In this age of incentives, the sticker price of a car may actually mean relatively little when it comes to the actual monthly payment. Toss in rebates, adjust for subsidized loan rates and other factors and a $40,000 luxury sedan might actually cost less, each month, than something more basic.
And even that adds up to only part of the picture. Savvy shoppers know they also need to consider factors such as resale values, annual fuel consumption and insurance rates to get the full picture of what a new car, truck or crossover will actually cost.
Insurance rates, in particular, can vary widely, make that wildly, depending on a variety of factors, including who you are, what your driving record looks like, where you live … and, of course, what you’re driving. Equal everything else out, and two cars of roughly the same price can still come in with huge gaps in their cost of insuring.
As you might expect, sports cars typically top the list, especially new ones, like the Nissan’s 485 horsepower, twin-turbocharged GT-R, which don’t yet have a clear track record for insurance companies to consider when setting rates.
At the other extreme are staid, relatively under-powered sedans and minivans, like the Dodge Grand Caravan. They’re a lot less likely to be driven at the limits, and with a few exceptions, aren’t as big a target for thieves. (more…)