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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Drivers the world over are interested in finding a vehicle that meets their driving needs for the least amount of money. This concept gave birth to the Smart Fortwo car, a micro compact car that was developed by Smart, a branch of Daimler AG, and introduced in the US in 2006. Created to accommodate city driving, the Smart Fortwo boasts a low price, great gas mileage and low car insurance rates.

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The Fortwo has many safety features and decent safety ratings that can result in savings. However, car insurance rate estimates are as close as anyone can come without entering a driver’s personal information.

About the Smart Fortwo

The Smart Fortwo is in its second-generation model, and it is one of the smallest vehicles available on the market today. As long as most vehicles are wide, the vehicle accommodates only two people in 45.4 cubic feet of cabin space. In the US, there are two coupe trim levels and a convertible model available, as well as an electric version sold at select dealers.

As a rear-wheel drive vehicle, the engine is located in the back of the vehicle along with an additional 12 cubic feet of cargo space.

This miniscule car gets a decent 34 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway.

The Smart Fortwo also offers many design innovations such as interchangeable body panels for a customizable look. Each vehicle has a black or grey frame around which plastic body panels may be exchanged to change the color, add a company logo or to create other customizations.

With a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $12,490 to $17,690 and lease payments as low as $99 a month, the 2012 Smart Fortwo is meant for singles or two-person households looking for a fun vehicle at a low price.

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Safety Information about the Smart Fortwo

The Smart Fortwo’s body frame is not just about looks. Called a Tridion Safety Cell by Smart, it is designed to work like a roll cage to absorb shock and protect passengers. Safety is one of the leading factors when auto insurers look to rate the insurance needs of a particular make and model. Safer vehicles mean fewer serious injuries and lower insurance claims.

The 2012 Smart Fortwo includes head, torso, and knee airbags to reduce the chance of injury during a crash; this is extremely important in so small a vehicle. The US models of the Fortwo were also redesigned with additional reinforcement in the doors for added protection.

Safety testing performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) rated the 2012 Smart Fortwo as Good in front crash and rollover testing. Rear-crash testing received an Acceptable rating and side impact testing was not conducted. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the 2012 Fortwo a three out of five star rating for rollover, citing an estimated 21.2% chance of rollover during overcorrection and other extreme driving conditions.

Car Insurance Rates for the Smart Fortwo

Insurance rates will vary depending upon many factors, but every car falls into a category that helps auto insurance companies to set base rates for determining premiums. These base rates will vary between regions, states, and even cities. Unfortunately, there are no lists in the US that show the insurance rates by make and model of every insurance company. Estimates of insurance rates can be found at multiple sources.

Forbes.com rated the Smart Fortwo as the seventh out of the 10 most inexpensive vehicles to insure in the US. They estimated an average rate of $881 a year for a 2009 model with $100,000 in Bodily Injury Liability for one person, $300,000 per accident and $50,000 in Property Damage coverage; that rate also includes uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage and a $500 deductible for collision and comprehensive coverage. Motor Trend put the annual insurance cost for a 2011 Fortwo at $1,077 for similar coverage. Automobilemag.com estimated the 2012 Smart Fortwo’s annual insurance costs as $1,221.

Car insurance rates are likely to be higher for the convertible version, the Passion Cabriolet, as insurance rates are generally higher for convertibles due to lower safety ratings.

Also, insurance rates are also likely to be higher for the electric version, the Electric Drive, as it would be expected to have higher repair costs due to the more intricate technology of an electric vehicle.

Obviously, car insurance rates will vary depending upon factors such as a driving history, age, marital status, credit scores, and the region of the country where the vehicle will be operated. Areas such as large cities and urban centers have higher rates of vehicle theft and accident, which drive up car insurance premiums.

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