What's a cheap car to insure?
March 28, 2007 9:41 PM   Subscribe

What kind of car is cheapest to insure for an 18 year old driver in NSW, Australia?

Is it a car with the lowest possible engine capacity, or lowest total value, or something else? I can find detailed information about the cars in specific insurance groups for other countries, but nothing for Australia.
posted by weegreentoad to Travel & Transportation around Australia (8 answers total)
Perhaps an insurance agent could help answer this question. When we bought a second car recently, my insurance agent was able to tell me all the reasons why the insurance on the second one was more than on the first car, and that led him into a big riff about how non-intuitive insurance rates are to most people, and so on, including specific model names and years (it was more interesting than it sounds).
posted by not that girl at 10:03 PM on March 28, 2007

Ditto-ing not that girl: do some research of the various companies and call them up!
posted by Lucie at 10:21 PM on March 28, 2007

Ditto-ditto; just ring up and ask you insurance company or, if you're a member or know someone who is, the NRMA. Age, driving experience, type of licence, home address, sex, model year, etc all make too much of a difference for a simple answer.

Just an anecdote: When I bought a new 4 cyl car a couple of years ago, the insurance was half that of my previous 20 year old standard "Aussie" 6 cyl - despite the fact that Ford parts & panels are a dime a dozen, and the new car being a "sports" version of the much-less-common sedan body.
posted by Pinback at 10:57 PM on March 28, 2007

As a slight derail, a car with a small engine capacity is a very good idea for an 18-year old. A few years ago, I was involved in a road accident where the other driver, who was 100% at fault, was a teenager driving his first car which had the most powerful engine he could afford. The police said that if he'd been driving a less powerful car, it's unlikely he'd have lost control of it to the extent that he did, or at all.
posted by essexjan at 12:29 AM on March 29, 2007

Sorry for the piggy-back ride ...

I'm 26, Male, Married, International Grad Student who came to USA on August, 06. Received my USA Driving license in Feb,07.
I have been having my home country DL since 1999.

I'm looking for an used car. What kind of a car would allow me to get the lowest insurance?
posted by WizKid at 8:34 AM on March 29, 2007

WizKid: Follow the advice that's already been given and call an insurance agent.
posted by rbs at 10:53 AM on March 29, 2007

When you call the insurance agent, be aware that they group cars in categories.

The majority of cars will be a base rate (that is, the coverage rate is based on a standard formula having to do with your age and driving history, and with the value of the car) and others will be grouped for premiums or discounts.

For example, when I was shopping for a car several years ago, I brought my short list to my insurance agent and said "Okay, how much to insure this, or this, or this?" Her response was along the lines of "okay, car A is on our standard rate, car B is in a 25% premium group [meaning that the rate was bumped 25% over the standard rate] and car C is in a 10% discount group [meaning that the rate was discounted 10% below the standard rate.]"

Which cars end up on which lists is based on past payouts (and other things), and so it's not easy to guess -- how expensive replacement parts are, how much medical payments out have been for those models, and how often they're stolen are a big factor -- so just ask them for their list of most highly-discounted cars.

Mind you, expect a lot of minivans and boring, slow cars, but also inexpensive to repair and quite safe ones.
posted by davejay at 5:21 PM on March 29, 2007

Thank you all for your answers. I gather that there is no general rule regarding engine size, value, etc, and I'll have to contact individual agents with example vehicles and hope for the best!
posted by weegreentoad at 7:23 PM on March 29, 2007

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