Deciding on a vehicle, especially if you’re on a budget isn’t just about the make and model. It’s also about the cost of ownership. Unfortunately, you never really stop paying for a car. Insurance companies have changed a bit over the past two decades – with more leniency in case of an accident, assuring your rates won’t go up after an accident and making all that seem as if they’re giving you a gift. You get the gift of not paying more (unless the rates are raised in the next year which they usually are) and you are considered a safe driver.

There’s no leniency on a speeding ticket though. If you go even five miles over the speed limit and it goes on your record, expect to see an increase for two years.

Now, every popular car insurance company has comical commercials to make us laugh and forget about the fact that we are paying this premium for most of our lives without getting anything in return.

Except – when you need it, you need it and then it’s good to have it.

You may be surprised at the No. 1 most expensive vehicle to insure – it’s not a European sports car. The more you have a need for speed (and luxury), the more you’re going to pay for your premiums. Tack on that extra that you’ll most likely have when you drive it five miles (or so) over the speed limit.

Ten least expensive vehicles to insure and average annual premiums

Make                     Model                        Average Rate

Honda                 Odyssey LX                      $1,298

Jeep Wrangler        Sport                             $1,304

Subaru              Outback 2.5i                       $1,306

Mazda               CX-3 Sport                          $1,307

Honda               HR-V LX                             $1,325

Honda               CR-V LX                              $1,333

Jeep               Renegrade Sport                    $1,338

Ford                Escape S                              $1,344

Subaru              Forester 2 5i                       $1,347

Jeep               Compass Sport                      $1,349

Ten most expensive vehicles to insure and average premiums

Make               Model                          Average Rate

Nissan               GT-R                                $3,941

Mercedes         Maybach S650                    $3,917

Porsche           Panamera                           $3,887

Mercedes         AMG GT R                           $3,751

BMW             M760i xDrive                         $3,705

BMW             M6 Gran Coupe                     $3,637

Mercedes          I8                                     $3,603

Mercedes        S65 AMG                             $3,585

Mercedes        SL63 AMG                           $3,549

Mercedes       S560 4MATIC                       $3,514

Safety features are a big deal with insurance companies – lane assist, back-up cameras and other safety features stack up when it comes to lowering your premiums. Slower, steady and safe is the name of the game if you want to save.

Convertibles will cost you more as evident from the list above of those Mercedes. So will turbo-charged anything and luxury cars are more expensive to repair.

Technology has made all of our vehicles “safer” but it’s costing us. It’s more complex to fix and update all that technology. Other factors that come into play in determining rates are credit score, driving record, location, gender and claim rates on what car you drive.

If there’s several claims, nationwide, on a car, you’ll pay a higher premium. You gotta love those averages.

Or, you could drive a 1998 pick-up and save yourself a bundle.

Be safe out there.

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