Header Ads Widget

Wanting to Buy an EV? Here's How Much More You Could Pay in Auto Insurance

Man getting in to his pickup truck

Image source: Getty Images

It's happening. I'm switching from a hybrid to an electric vehicle (EV), and I'm not alone. According to Pew Research, about 4 in 10 Americans are thinking seriously about making the switch. Why? Reasons people cite include "better for the environment" and "cheaper fuel prices."

That checks out. But two things make me hesitate -- still -- before shelling out: sticker shock and the cost of auto insurance.

Electric vehicles in the U.S. are typically pricier than their ICE (internal combustion engine) counterparts. Take the baseline Ford F-150, which is about $15,000 cheaper than the electric Ford Lightning base model (before tax credits). Yeeouch. That, right there, could be a budget-breaker. It's costly.

Then there's the secondary effect. Pricier cars are typically more expensive to insure. You could pay much more to insure an EV than a lower-priced, gas-powered alternative. How much depends on everything from your location to your car's model. In short, it's complicated.

For a quick idea of how much more you could pay in auto insurance, I've pulled quotes for four models of 2023 Ford F-150s. Read on to compare the cost of insurance.

You could pay 5% less for basic EV insurance

I compared how much it costs to insure four models of the Ford F-150, the 2023 best-selling vehicle in the U.S., according to Car and Driver. I used a generic gas-powered Ford F-150 as the baseline. This is how much more expensive it is to get EV/Hybrid insurance.

Model % More Expensive than Base (Liability) % More Expensive than Base (Comprehensive) % More Expensive than Base (Collision)
Ford F-150 (Baseline) - - -
Ford F-150 Lightning (5%) 98% 24%
Ford F-150 Hybrid (1) 1% 76% 24%
Ford F-150 Hybrid (2) 1% 98% 45%
Source: Progressive.com. Assumed annual mileage slightly above 15,000 (based on U.S. Dept of Transportation annual mileage data). Assumed most basic insurance per model. Assumed vehicle financing (instead of lease or purchase).

Results: Progressive quoted me 98% and 24% more for EV comprehensive and collision auto insurance, but 5% less for liability insurance.

Color me surprised. Typically, specialty vehicles like the Ford Lightning are more expensive to insure. This might reflect data suggesting that Lightning drivers are less likely to be involved in accidents or cause damage, or it could be related to safety features specific to the Lightning.

There's no way to know for sure. Prices vary significantly by location, insurer, and model. The results can be surprising. (Case in point: I'd pay Progressive more to insure some Ford Hybrids than a Ford Lightning!) Compare car insurance quotes to check how much you'd pay.

Lowering the cost of insurance

To lower the cost of insurance, I'll be doing a few things. One is getting quotes from the best cheap car insurers in California, where I live. I'll take the best deal available. If my family uses the same insurer, I'll see if we can bundle to lower our premium by 5% to 10%.

Another thing I'll do is adjust my deductible. I can lower the cost of car insurance by raising the deductible to a reasonable level. It'll shrink monthly premiums, though I'll pay more if I get into an accident. To compensate, I'll contribute enough to my emergency savings to cover it.

I may opt out of collision insurance, an optional type of insurance. Most drivers only need liability insurance, which is required by state law. If I lease my car, I'll probably need to purchase liability and comprehensive insurance. That'll bring my premiums up.

Cost of ownership

What more you could pay in auto insurance might be partially offset by fuel savings. Tesla's website claims the average American could save $1,200 yearly by fueling an electric vehicle. It's worth keeping an eye on the bigger picture -- total cost of ownership -- when tallying costs.

The total cost of ownership of a vehicle includes sticker price, insurance, cost of fuel, cost of maintenance, and how much you could recoup by selling it used.

Comparing the cost of insurance for gas-powered cars versus EVs helps me understand cost tradeoffs, but it's not the most important thing. More important than whether Car A is more expensive than Car B is whether I can afford to pay for the car. So long as premiums stay reasonable, I'll pay them.

Our best car insurance companies for 2022

Ready to shop for car insurance? Whether you’re focused on price, claims handling, or customer service, we've researched insurers nationwide to provide our best-in-class picks for car insurance coverage. Read our free expert review today to get started.

We're firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.Cole Tretheway has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Tesla. The Motley Fool recommends Progressive. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


댓글 쓰기

0 댓글