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The Zebra's car buying guide 2021

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The Zebra

The nation's leading independent insurance comparison site

The Zebra is an independent insurance advisor and quote comparison site with headquarters in Austin, Texas. Utilizing its real-time quote comparison …


It’s no secret that prices for cars have increased dramatically due to inflation and the national chip shortage. While drivers may be paying top dollar for a new vehicle, we've crunched the numbers and found, through your car insurance, savings can still be found.

Dig into The Zebra's 2021 car buying guide for insights. 

Are you debating new vs. used?



Nationally, auto insurance drops about 3% on average with each additional year your vehicle ages. New cars are more expensive to insure than older vehicles because they cost more to repair or replace — especially if they feature new technology like blind spot sensors and rearview cameras. A 5-year-old vehicle is about 14% less expensive to insure than its brand-new counterpart.

Here's a breakdown of the United States' ten best-selling cars sold new vs. a four-year-old used model.


Cost to Insure 2020

Cost to Insure 2016

$ Difference from New

Ford F-Series




Chevrolet Silverado




Ram Pickup




Toyota RAV4




Honda CR-V




Toyota Camry




Honda Civic




Chevrolet Equinox




GMC Sierra




Nissan Rogue




Want to go green?

Well, it’ll cost you about $109 more  to insure an environmentally-friendly car compared to a luxury one. 


Here's a breakdown of several top EV models and the average cost to insure them based on our 2021 State of Auto Insurance:


Cost to Insure

Kia Niro EV


Chevy Volt


Toyota Prius


Chevy Bolt EV


Tesla Model 3


Tesla Model X


Tesla Model S



Do you need all the bells and whistles?

Well, not exactly. You’ll see the most savings with electronic stability control (ESC) in your vehicle, but it will lower auto insurance premiums by only $9/year on average. It’s also worth noting that new car technology also increases the cost of vehicle repairs or replacement, so it won’t save you much on car insurance.


Unfortunately, all the new car tech isn't paying off for insurers quite yet. 

Safety Device

Avg Annual Premium





Blind Spot Warning Device




Collision Preparation System




Driver Alertness Monitoring Device




Heads-Up Display




Lane Departure Warning Device




Night Vision Device




Park Assist Device




Rear View Camera




Electronic Stability Control (ESC)






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