The Cheapest Cars to Insure in Ontario in 2020

Couple buying new car

There’s a lot to consider when you’re looking to buy a new vehicle.

Cost-conscious Ontarians tend to gravitate toward reliable vehicles that are fuel-efficient and have strong safety ratings. The make and model you select can affect your auto insurance premium as well.

For many, safety ratings are paramount in the car-buying decision. Each year, the U.S.-based Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recognizes the vehicles that perform best in a bad situation. For others, the emphasis is on reliability, fuel efficiency, and the vehicle’s price tag.

In terms of auto sales in Canada in 2020, the first half of the year was an uphill climb for automakers, inarguably due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the Canadian economy. According to DesRosiers Automotive Consultants, light vehicle sales dropped significantly in March and April of this year compared to previous years before slowly inching upward throughout the summer.

The Toyota RAV4 is Canada’s top-selling vehicle this year with 32,393 RAV4s sold as of the end of August, bumping the Honda Civic from the top spot to second place. Whichever vehicle is the most popular in terms of sales doesn’t mean it is the cheapest car to insure in Ontario, however.

So how do you go about finding the right set of wheels that satisfies all of those concerns? We decided to break it out into four lists:

  1. Ranking the most popular-selling cars that are cheapest to insure
  2. Ranking the cheapest cars to insure with an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ rating
  3. Ranking which economically priced vehicles are the cheapest to insure
  4. Ranking all of these vehicles on how cheap they are to insure

To determine the insurance rankings, we used a scale of one to 10 where one represents the cheapest insurance rate, and 10 represents the most expensive insurance rate per vehicle.

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The 10 Cheapest Cars to Insure in Ontario Based on Sales

These are the 10 top-selling cars in Canada up to August 2020:

Vehicle Total Units Sold YTD 2020 Total Units Sold in 2019 2020 YTD vs 2019 Total Sales
1. Toyota RAV4 32,393 43,688 -25.85%
2. Honda Civic 27,915 44,306 -36.99%
3. Honda CR-V 24,704 38,547 -35.91%
4. Toyota Corolla 20,512 33,457 -38.69%
5. Hyundai Kona 15,753 17,532 -10.15%
6. Mazda CX-5 14,500 18,225 -20.44%
7. Hyundai Elantra 14,389 26,565 -45.83%
8. Hyundai Tucson 14,273 19,948 -28.45%
9. Kia Sorento 8,928 11,812 -24.42%
10. Kia Forte 8,775 11,088 -20.86%

Source: GoodCarBadCar

How these vehicles rank in terms of the cheapest to insure in Ontario produces a different result:

Vehicle Premium Scale
1. Kia Sorento 6.1
2. Mazda CX-5 6.9
3. Hyundai Tucson 7.2
4. Hyundai Kona 7.3
5. Toyota Corolla 7.6
6. Kia Forte 7.8
7. Honda CR-V 8
8. Honda Civic 8.1
9. Hyundai Elantra 8.2
10. Toyota RAV4 8.2

The Cheapest Vehicles to Insure in Ontario Based on Safety Ratings

IIHS evaluates and tests two facets of safety: crashworthiness as well as crash avoidance and mitigation. The following IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award winners are the cheapest to insure in Ontario:

Top Safety Pick+ Large Luxury

Vehicle Premium Scale
1. Genesis G80 2.8
2. Audi A6 4-Door 3.3
3. Genesis G90 3.3
4. Audi A6 All-Road 4-Door Wagon 3.5
5. Genesis G70 6.4

Top Safety Pick+ Large SUV

Vehicle Premium Scale
1. Audi E-Tron Sportback 4.6

Top Safety Pick+ Midsize Vehicle

Vehicle Premium Scale
1. Subaru Legacy 2.4
2. Mazda 6 2.8
3. Nissan Maxima 3
4. Subaru Outback 3.6
5. Toyota Camry 8.6

Top Safety Pick+ Midsize Luxury Vehicle

Vehicle Premium Scale
1. Lexus ES350 3.2
2. Tesla Model 3 4.3
3. Mercedes-Benz C-Class 7

Top Safety Pick+ Midsize Luxury SUV

Vehicle Premium Scale
1. Volvo XC90 2.2
2. Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class 2.8
3. Cadillac XT6 3
4. Hyundai Nexo 3.9
5. Lexus NX 5.1
6. Acura RDX 8.3

Top Safety Pick+ Midsize SUV

Vehicle Premium Scale
1. Subaru Ascent 2.5
2. Mazda CX-9 7.2

Top Safety Pick+ Small SUV

Vehicle Premium Scale
1. Subaru Forester 5.8
2. Mazda CX-3 6.3
3. Mazda CX-5 6.9

Top Safety Pick+ Small Car

Vehicle Premium Scale
1. Honda Insight 3.9
2. Subaru Crosstrek 5.6
3. Mazda 3 Sedan 8.9
4. Mazda 3 Hatchback 8.9

The Top 10 Economically Priced Cars That Are Cheapest Insure in Ontario

If you’re on the hunt for an economically priced vehicle, these are the top 10 cheapest vehicles to buy:

Vehicle Purchase Price
1. Chevrolet Spark LS $9,998
2. Nissan Micra $10,488
3. Mitsubishi Mirage $12,298
4. Hyundai Accent 5-Door $14,949
5. Kia Rio 5-Door $15,495
6. Toyota Yaris Hatchback $16,790
7. Hyundai Venue $17,099
8. Hyundai Elantra $17,149
9. Kia Forte $17, 695
10. Mazda 3 Sedan $18,000

Source: AutoTrader

Of these economically priced vehicles, they rank differently in terms of which the cheapest to insure in Ontario is:

Vehicle Premium Scale
1. Nissan Micra 2.2
2. Kia Rio 5-Door 2.3
3. Mitsubishi Mirage 2.4
4. Hyundai Accent 5-Door 3
5. Hyundai Venue 4.7
6. Toyota Yaris Hatchback 5.9
7. Chevrolet Spark LS 7.4
8. Kia Forte 7.8
9. Hyundai Elantra 8.2
10. Mazda 3 Sedan 8.9

The Cheapest Vehicles to Insure in Ontario Overall

Taking a broad view of all of the 45 vehicles in this article, the Nissan Micra is the cheapest vehicle to insure in Ontario in 2020. In descending order, from cheapest to most expensive, here’s how it breaks down:

Vehicle Premium Scale
1.Nissan Micra 2.2
2.Volvo XC90 2.2
3. Kia Rio 5-Door 2.3
4. Mitsubishi Mirage 2.4
5. Kia Rio 2.4
6. Subaru Legacy 2.4
7. Subaru Accent 2.5
8. Mazda 6 2.8
9. Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class 2.8
10. Genesis G80 2.8
11. Nissan Maxima 3
12. Hyundai Accent 5-Door 3
13. Cadillac XT6 3
14. Audi A6 4-Door 3.3
15. Genesis G90 3.3
16. Audi A6 All-Road 4-Door Wagon 3.5
17. Subaru Outback 3.6
18. Hyundai Nexo 3.9
19. Honda Insight 3.9
20. Tesla Model 3 4.3
21. Audi E-Tron Sportback 4.6
22. Hyundai Venue 4.7
23.Lexus NX 5.1
24. Subaru Crosstrek 5.6
25. Subaru Forester 5.8
26. Toyota Yaris Hatchback 5.9
27. Kia Sorento 6.1
28. Mazda CX-3 6.3
29. Genesis G70 6.4
30. Mazda CX-5 6.9
31. Mercedes-Benz C-Class 7
32. Hyundai Tucson 7.2
33. Mazda CX-9 7.2
34. Hyundai Kona 7.3
35. Chevrolet Spark 7.4
36. Toyota Corolla 7.6
37. Kia Forte 7.8
38. Honda CR-V 8
39. Honda Civic 8.1
40. Hyundai Elantra 8.2
41. Toyota RAV4 8.2
42. Acura RDX 8.3
43. Toyota Camry 8.6
44. Mazda 3 Sedan 8.9
45. Mazda 3 Hatchback 8.9

What Goes into Determining an Auto Insurance Rate?

Auto insurance rates are determined, in part, by the car, which should be factored into your decision when purchasing a new vehicle.

For example, the Chevrolet Spark is the cheapest vehicle to buy on our list with a price tag of $9,998, but it is more expensive to insure than the Nissan Micra, which retails for approximately $10,488. Moreover, the Toyota RAV4 may be Canada’s top-selling vehicle presently, and the Kia Sorento ranks ninth on that top 10 list, but it costs more to insure the RAV4 than the Sorento by a wide margin. Likewise for Top Safety Pick+ vehicles. For instance, the Acura RDX may be one of the Top Safety Pick+ Midsize Luxury SUVs, but it costs significantly more to insure than the Volvo XC90.

If a particular make and model of vehicle has a higher frequency of insurance claims, say it’s a frequent target for thieves, it will cost more to insure. The same is true if that vehicle’s claims costs run higher on average than other cars. Ultimately, when it comes to insurance, it’s a numbers game that revolves around the likelihood of a claim and the possible payout amount.

Of course, there’s more to your auto insurance rate than the car you drive. Where you live, your insurance history, and driving record all factor significantly into your auto insurance premium as well. As a result, the vehicle that costs you the least to insure may not be the car that’s the cheapest choice for your friends, family, or neighbour.

If you’re planning on buying a new vehicle this year, find the car that offers you the best rate by comparing quotes. Shop around before you make your purchase because, year-after-year, for the lifetime you own the vehicle, you’ll need auto insurance and you’ll want to factor this cost into your buying decision.

Case Study Methodology

We compared quotes for a fictional 30-year-old driver who is single with a clean driving record living in 13 Ontario cities. The cities include Ajax, Aurora, Kingston, Kitchener, Lindsay, London, Mississauga, Ottawa, Peterborough, Scarborough, Sudbury, Toronto and Windsor. An average of the cheapest auto insurance quote in each city for each vehicle was taken to produce the ranking. Only quotes for Ontario car insurance were reviewed as coverage can vary between provinces. Results may vary based on your circumstances.