Jessica Sautter is a Content Writer for CarInsuranceCompanies.com with a Bachelor’s Degree from Eastern Michigan University in Elementary Education with a Major in Reading and a Minor in Mathematics.

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Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager

UPDATED: Sep 15, 2020

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Sports Car Insurance Summary
Sports Car Insurance FactsSource
Sports cars will normally have a higher premium than a family sedan. files.nc.gov
Generally, the more expensive your vehicle, the more you will pay for insurance.insurance.wa.gov
Sports cars and high-performance cars are involved in more accidents.insurance.wa.gov
Sports cars cost more to repair.insurance.wa.gov
Sports cars are stolen more often.insurance.wa.gov
In 2019, the Tesla Model X 4dr Electric 4WD was the most expensive luxury car to insure at an average of $1,909.usatoday.com
In 2019, the Tesla Model S 4dr Electric 4WD was the second most expensive luxury vehicle to insure at $1,866 on average annually.usatoday.com
In 2019, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class 4dr LWB was the third most expensive luxury car to insure at an average of $1,783 annually.usatoday.com
In 2019, the Mitsubishi Lancer, a sports sedan, was the 4th most expensive vehicle to insure at an annual average of $1,556.usatoday.com
In 2019, the BMW 4 Series 2dr was the fifth most expensive vehicle to insure at an annual average of $1,485.usatoday.com
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As you shop for a new car, the insurance rates on it may be the last thing on your mind. However, you should take the time to consider how much your premiums will rise if you purchase a sports car.

What do car insurance companies look at when deciding if a car is a sports car? What is considered a sports car for insurance purposes?

It can be difficult to know what car is a sports car and how that can affect your rates. For instance, you may be asking is a Mazda 3 considered a sports car for insurance purposes? Together we will find out how an insurer labels your car and how you can save money on premiums. Before learning more about what’s considered a sports car for insurance purposes, enter your ZIP code above to compare car insurance rates from the best companies in your area.

Table of Contents

What You Drive Matters To Insurance Companies

When it comes to the monthly cost of car insurance, what you drive does matter. The fact is that insurance companies look at a range of factors when it comes to insurance rates, including whether a vehicle is a sports car.

Insurance companies view sports cars as a higher risk because they have the capability of attaining higher speeds. In their eyes, this means that people are more likely to speed in sports cars, which leads to more accidents.

Additionally, accidents involving high speeds tend to have more damage.

This means that insurance companies look at the size of claims as well as the frequency.

These next tables are going to go into the IIHS death rates for model years 2014-2017 midsize vehicles. There will be an overall death rate and then a confidence limit in parentheses. For those not adept in statistics, a confidence limit is the maximum or minimum value above or below which you are confident that the statistic will be accurate. Let us begin with midsize two-door cars.

U.S. Death Rates for Midsize Two-Door Vehicles
VehicleOverall Death Rate (With Confidence Limits)Multi-Vehicle Crash Death RateSingle-Vehicle Crash Death RateRollover Death RateModel Year Span
Honda Accord48 (14-82)1830 02014-2017
All 201736 (34-37)221352014-2017
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The one two-door midsize vehicle exceeded the overall death rate average. Let’s move on to four-door midsize cars.

U.S. Death Rates for Midsize Four-Door Vehicles
VehicleOverall Death Rate (With Confidence Limits)Multi-Vehicle Crash Death RateSingle-Vehicle Crash Death RateRollover Death RateModel Year Span
Subaru Legacy14 (3-25)9522015-2017
Ford Fusion plug-in hybrid15 (0-36)01502014-2017
Ford Fusion 4WD22 (0-45)111102014-2017
Ford Fusion hybrid 2WD34 (10-58)28562014-2017
Honda Accord34 (26-41)24932014-2017
Toyota Camry34 (28-41)231142014-2017
Kia Optima37 (15-58)1523102016-2017
Ford Fusion 2WD 39 (30-49)291032014-2017
Toyota Camry hybrid41 (16-66)35502014-2017
Mazda 6 2WD41 (22-61)241842014-2017
Hyunda Sonata48 (34-62)252382015-2017
Chrysler 200 2WD52(34-69)213232015-2017
Volkswagen Jetta53 (38-67)341942014-2017
Nissan Altima59 (49-68)372152014-2017
Chevrolet Malibu61 (34-87)3624132016-2017
Nissan Maxima68 (27-109)333842016-2017
Buick Verano68 (34-102)3533142014-2017
All 2017 Vehicle 36 (34-37)221352014-2017
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As you can see, eleven of the seventeen models exceeded the average death rate. Let’s move on to luxury models.

U.S. Death Rates for Luxury Vehicles
Vehicle Overall Death Rate (With Confidence Limits)Multi-Vehicle Crash Death RateSingle-Vehicle Crash Death RateRollover Death RateModel Year Span
Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan 4WD0 (0-15)0002015-17
Lexus CT 200h6 (0-19)6002014-17
Acura TLX 2WD21 (0-42)131002015-17
Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan 2WD28 (0-56)101792015-17
Cadillac ATS 2WD31 (6-56)211162014-17
Infiniti Q50 4WD39 (8-70)039112014-17
BMW 320i 2WD42 (4-80)172902014-17
Lincoln MKZ 2WD55 (5-106)322562014-17
Infiniti Q50 2WD60 (31-90)1844192014-17
All 2017 vehicles 36 (34-37221352014-2017
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Only four of the nine luxury midsize vehicles exceeded the average death rate. Let’s move on to luxury SUVs.

U.S. Death Rates for Luxury SUVs
Vehicle Overall Death Rate (With Confidence Limits)Multi-Vehicle Crash Death RateSingle-Vehicle Crash Death RateRollover Death RateModel Year Span
Infiniti QX60 2WD0 (0-26)0002014-17
Lexus NX 200t 4WD0 (0-28)0002015-17
BMW X5 4WD4 (0-11)2202014-17
Acura RDX 2WD4 (0-12)4002014-17
BMW X3 4WD5 (0-11)0552014-17
Infiniti QX60 4WD9 (0-20)0932014-17
Audi Q5 4WD12 (0-24)4842014-17
Acura RDX 4WD12 (0-27)12002014-17
Lexus NX 200t 2WD15 (0-46)01502015-17
Volvo XC60 4WD29 (0-66)029252014-17
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Out of the ten total 2014-2017 luxury SUVs, not a single one exceeded the average overall death rate. Finally, let’s cover sports cars and see where they fit in in comparison to the remaining model types.

U.S. Death Rates for Sports Cars
VehicleOverall Death Rate (With Confidence Limits)Multi-Vehicle Crash Death RateSingle-Vehicle Crash Death RateRollover Death RateModel Year Span
Ford Mustang coupe45 (20-70)42302015-17
Chevrolet Corvette coupe54 (20-87)453132014-17
Ford Mustang GT coupe81 (43-119)5823122015-17
All 2017 vehicles 36 (34-37)221352014-2017
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As you can see, all three sports cars exceeded the average death rate. In fact, one model — Ford Mustang GT coupe — was over twice as high as the overall average.

Where you drive matters too, as some states are more likely to have higher fatality rates. New York, for instance, is of course highly populated. This leads to it being a more natural candidate for increased crashes than a state that is primarily rural in nature. Fewer cars on the road mean fewer crashes. Fewer crashes mean fewer fatal crashes.

Let’s move on to what else results in higher premiums.

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Bigger Engines Carry Higher Insurance Rates

Insurance companies use the VIN to pull up a good deal of information about a particular car, including the engine size. Luxury sports cars with large engines tend to carry the highest premiums.

Why are sports cars more expensive to insure? It’s due to the power the car can deliver. They’re able to travel faster and are therefore considered riskier.

In one study, it was found that the insurance premiums for a high-end sports car were roughly triple what the owner would pay for one of the cheapest cars to insure.

If you’re worried about your rates skyrocketing when you buy a sports car, then take the time to shop around for better rates. There are car safety features that will help you save on car insurance. You can find companies that will provide you with discounts for safety features, having multiple policies with them, or insuring two or more cars on one plan.

The Most Expensive Sports Cars to Insure

The insurance industry is able to access a wealth of research when it comes to different cars and claims. Are sports cars more expensive to insure? Let’s see by taking a look at the 10 most expensive cars to insure, according to data collected by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Average Annual Car Insurance Rates for the Ten Most Expensive Cars to Insure
Make/ModelCost to Insure
Mercedes S560 4MATIC$3,514
Mercedes SL63 AMG$3,549
Mercedes S65 AMG$3,585
BMW i8$3,603
BMW M6 Gran Coupe$3,637
BMW M76oi xDrive$3,705
Mercedes AMG GT R$3,751
Porsche Panamera$3,887
Mercedes Maybach S650$3,917
Nissan GT-R$3,941
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The cost to insure these vehicles is pretty astronomical. Do you have one of these models? Let’s take a look at the 10 least expensive cars to insure in 2019.

Average Annual Car Insurance Rates for the Ten Cheapest Cars to Insure
Make and ModelAverage Annual Insurance Rates
Jeep Compass$1,349
Subaru Forester$1,347
Ford Escape$1,344
Jeep Renegade $1,338
Honda CR-V$1,333
Honda HR-V$1,325
Mazda CX-3$1,307
Subaru Outback $1,306
Jeep Wrangler$1,304
Honda Odyssey$1,298
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Especially in comparison, the figures shown in this last table are very reasonable, especially when one considers that the average among all vehicles in 2019 was $1,812.

Before we move on, here is a video about the most expensive sports cars to insure in America.

Now, let’s move on to factors that insurers consider when setting premium rates.

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Looking at the Big Picture to Determine Rates

Car insurance companies won’t rely on something as simple as the number of doors to determine if a vehicle is a sports car. Instead, they look at the big picture.

You may be asking, does a car’s horsepower determine if it’s a sports car, or what about the height and weight of the vehicle? Furthermore, you might have asked yourself, does the number of cylinders determine if a car is a sports car?

Insurance companies want to know how risky a car is based on its potential speed and handling. That’s why they consider key factors such as:

  • Make and Model – A Porsche will be labeled as a sports car because what the company is known for
  • Number of Cylinders – As the number of cylinders rises, the potential for speed goes up. This is why a family sedan with six or eight cylinders can be labeled a sports car when the four-cylinder model is not
  • Engine Size – You want a larger engine so that you can have a better pickup and achieve higher cruising speeds. The insurance company will raise your rates for the same reasons
  • Horsepower – There’s no exact number that companies look for, but cars with more horsepower under the hood are more likely to be defined as sports car
  • Turbo-Charged Packages – Again, this relates to the speed factor. Cars that are turbo-charged are typically sports models and will be insured as such
  • Height to Weight Ratio – A light car that sits close to the ground has more pep and spunk that a heavy car with a high center of gravity. Again, the insurance companies are looking at the ability to speed and the likelihood that you will do so

Finally, sports cars are at a higher risk of theft, and that also leads to more claims with comprehensive plans.

Let’s take a look at the most stolen sports cars based on NICB’s annual hot wheels report on car thefts from January 1, 2009, through December 31, 2012.

Ten Most Stolen Sports Cars in the U.S.
RankMake / ModelDetails
1Chevrolet CamaroNumber stolen 2010 through 2012 model years: 1,509
2Ford MustangNumber stolen 2010 through 2012 models: 980
3Dodge ChallengerNumber stolen 2010 through 2012 models: 782
4Porsche Panamera Number stolen 2010 through 2012 models: 103
5Audi A5/S5Number stolen 2010 through 2012 models: 101
6Chevrolet CorvetteNumber stolen 2010 through 2012 models: 69
7Nissan 370ZNumber stolen 2010 through 2012 models: 47
8BMW 6 SeriesNumber stolen 2010 through 2012 models: 45
9Porsche 911 Number stolen 2010 through 2012 models: 24
10Volkswagen EosNumber stolen 2010 through 2012 models: 23
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This table is restricted to vehicles from the 2010, 2011, and 2012 model years, with a total of 3,780 sports cars stolen. Notice how many were Chevrolet Camaros, nearly 40 percent.

Let’s move on to what else results in higher premiums.

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It’s the Performance Factor That Affects Rates

There’s a reason insurance companies call them “performance cars.” That’s because it’s not about how the car looks; it’s all about how the vehicle drives. Performance cars are designed and built to go fast. They have strong powertrains along with the handling to stay on the road and the necessary braking systems.

Ask five different people what a sports car is and you’re likely to get five different answers.

However, the insurance companies have resolved this matter by looking at the intent of the car and how well it can perform. If it’s made with speed in mind, then it’s going to carry a higher premium.

Just because it is made with speed in mind, however, does not mean you have to exceed speed limits. This is just one of several factors that can damage your record and elevate your premiums.

Let’s take a look at a table that shows premium-elevating behaviors. For the sake of simplicity, these are insurers’ rates in Florida.

Average Annual Florida Car Insurance Rates Based on Driving History
CompaniesRates with
Clean Driving Record
Rates with
1 Accident
Rates with
1 Speeding Violation
USAA$2,233.94$2755.24$2,341.64
Geico$2,636.72$3,368.94$4,116.12
State Farm$3,105.11$3,690.25$3,397.66
Nationwide$3,705.32$4,065.71$4,114.99
Liberty Mutual$3,869.33$5,026.31$5,285.32
Progressive$4,407.95$6,519.19$5,915.72
Allstate$6,417.39$7,700.66$7,119.64
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As you can see, an accident or a speeding ticket affects car insurance rates . It is important to drive safely to avoid any unnecessary premium hikes.

Fortunately, you can also overcome this challenge by shopping around for better rates. Rather than settling for a smaller, less versatile car, you can go with a different company that’s willing to reward you for being a safe driver.

Before making the final purchasing decision, you’re also encouraged to speak with your agent about how your rates may change. Your agent can alert you to potential increases so that you can make a more informed decision and help you answer the question “how can I save money on sports car insurance?”

Should you shop for insurance before buying a sports car? Absolutely, no matter what car you’re in the market for. Just enter your ZIP code into the FREE tool below to find the best car insurance options for your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions: What’s considered a sports car for insurance purposes?

Below are common questions about sports cars and insurance.

#1 – What is a muscle car, and are muscle cars considered sports cars by insurance companies?

A muscle car is frequently used for drag racing and, yes, they are considered sports cars.

#2 – What coverage do you need for sports cars and how much does it cost to insure a sports car on average?

At the least, you must carry liability insurance as you would for any other vehicle. A sports car will, on average, cost at least a little more than $2,000 per year to insure.

#3 – What’s the best way to find cheap sports car insurance and should I shop for insurance online or with a local agent?

The best way is to comparison shop, like with our handy tool. While our tool is online, if you can find an agent you trust, this is a good way to find competitive rates also.

#4 – Is a Chevy Camaro, a Chevy Cruze or a Ford Mustang considered a sports car for insurance?

Yes, the Chevy Camaro, the Chevy Cruze, and the Ford Mustang are all considered sports cars by insurers.

#5 – Will a sports car driver under 25 pay more for insurance?

Most likely, just as with any other vehicle it takes years of experience to level off and lower rates. Statistically, younger people get in more accidents, and sports cars increase that likelihood. In short, yes, insurance for a sports car for those under 25 is more expensive.

#6 – Is a Dodge Challenger considered a sports car for insurance? Is a Nissan Maxima or a Dodge Hellcat considered a sports car for insurance?

Yes, these all are examples of vehicles labeled sports cars by insurers.

#7 – How are sports car insurance rates determined?

Just like with any vehicle, sports car insurance costs are determined via a variety of factors.

#8– Are there four-door sedans that are considered sports cars? Are all two-door cars considered sports cars?

Yes, there are a few four-door cars such as the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat and the Aston Martin Rapide S. There are two-door cars designed for other purposes, so they are not all sports cars.

#9 – Will one insurance company consider a car a sports car while another won’t?

Most likely not since their criteria are all fairly similar if not nearly identical.

#10 – What are the least expensive sports cars to insure?

The 2017 Ford Mustang GT, the 2018 Audi TT, and the 2017 BMW Z4 Roadster are three examples of relatively cheap sports cars to insure.

References:

  1. https://www.iihs.org/ratings/insurance-losses-by-make-and-model
  2. https://www.nicb.org/news/blog/americas-10-most-stolen-vehicles