When buying a car, there are a lot of numbers to sift through like the purchase price, your car loan interest rate, and the total monthly payment. There’s a good chance that with all these moving parts, the last thing on your mind is how much you'll pay in future costs like insurance premiums.

While insurance companies look at you, the driver, more than your car when determining your payments, your car will still play a role in your rates. Learn which factors determine your insurance premium, the cars to avoid if you don't want to shell out a ton of cash, and which five vehicles come with affordable premiums. 

Factors that Influence Insurance Premiums

red sports car
This may be the only time you'll see us telling you not to go for the sports car.

Throughout our lives, we're told that we shouldn't stereotype. Insurance companies seem to have missed that memo. The first piece of your insurance premium has more to do with you than what you drive. Your premium will depend on characteristics such as your age, gender, driving record and even your marital status. While we'd advise against getting married solely for the purpose of a lower car insurance payment, there is another way to save money - avoid cars that come with a high premium. 

Vehicles with a High Premium

Just like insurance companies deem some customers to be riskier than others, they also profile cars in a similar way. Vehicles with the highest insurance premiums include:

  • Expensive sports cars
  • Luxury cars
  • Large vehicles 
  • Cars vulnerable to theft

Sports cars are expensive to insure because their owners are often younger and more accident prone. High-end cars are dinged because they're more costly to repair in the event of an accident and to replace if the car is totaled. Large vehicles can cause more damage to other cars if they are involved in a collision. Finally, if your car is more likely to be stolen (we're looking at you, Honda Accords and Toyota Camrys) insurance will need to pay up.

All these factors make your car a liability in the eyes of insurance companies. When you buy a luxury vehicle or high-end sports car, you might be looking at an insurance premium of over $3,000 per year which is more than double the amount for the vehicles on our list.

Least Expensive Vehicles to Insure

picking out a car

So, we know the Ferrari California T is out, but what exactly do insurance companies consider safe? You probably guessed it - family-friendly, compact crossovers topped the list. If you're considering a crossover SUV, you can pat yourself on the back when buying insurance coverage if you choose from one of these options. According to NerdWallet, the following are the five least expensive vehicles to insure. 

1. Honda CR-V

Honda CRV(image: Honda)

The Honda CR-V is one of the best selling SUVs on the market today. With plenty of cargo space, great styling inside and out and a 5-star safety rating, there are many reasons to buy the CR-V on top of the low insurance premiums.

Average Annual Insurance Premium: $1,146.89

Starting MSRP: $24,250

Find Local Discounts on the 2018 Honda CR-V

2. Subaru Outback

Subaru Outback

A spacious, comfortable and tech-filled wagon, the Subaru Outback will be a great vehicle for a family or adventure seeker who needs a rugged car for all their gear. Since insurance companies see Subaru Outbacks as safe and reliable, you'll get a great rate on your premium.

Average Annual Insurance Premium: $1,176.11

Starting MSRP: $26,345

Find Local Discounts on the 2018 Subaru Outlook

3. Jeep Cherokee

Jeep Cherokee

The Jeep Cherokee recently got a redesign inside and out for 2019 and it looks better than ever. On top of the styling, Jeep also improved this model's practicality by increasing the cargo room thanks to a redesigned liftgate. With a new and improved look and a wallet-friendly price point to insure it, you won't go wrong with the Cherokee. 

Average Annual Insurance Premium: $1,182.32

Starting MSRP: $23,995

Find Local Discounts on the 2018 Jeep Cherokee

4. Chevy Equinox

Chevy Equinox

A newly redesigned crossover, the Chevy Equinox will be both economical to insure and fun to drive. It's now more compact and powerful and it gives the segment leaders like the CR-V and RAV4 a run for their money.

Average Annual Insurance Premium: $1,209.21

Starting MSRP: $23,800

Find Local Discounts on the 2018 Chevy Equinox

5. Ford Escape

Ford Escape

The Ford Escape is a solid crossover with good acceleration, tech and cargo space. On top of avoiding a high premium, you'll enjoy the attractive styling of this family vehicle as well as its affordable starting price. 

Average Annual Insurance Premium: $1,217.75

Starting MSRP: $23,940

Find Local Discounts on the 2018 Ford Escape