I'm shopping around for a new car. Which car costs the most to
insure: a Dodge Avenger, Mazda3 or Mitsubishi Eclipse?
I'm a big advocate of shopping around for auto insurance as part of
the research one does before buying a car. If you wait until
you've decided on one certain car, or worse yet, already purchased
a new vehicle, you may find out your auto insurance premiums will
make your choice of car no longer affordable.
The process will give you a big picture of what various cars
will cost to own. (See "
How to insure a new car
") You may find that the difference between the cars is small
compared with the difference between insurance companies.
I ran car insurance quotes on a Dodge Avenger, Mazda3, and
Mitsubishi Eclipse for a 30-year-old male living in Houston (your
makes a big difference) with a clean driving record.
of 50/100/50, which breaks down to $50,000 per person and $100,000
per incident for bodily injury liability and $50,000 for property
damage liability. Since these are new cars, I also added
physical damage coverages of
and comprehensive, each with a $500 deductible.
The 2012 Avenger was the cheapest of the three vehicles to
insure with an annual rate of $1,422. The 2012 Mazda3 was
second with an annual auto insurance premium of $1,534, and the
2012 Mitsubishi Eclipse was the most expensive to insure per year
But look at how much comparison shopping really matters. The
quotes for the Avenger ranged from $1,422 to $2,088, for the
Mazda3, from $1,534 to $2,518, and for the Eclipse, $1,656 up to
Finding the auto insurance provider that is pricing
competitively for your set of rating factors is important since, as
you can see, the difference in cost can be hundreds, if not
thousands, of dollars. (See "Save $1,102 just by
Certainly the car can make a difference. If a car is stolen more
often or has higher repair costs -- that is, if the car has more
frequent or larger insurance claims, -- then it will cost more to
insure than a similar car with lower claims frequency or cheaper
parts. (See "How a car gets a bad reputation.")
But the vehicle is only a small component of a very long
financial equation. Where you live, your occupation, marital status
and other things that insurers see as risk factors will change your
rate from the sample I've given here.
You can easily compare rates for yourself, using your own
information, with CarInsurance.com's rate-comparison engine. You
can find rates on the first car you're considering, then click the
Review button at the top right of the rate screen The menu
that opens will allow you to change any of the information you have
already entered, such as the vehicle, and get an updated quote.
And you can always edit other items to see how they change your
rate quote. Raising your deductibles (see "Will higher
deductibles save you money"), lowering your liability limits, and
so on within the car insurance quoting form will change how much
your auto insurance premium will be. Just make sure what
coverage you choose is right for you, don't only look at the
price. If you need help deciding what coverages you need, use
our car insurance coverage calculator.