Is It Cheaper to Insure a Truck or a Car?
Generally speaking, it can be slightly more expensive to insure a truck than a car, but the price difference can range from as little as $5 more each month to $100 more each month. In fact, depending on what type of truck you are insuring, the truck could cost less to insure than a car. This is because insurance companies use a lot of variables to determine rates, and your vehicle type is generally only a small factor.
Instead, your vehicle’s value, safety rating, and estimated repair costs will matter more than whether it is a truck or a car. For example, a standard truck may cost a bit more to insure compared to a car that costs about the same with the same overall safety rating. However, it would likely cost less to insure compared to a car that has more estimated repair needs or a high-performance luxury sedan.
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Truck vs. Car Insurance: At a Glance
5-Year Insurance Cost Estimate
Car (Standard): 2022 Honda Accord Sedan LX
Truck (Standard): 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 Pro
Car (Standard): 2022 Mazda 3 Sedan
Truck (Standard): 2022 Ford F-150 Regular Cab
Truck (Luxury): 2022 Sierra 1500 Crew Cab Denali
Car (Luxury): Audi A3 Sedan Premium
Truck(Luxury): 2022 Toyota Tundra CrewMax 1794 Edition
Car (Luxury): 2022 Mercedes E-Class Sedan E 350 4MATIC
As seen in the comparisons above, there is no universal answer of whether trucks or cars cost more to insure. Instead, when it comes to vehicle-only factors, premium rates depend on the exact make and models of the vehicles and these corresponding elements:
- Vehicle safety rating: The safer the car, the less risk there is for insurers to assume, and so premiums can be lowered to reflect the reduced risk. Though advances in car manufacturing and design has improved the safety of vehicles of all sizes, the fact remains that larger and heavier vehicles still offer more crash protection than smaller, lightweight ones. As trucks are generally larger and heavier than cars, they are likely to have higher safety ratings.
- Estimated repair costs: The wheels, brakes, and engines are bigger in a truck. This means it requires more heavy-duty tools and equipment to work on trucks, and the parts can be more expensive just because they’re bigger. This means a repair for the same problem on a truck is likely to be more expensive than a car, and insurance rates would reflect that.
- Estimated repair frequency: Even though repairing a truck may be more costly than repairing a car, trucks tend to need repairs less frequently. Trucks are utilitarian vehicles meant to be used for hauling items over uneven and rough terrain. As such, they are built to function in harder conditions, even when fitted with luxury trims. In contrast, cars are not as sturdy, and so run a greater risk of needing more frequent repairs, which would be taken into account when setting insurance rates.
When Are Trucks More Expensive to Insure Than Cars?
Trucks are more expensive to insure than cars when you compare the average insurance cost of a standard truck against a standard entry-level sedan. Part of this is because trucks tend to cost more in general than the average car, and a vehicle’s overall value is a factor in setting insurance rates.
Insurance companies also look at the crash rating and repair costs of the vehicles insured, so if the truck has a lower safety rating and higher potential repair costs, the insurance rate will also be higher.
When Is Truck Insurance Cheaper Than Car Insurance?
While most trucks have larger parts than cars, that does not always mean it will cost more to insure them. In fact, as the chart above shows, sometimes cars cost more to insure than trucks. The reason for the variation is that luxury, hybrid, electric, and imported cars tend to be more expensive to insure.
Compared to standard and even luxury trucks, getting parts for high-tech and luxury cars is more challenging, and it also sometimes takes specialized training to repair them. In addition, luxury cars tend to cost more to insure than luxury trucks because luxury cars are not as sturdy as luxury pick-up trucks.
Other Factors That Affect Your Truck Insurance Rate
Just like with any type of auto insurance, insurance companies will look at various details when calculating your insurance rate for your truck. This includes:
- Driver details: This includes your age, sex, driving history, and credit score — though some states now ban insurers from using credit score as a premium-setting factor.
- Commute and storage: This includes how often and how far you drive, and how your car is garaged. For example, those who regularly drive long distances and park their cars on the street instead of a garage will see higher rates.
- Vehicle details: This includes your car’s make, model, age, and history of accidents.
- Policy details: This includes your coverage limits, as well as any optional coverages you add to your policy, such as underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage. In addition, you may need a different type of auto policy altogether if you primarily use your truck for your job. If that is the case, you would need a commercial auto insurance policy instead of a personal auto insurance policy.
Commercial vs. Personal Auto Insurance: Which One Is Right For Your Truck?
People often buy pick-up trucks because they’re needed for work, such as if your job or business requires you to regularly haul large items. If you own a truck and you regularly use it to conduct your business, you should purchase commercial insurance instead of personal auto insurance. For example, if you regularly drive your truck to deliver goods, transport materials, and go between job sites, these are all considered business uses.
Personal auto insurance does not cover incidents that occur while you are using your vehicle on the clock. For example, if you get into a collision while using your truck to transport equipment from one office to another, your personal auto insurance would not provide coverage. If most of your time spent behind the wheel of your truck is for work, commercial auto insurance would provide better coverage. In addition, commercial insurance would still provide coverage if you also drive your truck for personal use.
You Need Personal Auto Insurance For Your Truck If…
- You very rarely use your truck for business.
- You only use your truck to commute to and from your job, but once you arrive at your destination, you do not use it again.
- You do not let others drive it for work.
You Need Commercial Auto Insurance For Your Truck If…
- You regularly use your truck for your job, including commuting from one job area to another job area.
- You use your truck more for your job than for personal use.
- You regularly loan your truck out to other drivers for work.
The Most Affordable Pickup Trucks to Insure
Motor Trend looked at average insurance rates for pickup trucks for 2020 and discovered that the following were the least expensive trucks to insure.
Annual Insurance Cost
2021 GMC Canyon SL Extended Cab
This is a basic truck that prioritizes affordability.
2020 Nissan Frontier S King Cab
Another scaled-down vehicle with simple features that do not tack on expenses.
2020 Ford Ranger XLT
This truck has a better trim package than the other two and offsets that expense by adding a safety equipment package.
2021 Chevrolet Colorado Extended Cab 2WD
One of the cheapest new trucks to purchase with a four-cylinder engine, it comes with a low price tag and low insurance costs.
2020 Ford F 150 XL
The only full-size truck on this least expensive list is a very base model with limited convenience features, which means limited expenses for repairs.
The Priciest Pickup Trucks to Insure
The same Motor Trend review found that, in 2020, these five trucks were the most expensive to insure.
Annual Insurance Cost
2021 Ford F-450 Super Duty King Ranch
With professional-grade performance and luxury trim, this truck has a high price tag and insurance premium. It’s designed to be a work truck loaded with luxury.
2021 Ford F-350 Super Duty Limited
The higher-than-average insurance rate is due to the luxury trim, task-focused durability, and engine size.
2020 Ram 2500 Limited Diesel
This truck has a strong tow rating and a task-focused chassis, in addition to top-tier trim, for a high price tag and high insurance expenses.
2021 Ford F-250 Limited Diesel
Turbodiesel engines like this one are expensive to buy and insure.
2019 Ram 1500 Classic Laramie
It’s all about the luxury trim level with this truck, bumping up your insurance price to reflect the cost of repairs.
How To Save More On Your Truck or Car Insurance
To help lower the cost of your truck insurance, consider the following tips.
- Increase your deductible. If you have a low deductible, your premiums will be more expensive to offset the insurer’s increased payout risk. You can save on monthly expenses if you’re willing to take the risk that you will not have to file a claim or that if you do, you are willing to pay more of the initial expenses.
- Drop optional insurance coverage. Most states require liability coverage in auto insurance, so you’ll have to keep that in place. However, you might be able to drop the extras like comprehensive coverage or collision coverage if your truck’s value is low enough to where you do not necessarily need those types of coverages to pay for repairs.
- Bundle your insurance. You can get a bundle discount if you own a home, have renters insurance, or have additional vehicles with the same insurance company. Check to see what deals your insurer has for bundling policies, or speak with a trusted insurance agent to find an insurer who can offer this type of discount.
- Take a defensive driving class. Insurance companies love safe drivers. Some companies offer safe driver discounts based on your driving history, and some will also give you a discount for completing safe driving courses. In addition, taking defensive driving courses can remove traffic violations from your driving record in some states, which can further lower your insurance rates.
- Rethink your payment options. Check if your insurance carrier gives you a discount for using autopay or paperless billing. Some insurance companies also offer discounts if you opt to pay in full upfront instead of monthly.
- Shop around for a new insurance plan. It is critical to review your coverage and shop for other options regularly to ensure your current plan is still providing the protection you need at the best price. Compare quotes from at least two other companies, or work with a trusted insurance agent to compare multiple companies at once.
Putting It All Together
The cost of auto insurance for truck owners is as variable as it is for car owners. Depending on the exact make and model of your truck, it could be less than, the same as, or more expensive than the insurance rate for a car. The type of vehicle you drive is far less significant when it comes to setting insurance premiums than how much your truck is worth, its overall safety rating, anticipated repair costs, and your own personal details and driving record. When looking for insurance for your truck, consider your state’s minimum requirements and the kinds of coverages you need.