For cheap car insurance, buy a minivan

Feb. 14, 2012 at 10:02 AM ET

The Toyota Sienna may not be as fun as an Audi sports car, but at least you're saving a bundle on car insurance.

Many of us may secretly dream we are zipping down the highway in an Audi or Mercedes sports car when what we're really doing is riding along in a minivan or a family SUV.

Well, at least we’re saving a lot on car insurance.

The website just released its annual ranking of highest and lowest insurance rates by vehicle. Two Toyota Sienna models topped this year’s list as cheapest to insure, with an average annual insurance rate of $1,111 and $1,114.

The minivan was followed by two Jeep models, the Patriot Sport and Compass Sport. The rest of the 20 least expensive vehicles to insure heavily favored family-oriented crossover SUVs, minivans and trucks.

The most expensive cars to insure would also be a lot more expensive to buy, but probably a lot more fun to drive. The Audi R8 Spyder Quattro Convertible ($210,000) and Mercedes CL600 ($159,000) topped that list, with annual insurance rates that are around three times higher than the Sienna. Of course, if you have to ask how much they cost to insure, you probably can't afford them.’s annual ranking of highest and lowest insurance rates is based on average premiums for a 40-year-old single male who commutes 12 miles to work. The website, which looked at more than 900 vehicles from the 2012 model year, relies on Quadrant Information Services to collect average rates for six insurance carriers in 10 ZIP codes per state.

The minivan’s top ranking was no fluke.

In 2011, the Chrysler Town & Country LX had the lowest rate, with an average annual premium of $1,091.80.

Here are the least and most expensive vehicles to insure for the 2012 model year, along with the average annual premium for’s sample customer. The full list is available on's website.

Least expensive:

  1. Toyota Sienna LE  $1,111
  2. Toyota Sienna $1,114
  3. Jeep Patriot Sport $1,116
  4. Jeep Compass Sport $1,118
  5. GMC Sierra K1500 Regular Cab $1,121

 Most expensive:

  1. Audi R8 Spyder Quattro Convertible $3,384
  2. Mercedes CL600 Coupe $3,307
  3. Mercedes S600 $2,948
  4. Audi R8 4.2 Quattro Coupe$2,903
  5. Porsche Panamera Turbo $2,738

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