ATLANTA - Car insurance can be a big expense for some families, but one way to help control the cost is by choosing the right vehicle. In 2014, Georgia had the 3rd highest premiums for car insurance in the nation, behind only Michigan and West Virginia.
There are a lot of factors that go into the cost of your car insurance, companies look at things like driving record, age, gender and how much you drive. Some of those things you can't control, but one thing you can change is what vehicle you're insuring.
So if you're car shopping, according to Insure.com, the least expensive vehicles to insure are:
1. Honda Odyssey LX
2. Honda CRV LX
3. Dodge Grand Caravan AVP 2WD
4. Jeep Patriot Sport 2WD
5. Jeep Wrangler Sport 4WD
It's no real surprise family friendly vehicles, meant for more mature, safe-minded drivers top the list, but one surprise is a pickup truck in the top 10. The Nissan Frontier S King Cab is the first truck to make this list. There's really a variety in the top 10, from compact cars and SUV's to minivans, off road vehicles and pickup trucks. Jeep seems to dominate, they looked at 33 manufacturers and Jeep had 4 of the top 10 spots.
Insurance agents say the costs of parts and extra safety features on a car could even mean a higher premium.
"You've got safety features now with a side mirror that has sensors to alert you if someone is in the lane, or if you're changing lanes it's got the blinker in it. It used to be a $300 mirror and now it's a $3000 mirror. So, if you knock that mirror off, the claim goes up and then your company is paying out more money and so they have to raise premiums on people to make up for what they're paying out," explains Josh Bagby with Alfa Insurance- The Bagby Agency.
Something else that's considered are theft rates and crime where you live. "The black market for a minivan isn't super large, it's more so for the high end luxury vehicles. Typically the risk of you getting your minivan stolen is pretty low," Bagby says.
How loyal you are to your insurance company is also weighed Shopping insurance companies too much can actually cost you more money. Agents use an insurance score, a combination of your claims history and credit report, and people who bounce around every few months, looking for the cheapest option, could take a hit on their insurance score. "Actually the length of time with your previous insurance company rolls into that so people who shop around every months and bounce and look for the absolute cheapest, that ends up hurting them in the long run," adds Bagby.
Some agents may actually help you make a cost-saving decision, if you're car shopping and have it narrowed down to a couple of options, you can try sending them the models, or VIN, and they can quote you on the cheaper option to insure.