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Which Family Car is Cheaper to Insure: A Mini-Van or Luxury SUV?

It’s the eternal dilemma of young parents with a growing brood of children — do you abandon all illusions of being wild and free by going all suburban and hopping on the minivan wagon, or do you choose a luxury SUV which retains some bit of pre-parent dignity?  Both the minivans and luxury SUVs are some of the safest types of cars to drive; they have the lowest driver death rates, and are ideal for families traveling together.

As a parent, the appeal of a mini-van is easy access, space, and convenient features that are now becoming more and more standard: entertainment stations, automatic sliding doors, folding-down back seats, and extended “trunk” space.  Luxury SUVs give off less of the “mom and pop” vibe and offer powerful engines, while still offering quite a bit of space, but less of the frumpy convenience.

When comparing the two from an auto insurance standpoint, both can be relatively expensive, since the vehicles are quite large, and in general, the bigger the car the better crash ratings it receives.  Also, these vehicles are coming out with more safety features that keep young families in mind, and this helps to lower the auto insurance premium as well.  However, there are some distinct differences that make one type of car generally cheaper than the other.

In studies, it’s been found that SUVs are generally favored by men – who generally are more expensive to insure than women, especially those under 25 – 41% of SUV drivers were male compared to 36.4% of minivan drivers, however, the average age of drivers for both types of cars were in their early 50’s.

It was shown that SUVs have higher claim rates than minivans, because of their size and weight. They can cause more damage to other cars, passengers, and property in a collision, resulting in higher third-party claims. Also in a crash, the heavier SUV has been known to roll over more commonly in collisions than minivans, meaning a higher auto insurance premium.  In addition to these factors, SUVs can also be more costly to repair or get parts for, as well as more expensive to fill up on gas.

Since minivans are mostly relied on for family usage, auto insurance companies take this into consideration and assume there will be safer driving and less risk associated, meaning a lower auto insurance premium overall.  Statistics have shown that married couples and parents tend to have lower rates of car accidents or speeding violations. Although different minivans will yield varying auto insurance premium costs, on average they will be cheaper to insure.

The average cost of minivan auto insurance was $930, while the average cost of insurance for an SUV was $1,257.  There are some studies that may suggest that in the used car market, where the margins between insuring a minivan and SUV are much smaller, certain models of SUVs have cheaper auto insurance premiums than their minivan counterparts. Even a slight difference in policies can result in larger savings over many years, so it’s good to shop around for quotes and compare specific models of minivans to get the best rates!  You can also opt for increased safety features that will also bring down the premium on your auto insurance policy for the lowest price.

Do you drive a minivan or luxury SUV?  Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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