Top 5 vehicle considerations that could impact your car insurance cost
Car dashboard

Your auto insurance premium is affected by many different things. Individual factors such as your age, where you live, and your claims and driving history all have an impact. So do things that are out of your control, like inflation. But did you know that certain details about the car you drive can also affect your insurance cost?

If you’re thinking about getting a new or “new-to-you” car, or you want to modify your current vehicle, here are a few things to keep in mind if you’re trying to pay less for your car insurance.

1. Model. A car’s retail price can play a part in a higher premium, since insurers have to consider how much a claim could cost if something happens to the vehicle. So, if you’re going for a luxury vehicle, you could be paying more for car insurance.

Insurers may also charge higher rates for certain car models if statistically they’re more likely to be involved in an accident, stolen or vandalized. It goes without saying that these are things you want to avoid – but how do you know which cars to stay away from? We’ve got good news – RATESDOTCA compiles a yearly guide of the cheapest cars to insure in Canada. Keep in mind, this list won’t include the current or previous year so it might only apply if you’re buying used.

Every year, the Insurance Bureau of Canada also releases an annual list of the top 10 vehicles stolen in Canada. Check it out right here.

2. Trim. There are loads of ornamental bells and whistles that the manufacturer can add to a vehicle. These can include special paint, graphics, leather interior, heated seats, or faux wood surfaces. They’re generally grouped into packages identified by letters at the end of the Model name, like GL, LE, LTD or SPORT. If your car has extra features, you could be paying more for your coverage, since these add-ons cost more to repair or replace.

3. Size. Vehicles can be grouped by body style, like two-door, four-door or minivan. Although we can’t make a blanket statement about vehicle size and its impact on car insurance, some of the factors that may impact cost are how likely a vehicle is to roll and its safety rating. For example, midsize vehicles like SUVs are generally more durable in an accident than two-doors, which tend to have lighter frames. An insurer could offer lower rates on midsize cars based on this type of safety rating.

4. Technology. If there’s one thing smartphone users know, it’s that fancy tech is expensive to fix. The same goes for modern cars with convenient features like smartphone connectivity and wireless charging. Some new vehicles even have a built-in gaming system in the back seat to keep the kiddos occupied! But like a state-of-the-art phone, these things don’t come cheap. If your car is stacked with gadgets, you could end up paying a little more for your insurance.

What about safety tech? Well, even if you skip out on the “fun” gadgets, it doesn’t mean you should opt out of safety features like advanced driver assistance systems, a 360-degree camera and a blind-spot view monitor just to save a bit of money. Yes, cars with this type of tech could cost a bit more to insure. But, it’s there keep you and your family safe. Paying a little more for safety features is well worth the peace of mind you’ll have while on the road.

5. Modifications. Unlike trim, which are features added by the manufacturer, a modification is an after-market change that alters the vehicle from the manufacturer’s standard specifications (like adding turbochargers or upgrading the suspension). Any changes you make to your car could push up the cost of repairing or replacing it. So remember, when you’re gearing up to modify your vehicle it could push up your premium at the same time.

Tip: Before you customize your car, check with your insurance company to see if they actually insure modified vehicles. If they do, make sure they’ll approve the upgrades you intend to make. If they don’t, you’ll have to look for special insurance for a modified car.

Car considerations aside, our very best tip to keep your insurance cost low is to drive safely. That way, you’ll avoid expensive claims and keep you and the people around you safe.

Please note: This is general information based on vehicle trends in the industry. Details about you, where you drive, your claims and driving history, and government regulated rates (among other information collected) are still the primary driving factors insurers use to determine your insurance premium. No matter the car, a driver with a good record will probably be paying less for insurance than a driver with a poor record. If you need a detailed breakdown of your premium, contact your insurer.

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