Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

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UPDATED: Jul 14, 2021

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There are several sources you can use to find out the average rate to insure a hybrid car. An online search will provide you with detailed information as will a call to various insurance providers. Hybrid vehicles on average tend to be less expensive to insure than other vehicles; however, this trend may be changing due to several factors.

Click here to use our FREE tool to get a list of insurance quotes for hybrid cars simply by entering your ZIP code!

Insurance companies factor in a lot of variables when determining your individual premium so simply driving or not driving a hybrid car will not be the sole factor determining your rate. There are certain features of hybrids that have made them less expensive to insure, but with their ever-increasing popularity, this may be changing.

Buying a hybrid to save on your insurance cost may not be the best financial strategy because of the added up front cost to purchase a hybrid versus traditional gasoline powered car.

Hybrid Vehicles

Hybrid vehicles are eco-friendly in that they burn less gas by combining their regular internal combustion engine with a rechargeable battery. Drivers have the option of operating the vehicles using both forms of fuel or on battery power alone.

Examples of hybrid cars include:

  • Toyota Prius
  • Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
  • Chevrolet Volt
  • Toyota Camry Hybrid
  • Honda Insight Hybrid

They are becoming increasingly popular to own, despite their often higher price tags, due to soaring gas prices and a greater concern in general for the environment. As their popularity increases, people are searching for ways to offset this cost besides paying less for gas. Insurance costs may be one of the ways.

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Beginning Your Search for Insurance Rates

When searching for rates on hybrid cars, as with any vehicle, you want to do your research. Start by asking friends and family members who drive hybrid vehicles who their insurance company is and whether or not they are satisfied. You can then begin to search online for insurance rates or call companies in your area.

If you feel more comfortable speaking face to face with a human being you may consider hiring an insurance broker to help you with your search. Make sure you compare premium rates from several providers so that you can be assured you get the best rate possible.

Fact #1 – Insurance Benefits of Hybrid Cars

In past years, drivers of hybrid vehicles have often paid less for auto insurance, on average, compared to drivers of conventional gasoline powered vehicles. This is because hybrid owners are viewed by insurance companies as being slightly older, more responsible drivers. Hybrid owners typically fall into a preferred client category with many insurance companies.

An article from March 2011 on U.S. News and World Report’s website states that one of the top reasons to buy a hybrid car is that you will recoup some of the money you spend on the car through lower insurance premiums.

Another aspect of hybrid vehicles that lends itself to lower insurance rates is safety. A study reported by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that hybrids tend to be safer than their conventional counterparts same make and model are.

The Highway Loss Data Institute found that hybrids typically sustain less damage in a crash than their counterparts do because they are, on average, 10% heavier. Crash-related injuries were also found to occur 25% less often in hybrid vehicles because of this.

This is only true when comparing cars that are the same make and model and only differ in the way their engine is powered.

Trends for the Future

While hybrid vehicles still tend to cost less to insure this may not be true for much longer. The Mitchell Insurance Industry Trends Report indicates that the demographics of people driving hybrid vehicles is changing from those who are older and more responsible, eco-conscious drivers, to younger drivers who commute long distances and therefore need to save money on gasoline.

With these shifting demographics the claims rate for auto accidents involving hybrid vehicles has jumped dramatically in the last few years. Additionally, the number of traffic tickets and speeding tickets is now higher for those driving hybrids.

There are other reasons, in addition to this, that explain why hybrid insurance rates may be climbing. Hybrids often have a higher replacement cost than other vehicles. Their parts may also be more costly and harder to come by.

Although hybrids have been found to be safer than their conventional counterparts in vehicle crashes are, hybrids are 20% more likely to be involved in crashes with pedestrians. This is because when driving in electric mode, hybrids can be very difficult to hear coming.

Type of Vehicle is Not the Only Factor

Like any vehicle that may typically cost less to insure, hybrids are not always cheaper due to the many variables insurance providers consider when quoting insurance rates. While some insurance companies do not offer discounts to hybrid drivers at all, others only offer these discounts if other factors are true.

Insurance companies also consider the following when quoting drivers an insurance rate:

  • Age of the driver
  • Driving record
  • Location of where the driver lives and works
  • Employment
  • Credit history
  • Gender
  • Where the car will be parked
  • Miles driven per year

Based on this, a young male driver with a DUI on his record who lives and works in the inner city will still pay more for insurance than the average driver even if he buys a hybrid vehicle.

Fact #2 – How to Cut the Cost of Insuring Your Hybrid Car

If you want to get the best rate on insurance for your hybrid car, you need to make sure other factors will work to your advantage as well. Additionally, you need to be aware of discounts that you may qualify for. Several ways you can try to lower the cost for your insurance premiums include:

  • Maintaining a clean driving record
  • Living and working in an area with low crime and off street parking
  • Shortening your commute to work
  • Taking steps to raise your credit score such as paying off debts
  • Choosing an insurance company that you have other insurance accounts with in order to get a multi-policy discount

Taking advantage of discounts such as:

  • Good student discount
  • Low mileage discount
  • Age-based discounts
  • Retirement discount
  • Vehicle safety feature discounts – anti-theft device, rear and front airbags, automatic seatbelts
  • Choosing a higher deductible in exchange for a lower annual premium
  • Searching for rates from several providers before settling on a policy
  • Paying in full each month instead of monthly payments
  • Considering discounts offered for insurance through business or civic groups you may belong to

Additionally some insurance companies that are trying to go green are offering specific discounts to hybrid owners.

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Fact #3 – Recouping the Cost of Buying a Hybrid Car

If you are hoping the possible lower cost of insurance will be enough to recoup the additional cost you will pay to by a hybrid car you may want to think again.

Kiplinger Magazine Online, offers a calculator to compare hybrid costs over time, factoring in fuel costs, insurance costs, and average maintenance costs.

In almost all cases, comparisons reveal that over a five-year period hybrids still cost $1,000 or more additional even when cheaper fuel and insurance costs are considered. Given this, buying a hybrid remains an environmentally friendly measure if not a financially friendly one.

Learn the Exact Cost to Insure Your Hybrid Vehicle

You can get quotes from many sources including this site on the cost to insure your car. You can also speak with an insurance agent directly and find out an approximate cost of your vehicle insurance premium.

If you want to know exactly what you will pay monthly or annually for your vehicle, you will have to speak with a representative from an insurance company either in person or over the phone. There are also online sites that allow you to enter your information to find out the exact cost of insurance for your vehicle.

Based on this information you may or may not be able to get a lower insurance rate by driving a hybrid car. Still, you need to be aware of all of the factors insurance companies will take into account and do your research in terms of which insurance companies offer discounts that will benefit you. Even with the lower insurance premiums and lower gas prices, you are not guaranteed to recoup the additional money you put forth to buy a hybrid vehicle as opposed to a traditional vehicle.

If you want to help the environment by driving an eco-friendly car, then this extra cost may be worth it, but if you are truly a bargain hunter, then a hybrid may not be the way to go.

Enter your ZIP code in the FREE quote box on this page to get a list of car insurance quotes for hybrid vehicles from several insurance providers!