedans, and its long wheelbase makes for comfortable highway cruising.
The Elantra uses a 145-horsepower 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that drives the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy from the powertrain is an EPA-rated 27 mpg city/37 mpg highway/31 mpg combined. The Hyundai Elantra sedan should also be easy and inexpensive to own, thanks to excellent build quality and a strong reputation for reliability.
7. 2016 Hyundai Veloster
Most of the vehicles on this list of the used cars that are least expensive to insure aren’t particularly sporty, but that’s where the Hyundai Veloster comes in. The unique three-door performance coupe is available in various levels of performance capability, and even the base model captures some of the élan.
We don't mean it will blow the doors off a Corvette, but it certainly looks the part of a sports coupe. In base form (the least expensive to insure) it is powered by a 132-horsepower 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that drives the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission. Standard equipment abounds — cruise control, remote keyless entry, and Bluetooth connectivity topping the list. Hill-start assist and electronic stability control add to the driving enjoyment.
8. 2016 Volkswagen Golf
The Volkswagen Golf is one of the most popular hatchbacks in the world. It offers the premium feel of contemporary Volkswagens with attractive exterior styling and contemporary interior ergonomics. We like the touchscreen infotainment interface and the simple-to-comprehend controls.
The Golf is offered in a number of versions, including the performance-oriented GTI, but the base trim has the lowest cost-to-insure. That version is powered by a 170-horsepower 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, and its six-speed automatic transmission contributes to good fuel economy. Standard electronic stability control and cruise control add to the Golf’s driving composure. The Golf offers good versatility as well. Its easy-to-access cargo area is a large 52.7 cubic feet. European panache and a low insurance cost is a dynamic combination.
9. 2016 Nissan Leaf
Electric vehicles are equipped with expensive batteries, which might need to be replaced after a collision, so you might expect an EV like the Leaf to be expensive to insure. Happily, it is not, demonstrating that Leaf buyers are more careful than the average car owner.
A big benefit of the Leaf is its environmental friendliness. It is driven by a 107-horsepower AC electric motor with its battery pack offering under 100 miles of range, and its EPA figures are impressive: 126 MPGe city/ 101 MPGe highway/114 MPGe combined. Convenience features like cruise control, push-button start, and proximity-based keyless entry are standard equipment. Interior space is expansive, including a 23.6-cubic-foot cargo area. If you like quiet and serenity, the Nissan Leaf is a strong choice.
10. 2016 Buick Regal
Many of us were surprised to see the mid-size Buick Regal sedan on this list of used cars that cost the least to insure, but that’s what the stats say, and we can’t argue. The 2016 Regal is a well-regarded car developed in Europe and built here in North America. It is packed with premium content that lifts it above other mid-size sedans. Included as standard equipment on all 2017 Regals are navigation system, voice recognition, remote keyless entry, electronic stability control, and cruise control.
The Regal offers a 182-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine accompanied by a six-speed automatic transmission. The European exterior styling is handsome, and the interior is plush and comfortable enough to warrant the name Buick. On the road, it strikes a nice balance between performance handling and a smooth ride.