Is it cheaper to insure a Toyota Rav4 or Subaru Forester?

UPDATED: Oct 5, 2015

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UPDATED: Oct 5, 2015Fact Checked

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Asked October 5, 2015

1 Answer

If you are trying to decide whether you want to purchase the Toyota Rav4 or the Subaru Forester, you will need to consider cost and expenses. The cash price of the Rav4 may be more than $2000 higher than the cash price of the Forester, but in the end you must consider the true cost of ownership to make an informed and educated purchasing decision. True cost of ownership data is a 5-year breakdown that includes itemized expenses that you will take on when purchasing specific vehicle models.

Comparing the True Costs of Ownership: Rav4 vs. Forester

Not only does the chart include data purchase price, taxes, financing and fuel, it also includes estimates for base insurance premiums. According to the Edmund's 5-year breakdown of ownership costs, it costs $43,686 to own the Rav4 for a span of 5 years and a total of $42,051 to own the Forester over the same period of time.

Insurance Costs: Rav4 vs. Forester

One of the major differences in ownership cost, while not the only one, is the higher cost to insure the Rav4. During the first year of ownership, the Rav4 costs $2,130 to insure. The price will go down as the vehicle ages and the 5-year insurance total is estimated to be $11,423. Comparatively, the Forester costs only $1,942 to insurance during the first year and $10,413 for the entire span of time. In the end, owners of the Rav4 can expect to pay about $1,010 more throughout the life of the car in insurance costs for the same amount of cover.

How Do Safety Ratings Impact Insurance Rates?

Now that you know that it is cheaper to insure the Forester you might be wondering why that is the case. After all, insurers do not just pick a premium out of a hat. The company will use data and statistics to determine which car presents more risk of a claim filing and a high payout. One of the main factors that is used to determine risk of filing claims for injury are the safety ratings that are assigned by respected agencies like the NHTSA and the IIHS.

According to safety tests conducted by the NHTSA, the Forester received an overall 5-star rating and a Good rating by the IIHS in side impact, roof strength and rear crash tests. The Rav4, on the other hand, received a 4-star overall rating through the NHTSA and a Good in side impact, roof strength and rear crash tests.

Since the Rav4 performed poorly in passenger frontal crash testing, it is seen to present a greater risk to the insurer for injury claims. This is why you will notice that the premiums for Bodily Injury, Medical Payments and Uninsured Motorist are higher on a Rav4 auto insurance quote.

How Will Maintenance Costs Impact Premiums?

Purchase price does not directly affect the rates for insurance on either vehicle, but maintenance costs do play a role when you carry comprehensive and collision cover. According to average maintenance cost reports, it does cost more in parts and labor to repair a Forester. With this being said, the difference is not significantly higher so the premiums for physical damage will only show a minimal difference between the Forester and Rav4. In the end, it is still cheaper to insure the Subaru Forester.

Answered October 7, 2015 by AutoGuy

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