That “money-saving, high fuel economy” car you just purchased may come with hidden costs. Many Texas drivers, like automobile owners all over the country, are buying smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles for their transportation needs.
However, one cannot look to fuel-efficiency alone when examining cost savings – what you save in fuel costs, you may pay for in additional insurance rates.
A study by Insure.com, an online insurance brokerage company, was recently reported in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) and the study found that a 40-year old male driver buying a Mini Cooper (which reportedly gets 37 mpg) would pay over $400 per year more for insurance than if that same driver purchased a Toyota Sienna minivan (which reportedly gets 23 mpg). There are many more examples (Honda Civic vs. Honda CR-V; the Civic gets approximately 10 mpg more, but costs over $400 more per year to insure).
Small vehicles present greater opportunity for injuries when involved in wrecks.
Small vehicles are also more prone to being stolen, according to crime reports gathered by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB). In addition to the traditional methods of rating insurance policies – such as the location of the vehicle, driving history, credit ratings, etc. – many insurance carriers are now bulking rates by make and model. Hybrid vehicles can be even more costly to insure. Many new hybrid models cannot use traditional “after-market” parts, and are therefore much more costly to repair if damages in an automobile accident.
All in all, looking solely at fuel savings is not the answer. Your safety should be the most important consideration; however, fuel savings (and therefore environmental savings) is also an important consideration but it must be balanced against the cost to insure the vehicle.