There’s no worse feeling than buying a new car that fits in your budget, only to find out that the insurance premiums on your new ride are going to leave your wallet with nothing but dust bunnies. Luckily, we’re here to fill you in on the cheapest cars to insure in 2021. This list is based on average yearly costs for an 18-year-old living in Pennsylvania.
And, obviously, the prices on this list aren’t going to apply to everyone. There’s about a billion factors that affect what your insurance premium costs you, but by the end of this article, you should have a pretty good idea of what are the best cars for young drivers who don’t want to splurge on insurance. Let’s get into it.
Mazda MX-5 Miata
A convertible and a responsible purchase? It can’t be possible! Oh, but it is! The Mazda MX-5 Miata is arguably the cheapest car to insure this year. With an MSRP value of $23,720 in 2020, this sleek and sexy machine only costs $2,640 to insure per year on average. And just because insurance premiums are low, doesn’t mean you can’t have any fun driving a Miata. Quite the contrary!
These cars are quick, powerful, and super fun to drive. Plus, they don’t look too bad on the curb either. Many people get cold feet about buying a convertible because they’re afraid the insurance premiums are going to be through the roof due to increased risk of theft. And while studies have shown that convertibles do get stolen more on average, insurance companies are clearly willing to roll the dice on the Miata. Good for all you young guns who want to ride with the top down!
Volkswagen Golf GTI
Now, here’s a hatchback that’s actually super fun to drive, even if that’s hard to believe. The Volkswagen Golf GTI’s got a 228-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder hooked up to either a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic. This little hot hatch zips in and out of traffic as nimbly as, well, a golf ball.
And in terms of insurance costs, the Golf GTI is killer. At $25,385 MSRP value, this car costs $2,740 to insure yearly on average. A big reason for this is all of the state-of-the-art collision prevention systems built into the 2020 Golf GTI like blind spot monitoring, forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, rear traffic alert, and pedestrian monitoring. It’s pretty much impossible to crash one of these without a robot taking over your car and saving you.
Fiat 500L Pop
I don’t want to burst your bubble, but if you don’t own a Pop, you might be paying too much for insurance. The Fiat 500L Pop is a bite-sized hatchback that’s a blast to drive. It’s got a deceiving amount of cabin and cargo space for a car that looks small enough to fit in your pocket, and it’s got an awesome touchscreen interface that’s simple to use and super helpful!
And at $19,195 MSRP, the 500L Pop isn’t all that expensive and might be in your budget even if you’re flippin’ burgers. But where the real savings on the Pop come in is with insurance premiums, which cost owners an average of $2,786 yearly! There are some complaints surrounding the 500L Pop such as a choppy ride over rough pavement and low-quality interior materials. But overall, this is a pretty solid car for young drivers who don’t want to get burned on insurance.
Most people who drive a Subaru Outback carry a Nalgene water bottle at all times, probably have a fleece made by either North Face or Patagonia, and have either graduated from or are currently enrolled in a four-year Bachelor’s program in either Biology or Environmental Science. But as much as we like to poke fun at owners of the Outback, this car is a seriously smart purchase if you want to save on insurance premiums.
With an estimated MSRP value of $23,495 for the 2020 model, insurance for this car costs an average of $2,735 yearly. Plus, these cars are super reliable and will last you a lifetime. So, say what you will about the outdoorsy intellectual type, there’s no denying their flagship car is a pretty good pick.
The Subaru Outback like many of the cars on this list, has performed quite well in safety tests, being awarded the highest safety award from the IIHS. If you’re looking for a car that doesn’t have a high insurance premium, pay attention to safety ratings. This is a huge factor that insurance companies look for in pricing your insurance.
The MINI Countryman may not be a car that’s going to rule the road, but it’s certainly no pushover. In that tiny body, this car gets 189 horsepower, unless you get the John Cooper trim, which is boosted up 73 horsepower to 301. Not to mention every trim on the Countryman has super efficient handling that’ll make you feel like you’re in The Italian Job when you’re cruising through traffic. However, we here at Ideal can’t legally endorse any gold heists you might attempt. That’s on you.
What we can endorse, on the other hand, is buying yourself a sweet little MINI Countryman, especially if you like the idea of having low insurance costs over the life of your car.
Now, I know it’s no young driver’s dream to be whipping around town in a minivan, save those for when you’re older and have to bus the kids back and forth from soccer practice. But if you’re dead set on keep your insurance costs low, you may want to reconsider your aversion to vans.
The Volkswagen Routan is built to transport seven passengers in complete comfort and safety. It’s got airbags everywhere imaginable, it’s got four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, and it’s got tire pressure monitoring and traction control so you and your friends can cruise around the town with peace-of-mind.
All of these top-notch safety features drive the Routan’s insurance rates lower than the Mariana Trench, costing only $2,769 to insure yearly on average. And with an estimated MSRP value of $28,375, this isn’t the cheapest minivan on the market, but it is rather reliable and gets good MPGs for the class. Overall, you’re going to pay a good amount upfront for a Routan, but this German transport vehicle’s going to save you big bucks over its lifetime.
Of course, if you’re buying a Smart car, your top priorities are saving big bucks at the gas pump, and making big reductions in your carbon footprint. And the Smart ForTwo does both of those! The 2020 ForTwo is, obviously, fully electric, and gets 58 miles of range on a single charge.
But an additional place that this car helps you save is on insurance premiums. Yearly insurance costs on this car are estimated to be $2,776 on average, and when you factor in that the MSRP value of this car is just $13,270, the ForTwo looks like a big chunk of change staying in your pocket. Unfortunately, you’re going to have to go with a 2019 version or older, because the 2020 model is no longer being sold in the USA.
This is probably going to surprise you. But the Ford Mustang actually has some of the lowest average insurance costs on the market. Weird, right? I associate the Mustang with people who have a gas addiction and want to weave through traffic with their pedal to the metal. But the 2020 Mustang actually has some quite impressive safety specs that have driven insurance premiums down. Anti-lock brakes, stability control, airbags on airbags, and a super effective anti-theft system apparently cancel out the reckless tendencies of the people who buy these cars. I just hope the insurance companies know what they’re doing.
With an MSRP value of $22,510, average yearly insurance costs on the Mustang are $2,821. So, if you want to buy a sports car but don’t want your premiums to go through the roof, make a move on a Mustang.
Want to learn how to save even more money when buying a car? Check out our Ideal Car Strategies and become a master car buyer!