Outside of getting you from point A to point B, minivans and cars are very different vehicle types. For some, a sedan is a great option. Sedans are simple, compact, typically fuel-efficient, and oft-economical in terms of list price and insurance premiums. If a sedan is your starter vehicle of choice, a minivan could be your next pick. It’s great for towing the kids around, it's more spacious, and many minivans are designed with accessibility in mind. If you’re unsure which vehicle type is right for you, we can help. Let’s break down the costs of buying and insuring popular cars and vans to help you decide which is right for you.
On average, it’s about $6,489 more expensive to buy a minivan than to purchase a sedan. If we look more closely at particular models and their corresponding costs of ownership, some disparities emerge.
Minivan vs. sedan cost of ownership
|List value: minivans||List value: sedans|
|Chrysler Pacifica - $26,985||Honda Accord - $23,720|
|Honda Odyssey - $30,190||Ford Fusion - $23,170|
|Kia Sedona - $27,200||Honda Civic - $19,550|
|Toyota Sienna - $31,415||Toyota Camry - $24,095|
|Dodge Grand Caravan - $26,790||Toyota Corolla - $19,600|
|Average minivan insurance cost - $28,516||Average sedan insurance cost - $22,027|
A difference of over $7,000 separates the list price of the most expensive minivan (Toyota Sienna) from the most expensive sedan (Toyota Camry). Between the cheapest sedan (Honda Civic) and cheapest minivan (Dodge Grand Caravan), there’s a gap of over $7,000. Vans and sedans serve vastly different purposes aside from simple transportation. If you’re on the fence about which vehicle is right for you, the price of purchase could be a deciding factor.
Unlike the cost of buying a van, the cost to insure a minivan is actually a bit cheaper than the cost of insuring a sedan. While there will be considerable difference between individual car insurance companies' costs — and on a model-by-model basis — the average cost of insurance for a minivan is actually $122 less expensive per year than the cost to insure a sedan.
Average auto insurance premiums for sedans and minivans
|Average auto insurance rates: minivans||Average auto insurance rates: sedans|
|Chrysler Pacifica - $1,745||Honda Accord - $1,624|
|Honda Odyssey - $1,633||Ford Fusion - $1,954|
|Kia Sedona - $1,618||Honda Civic - $1,801|
|Toyota Sienna - $1,553||Toyota Camry - $1,692|
|Dodge Grand Caravan - $1,636||Toyota Corolla - $1,724|
|Minivan insurance price average - $1,637||Sedan insurance price average - $1,759|
Between the least expensive sedan to insure (Honda Accord) and the least expensive van (Toyota Sienna), there’s just a $71 annual difference —with the van being less expensive to insure. For the most expensive-to-insure sedan (Ford Fusion) compared to the Chrysler Pacifica, insuring the minivan is cheaper. On average, the Pacifica costs over $200 less per year to insure than does the Fusion.
If you’re debating whether or not to buy a sedan and it’s coming down to the price, the actual list price may be more of a determining factor than the annual premium. Although there is variability based on the model and your insurance company, our data shows that overall insurance costs are quite close between minivans and sedans — although minivans may be more expensive up front, the cost of insurance can be slightly cheaper. For more information regarding vans and sedans, see our individual articles below or find your exact make and model here.
Between September and December 2018, 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 2017 year-end sales according to Goodcarbadcar.net’s automakers’ data. Finally, some rate data may vary slightly throughout report based on rounding.