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The Zebra's car buying guide 2021

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Introduction

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?

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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.

Make/Model

Cost to Insure 2020

Cost to Insure 2016

$ Difference from New

Ford F-Series

$1,547

$1,448

-$99

Chevrolet Silverado

$1,842

$1,490

-$352

Ram Pickup

$1,851

$1,500

-$351

Toyota RAV4

$1,592

$1,415

-$177

Honda CR-V

$1,484

$1,333

-$151

Toyota Camry

$1,734

$1,548

-$186

Honda Civic

$1,721

$1,569

-$152

Chevrolet Equinox

$1,584

$1,356

-$228

GMC Sierra

$1,658

$1,403

-$255

Nissan Rogue

$1,599

$1,443

-$156

Want to go green?

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

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

Make/Model

Cost to Insure

Kia Niro EV

$1,675

Chevy Volt

$1,774

Toyota Prius

$1,847

Chevy Bolt EV

$1,884

Tesla Model 3

$2,579

Tesla Model X

$3,432

Tesla Model S

$3,620

 

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.

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

Safety Device

Avg Annual Premium

  

None

$1,483

  

Blind Spot Warning Device

$1,481

-0.1%

$2

Collision Preparation System

$1,482

-0.1%

$1

Driver Alertness Monitoring Device

$1,483

0.0%

$0

Heads-Up Display

$1,483

0.0%

$0

Lane Departure Warning Device

$1,483

0.0%

$0

Night Vision Device

$1,483

0.0%

$0

Park Assist Device

$1,483

0.0%

$0

Rear View Camera

$1,483

0.0%

$0

Electronic Stability Control (ESC)

$1,474

-0.6%

$9

 

Infographic

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The ZebraThe 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 tool, The Zebra partners with companies such as Allstate, Liberty Mutual, and Progressive to help consumers browse pricing, coverage, and service level for both home and auto insurance policies.