Is it Cheaper to Insure a Minivan or SUV?

Which of these two family-friendly vehicle types carries the lowest insurance premiums?

Minivan vs. SUV car insurance rates


Minivans and SUVs are in close contention for the title of “best family vehicle.” While each gets you comfortably from point A to point B, the vehicles' horsepower and functionality may vary. If the decision between an SUV and a minivan is coming down to cost, use our guide to the cheapest SUVs and minivans to insure and buy.


Which is cheaper to insure: SUV vs. Minivan?
  1. Is it cheaper to buy an SUV or Minivan?
  2. Is it cheaper to insure an SUV or Minivan?
  3. Final thoughts: which is the best option for you?





Is it cheaper to buy an SUV or Minivan?


For the models in our study, buying a minivan costs nearly $3,000 more than does buying an SUV. In 2018, the cheapest SUV to buy is the Chevy Equinox, whereas the cheapest minivan is the Dodge Grand Caravan. The Equinox is approximately $4,000 cheaper than the Grand Caravan!


Minivan and SUV 2018 list prices

Minivan list price SUV list price
Chrysler Pacifica - $26,995 Honda CR-V - $24,045
Chrysler Town and Country - $29,995 Chevrolet Equinox - $22,120
Honda Odyssey - $30,090 Subaru Forester - $22,395
Kia Sedona - $27,000 Toyota RAV4 - $24,140
Nissan Quest - $26,580 Nissan Rogue - $23,820
Toyota Sienna - $30,750 Ford Explorer - $30,185
Dodge Grand Caravan - $26,250 Jeep Grand Cherokee - $30,395

For the most expensive models of these vehicle types — the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Toyota Sienna — there’s only $355 in purchase-price difference. So, if you’re just looking at costs, consider narrowing your search to the Caravan and Equinox.





Is car insurance cheaper for an SUV or minivan?


Although list prices for SUVs and minivans vary substantially, the difference in car insurance pricing is less pronounced. All insurance rating factors equal, there’s an average annual difference of $138 between these two vehicle types - with SUVs being less expensive to insure. Let’s look at individual models below.


Average insurance premiums for minivans and SUVs

Average Auto Insurance Premium: Minivan Average Auto Insurance Premium: SUV
Chrysler Pacifica - $1,498 Honda CR-V - $1,230
Chrysler Town and Country - $1,363 Chevrolet Equinox - $1,277
Honda Odyssey - $1,451 Subaru Forester - $1,324
Kia Sedona - $1,307 Toyota RAV4 - $1,329
Nissan Quest - $1,421 Nissan Rogue - $1,338
Toyota Sienna - $1,531 Ford Explorer - $1,354
Dodge Grand Caravan - $1,451 Jeep Grand Cherokee - $1,391

The Honda CR-V and Odyssey offer the most affordable car insurance premiums among minivans and SUVs. Average annual premiums for the Honda CR-V are nearly $100 less than the group average, while the Odyssey costs approximately $150 less to insure per year than similar minivans.





Final thoughts: minivans or SUVs


At the end of the day, a minivan might be better for families with car seats and an SUV might be better if you want four-wheel drive. But if your choice between a minivan and an SUV is coming down to price, consider the list price before the cost of insurance. While finding cheap car insurance will be very important once you've settled on a model, it shouldn't be a driving force behind your decision between a minivan and an SUV. If you’re still on the fence about which vehicle is right for you and your family, see our additional articles below.





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Methodology: how we determine insurance premiums and costs


Between September and December 2017, The Zebra conducted comprehensive car insurance pricing analysis using its proprietary quote engine, comprising data from insurance rating platforms and public rate filings. The Zebra examined nearly 53 million rates to explore trends for specific auto insurance rating factors across all United States zip codes, averaged by state, including Washington, DC.

Analysis used a consistent base profile for the insured driver: a 30-year-old single male driving a 2013 Honda Accord EX with a good driving history and coverage limits of $50,000 bodily injury liability per person/$100,000 bodily injury liability per accident/$50,000 property damage liability per accident with a $500 deductible for comprehensive and collision.

For coverage-level data, optional coverage (that must be rejected in writing) is included where applicable, including uninsured motorist coverage and personal injury protection.

National property and casualty losses information is from the Insurance Information Institute and the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information U.S. Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters report.

For vehicle make and model data, analysis referenced the most popular vehicles in the U.S. by 2016 year-end sales according to Goodcarbadcar.net’s automakers’ data. Finally, some rate data may vary slightly throughout report based on rounding.