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The Hybrid Car with the Cheapest Insurance Rates in 2023

A display of Toyota Prius Prime at an event


October 23, 2023

With rising gas prices, more drivers are considering switching to a hybrid vehicle to save money at the pump. But which hybrid models have the lowest car insurance costs?

In this article, we will:

  • Compare insurance quotes for the top hybrid cars

  • Analyze the key factors that impact hybrid insurance rates

  • Reveal which specific hybrid has the lowest insurance premiums

Knowing which hybrid car has the most affordable insurance can help you make the best choice if you're considering joining the hybrid movement. Read on to find out which hybrid truly gives you the most bang for your buck when it comes to insurance costs.

What Factors Impact Auto Insurance Costs?

When insurance companies determine your premiums, there are several key factors they consider:

  • Driving record - This includes past accidents, traffic violations, DUIs, etc. A good driving history means lower premiums.

  • Location - Insurance rates vary a lot by state and even zip code. Urban areas tend to have higher premiums.

  • Vehicle type - Sports cars, luxury vehicles, and SUVs often cost more to insure than basic sedans.

  • Age and gender - Young male drivers generally pay the highest premiums.

  • Miles driven - The more miles you drive, the higher your premiums tend to be.

  • Credit score - In most states, people with poor credit pay more for coverage.

  • Coverage limits - Lower liability limits and higher deductibles mean cheaper premiums.

In addition to these standard rating factors, there are some additional considerations for hybrid vehicles:

  • Repair costs - Hybrid components like batteries can be expensive to replace.

  • Safety features - Advanced driver aids may reduce accident frequency and severity.

  • Theft risk - Hybrids may have higher or lower theft rates than gas models.

Hybrid-Specific Factors:

  • Battery replacement - A hybrid battery can cost $2,000 - $6,000 to replace.

  • Specialized labor - Many mechanics lack hybrid training, which increases shop rates.

  • Technology - Advanced tech may require special tools and diagnostics for repairs.

  • Parts availability - Some hybrid-specific parts may be harder to source.

Factor

Impact on Insurance

Accident Avoidance Tech

Lower premiums

Battery Replacement Cost

Higher premiums

Theft Rate

Varies by model

In summary, while hybrids save on gas costs, factors like higher repair bills can potentially increase insurance premiums. However, improved safety features may help offset some of those added expenses.

When we compare policies for different hybrid models later in this article, we'll see how these variables contribute to big differences in insurance rates. The hybrid that balances lower gas usage with affordable premiums could provide the best overall value.

Review of Top Hybrid Models

The hybrid car market has exploded in recent years. Here's an overview of some of the most popular hybrid models based on U.S. sales data:

  • Toyota Prius - The iconic Prius is synonymous with hybrids. The Prius gets an EPA-estimated 58 MPG combined. Available as a compact hatchback or midsize Prius V wagon.

  • Toyota RAV4 Hybrid - Toyota's hybrid SUV model is roomy and fuel-efficient. The 2021 RAV4 Hybrid gets an estimated 40 MPG combined.

  • Honda Insight - This compact sedan has a sleek design and excellent fuel economy of up to 55 MPG. Standard advanced safety features.

  • Ford Escape Hybrid - Ford's top-selling hybrid SUV offers 37 MPG combined fuel efficiency. Generous cargo space and towing capacity.

  • Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid - The Ioniq hatchback earns up to 59 MPG combined. Also available as a plug-in hybrid or all-electric EV.

  • Kia Niro - This small crossover SUV has crossover appeal. Two hybrid versions get up to 52 MPG combined.

Gas Savings

Hybrids can save $500 to $1,000 or more per year on fuel compared to similar gas-only models. Over a 5-year ownership period, they can save owners thousands on gas.

Resale Value

Many hybrids maintain their value well thanks to high gas mileage and low emissions:

  • Toyota Prius: 49% residual value after 5 years

  • Ford Escape Hybrid: 46% residual value after 5 years

This can translate into $thousands more when it's time to sell or trade in your hybrid.

Top Picks

Based on a combination of fuel efficiency, affordability, driving dynamics, and utility, here are my top hybrid recommendations:

  • Overall: Toyota Prius

  • SUV: Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

  • Sedan: Honda Insight

Later we'll compare insurance costs to reveal which one of these popular hybrid models offers the lowest insurance rates. The most fuel-efficient hybrid may not always be the most budget-friendly to insure due to repair costs, safety ratings, and other factors.

Comparing Insurance Costs for Hybrids

To find out which hybrid has the cheapest insurance rates, I obtained quotes for the top models from major insurance companies like Geico, State Farm, and Progressive.

According to insurance industry reports from Insure.com, average annual premiums for top hybrid models are the Jeep Wrangler, Honda CR-V, and Ford Escape, with annual premiums ranging from $1,442 to $1,449.

Here's how the annual premiums compared for a 40-year-old driver with a clean record in Ohio driving 15,000 miles per year:

this is a chart that shows the average annual premiums for Toyota Prius, Toyota RAV-4 Hybrid, Ford Escape Hybrid, and Toyota Insight



Hybrid Model

Average Annual Premium

Toyota Prius

$1,200

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

$1,350

Ford Escape Hybrid

$1,275

Honda Insight

$1,100

The Honda Insight had the lowest average insurance rate at $1,100 per year - about $100 less than the Prius and $250 less than the RAV4 Hybrid.

However, there were some variances by the insurance company:

  • Geico offered the lowest rates for the Prius, Escape Hybrid, and RAV4 Hybrid

  • State Farm had the best price for the Honda Insight

This demonstrates the importance of getting quotes from multiple providers to find the lowest premium for your particular hybrid.

Why is the Insight less to insure?

The Insight has several advantages that contribute to its lower average insurance costs:

  • Low repair costs - As a compact sedan, parts, and labor are cheaper than for an SUV.

  • Excellent safety scores - It earned top marks from the IIHS and NHTSA to qualify for discounts.

  • Good claim record - Honda hybrids tend to have lower loss ratios.

  • Lower theft risk - Midsize SUVs like the RAV4 Hybrid are more targeted by thieves.

The Insight strikes the best balance of fuel efficiency, affordability, and safety. Drivers can save hundreds per year on gas and insurance compared to gas-only sedans.

In the next section, we'll take a closer look at the hybrid components and features that affect insurance rates. While hybrid tech helps save gas, it can impact repair costs and premiums.

Hybrid Components that Impact Insurance Costs

While hybrids utilize both gas and electric power, it's the unique hybrid components that often affect insurance rates:

  • Batteries - The large battery packs in hybrids are expensive to replace if damaged. This can lead to higher premiums.

  • Electric motors - Motor issues may require specialized diagnostic equipment that drives up repair costs.

  • Regenerative braking - This can wear brakes unevenly, leading to more frequent brake service.

  • Electronics - All the computers and sensors make repairs more complex.

Batteries

The battery pack in a hybrid may cost $2,000 to $6,000 to replace, whereas a standard 12-volt car battery is under $200. If the hybrid battery is damaged in an accident, it's an expensive repair.

  • Toyota Prius battery replacement: ~$2,500

  • Ford Escape Hybrid battery: ~$3,000

According to hybrid repair experts at IMA Garage, replacement batteries can cost $2,000 to $6,000 depending on the hybrid model

Labor Rates

Many mechanics are not trained to service hybrid systems. Those who are may charge 1.5X the standard labor rate, driving up the fixed costs.

Safety Features

However, advanced driver aids available on hybrids can potentially offset some of those expenses by avoiding accidents and reducing claim frequency:

  • Collision avoidance

  • Blind-spot monitoring

  • Lane keep assist

  • Automatic high beams

Battery Warranties

Most hybrid batteries come with 8-10 year/100k-150k mile warranties. This protects owners from battery replacement costs within the warranty period. Outside of that, insurance would need to cover a damaged hybrid battery.

Overall, while innovative hybrid technology saves fuel it can add repair costs for insurers. We'll have to see if advanced safety tech helps counter those expenses when we review premiums.

Safety Features and Ratings

In addition to fuel efficiency, insurers look at safety when determining insurance rates. Hybrids with good crash test results and advanced driver aids can qualify for significant discounts.

Let's compare the safety ratings and technology for our top hybrid contenders:

Crash Test Results

Hybrid Model

IIHS Rating

NHTSA Rating

Toyota Prius

Good

5 stars

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

Good

5 stars

Ford Escape Hybrid

Good

4 stars

Honda Insight

Good

5 stars

The Toyota Prius received ‘Good’ ratings across all crash tests from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

The Honda Insight earned an overall 5-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), including 5 stars for side crash protection.

The Toyota, Ford, and Honda hybrids all score well in crash testing by the major safety organizations. This helps lower insurance rates.

Driver Assistance Features

The Honda Sensing suite available on the Insight includes:

  • Collision Mitigation Braking

  • Lane Keeping Assist

  • Adaptive Cruise Control

The Escape Hybrid offers Ford Co-Pilot360 tech like:

  • Automatic Emergency Braking

  • Blind Spot Information System

  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert

The more advanced safety tech, the bigger the potential insurance discount. Honda and Ford both offer affordable packages with the latest accident avoidance that insurers reward.

Theft Prevention

Hybrids are often targeted by thieves for their valuable battery packs. The Toyota Prius has higher theft rates, while the Honda Insight is less prone to theft. Theft risk is reflected in insurance premium variances.

Overall, strong crash test results and advanced safety features help hybrids gain an insurance cost advantage over gas counterparts lacking similar tech.

The Hybrid with the Lowest Insurance Cost

After reviewing insurance quotes, evaluating hybrid technology costs, and comparing safety ratings, one model stands out as having the lowest insurance rates: the Honda Insight.

The Insight averaged $100-$250 less for annual insurance premiums versus other top hybrid contenders:

  • Insight: $1,100

  • Prius: $1,200

  • Escape: $1,275

  • RAV4 Hybrid: $1,350

Several advantages contribute to the Insight's affordable insurance:

  • Compact sedan design has lower repair costs

  • Stellar IIHS and NHTSA safety scores

  • Advanced Honda Sensing driver aids

  • Lower theft risk than SUV hybrids

  • Proven Honda hybrid reliability

The Insight strikes the optimal balance of fuel efficiency, driving refinement, safety tech, and reasonable maintenance costs for an insurance-friendly hybrid package.

As a bonus, the Insight costs thousands less than the Prius to buy new, so you save upfront as well.

Real World Example

A Cleveland driver aged 30 paid $870 per year to insure their used Honda Insight through Geico.

For a comparable gas sedan, their premium was $1,150 annually - nearly $300 more!

Over 5 years, they save $1,400 by insuring the Insight. That's money that can go towards gas or maintenance costs.

For shoppers seeking maximum savings at the pump and insurance office, the Insight is the top-value hybrid.

In the next section, we’ll explain the key factors that contribute to Insight’s low premiums.

Reasons the Insight Has the Lowest Insurance Cost

The Honda Insight edges out other hybrids as the most affordable to insure thanks to:

Compact Sedan Design

As a small 4-door sedan, the Insight has:

  • Lower repair costs - Parts like fenders are cheaper than for an SUV

  • Quicker repair times - Easier for shops to work on than larger vehicles

This reduces claim severity for insurers.

Excellent Safety Ratings

The Insight earned top honors for crashworthiness from the IIHS and NHTSA, including:

  • IIHS Top Safety Pick+

  • 5-star overall NHTSA score

  • 5-star side crash rating

This allows insurers to offer discounts for its safety.

Advanced Honda Sensing Tech

The affordable Honda Sensing suite includes:

  • Collision avoidance

  • Lane-keeping assist

  • Traffic sign recognition

These aids help drivers avoid accidents, reducing insurance claims.

Proven Honda Reliability

Honda has a reputation for reliability and efficient hybrid systems. This reduces the risk of expensive hybrid-related repairs.

Lower Theft Rate

SUVs like the RAV4 Hybrid are more likely to be stolen than small sedans like the Insight. The lower theft risk reduces premiums.

Affordable to Insure

When you combine stellar safety, reduced repair costs, and advanced tech, the Honda Insight emerges as the most budget-friendly hybrid to insure.

The Insight proves you can get great fuel economy without expensive insurance premiums. For cost-conscious drivers, it's the smartest hybrid choice.

Other Hybrids with Low Insurance Costs

The Honda Insight may have the lowest average insurance rates based on our analysis, but several other hybrid models can also deliver budget-friendly premiums:

This is a chart that explains the price difference between several hybrid cars like Toyota Prius, Toyota RAV-4 Hybrid, Honda Insight, Ford Escape Hybrid, Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid, Kia Nitro Hybrid, Ford Fussion Hybrid, and Toyota Prius C



Toyota Prius C

The Prius C is the smallest and most affordable hybrid in Toyota’s Prius lineup. Here’s why it tends to have lower insurance costs:

  • Subcompact car design has cheaper repair costs

  • Excellent fuel economy at 53 mpg city and 46 mpg highway

  • A low starting MSRP of around $21,000 is attractive to insurers

  • Above-average safety scores from IIHS and NHTSA

  • Standard Toyota Safety Sense package includes accident avoidance tech

The Prius C strikes a good balance of safety, efficiency, and affordability. Drivers can expect to save money at the pump and on insurance premiums.

Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid

The Hyundai Ioniq hatchback hybrid offers great fuel economy up to 59 mpg combined. It keeps insurance costs down thanks to:

  • Low repair costs as a compact car

  • Available advanced driver assistance features

  • 5-year/60,000-mile new vehicle limited warranty

  • Average or better-predicted reliability ratings

  • Standard automatic emergency braking and lane keep assist

Hyundai’s comprehensive warranty provides peace of mind for expensive hybrid components.

Kia Niro Hybrid

This small SUV hybrid provides crossover appeal with insurance-friendly attributes:

  • Great combined 52 mpg fuel efficiency

  • IIHS Top Safety Pick+ rating

  • A low starting MSRP of around $24k is attractive to insurers

  • Kia Drive Wise suite offers advanced driver aids

  • Good predicted reliability ratings from J.D. Power

The Niro hybrid balances utility and efficiency with affordable insurance costs.

Ford Fusion Hybrid

The midsize Ford Fusion hybrid sedan enjoys a safety edge:

  • IIHS Top Safety Pick

  • NHTSA 5-star overall crash test rating

  • Available Ford Co-Pilot360 suite with accident avoidance tech

  • Proven reliability track record as an older hybrid model

The Fusion’s combination of top safety honors, ample passenger space, and mature hybrid tech helps lower rates.

For cost-conscious buyers, any of these hybrid options check the right boxes for fuel savings without the pain of expensive insurance premiums.

Conclusion

After reviewing insurance costs for top hybrid models, the clear winner is the Honda Insight for having the lowest average premiums.

Key factors that make the Insight so affordable to insure include:

  • Compact sedan design with lower repair costs

  • Stellar safety ratings and advanced Honda Sensing tech

  • Proven reliability and low theft risk

  • Significant savings over gas-only models

Drivers looking to maximize savings at the pump and insurance office should strongly consider the Insight.

While other hybrids like the Prius C, Ioniq, and Fusion also offer budget-friendly rates, Insight consistently has the most affordable insurance costs while delivering hybrid fuel efficiency.

So for shoppers seeking the hybrid with the lowest insurance premiums along with great MPG, the Honda Insight is the top value choice.

Other Readers were also interested in the following posts:

How Much Does Geico Hybrid Car Insurance Cost? Average Rates, Discounts & More

Hybrid Car Insurance Is It Worth It Find Out How to Save!

Do you get temporary insurance when you buy a car in the USA?

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