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Is car insurance cheaper for a sedan or minivan?

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.

Which is cheaper to insure and buy sedan or minivan?
  1. Is it cheaper to buy a sedan or minivan?
  2. Is it cheaper to insure a sedan or minivan?
  3. Final thoughts: which vehicle is right for you?

Is it cheaper to buy a sedan or minivan?

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.

Is car insurance cheaper for a sedan or van?

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.

Final thoughts: minivan or sedans?

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.

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Methodology: how we determine our insurance costs

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.

Ava Lynch
Ava LynchSenior Analyst

Ava worked in the insurance industry as an agent for four-plus years.

Ava currently provides insights and data analysis as one of The Zebra's property and casualty insurance experts. Her work has been featured in publications such as U.S. News & World Report, GasBuddy, Car and Driver, and Yahoo! Finance.

About The Zebra

The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.

  • The Zebra’s insurance content is written and reviewed for accuracy by licensed insurance agents.

  • The Zebra’s insurance content is not subject to review or alteration by insurance companies or partners.

  • The Zebra’s editorial team operates independently of the company’s partnerships and commercialization interests, publishing unbiased information for consumer benefit.

  • The auto insurance rates published on The Zebra’s pages are based on a comprehensive analysis of car insurance pricing data, evaluating more than 83 million insurance rates from across the United States.