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What Do Insurance Companies Consider a Sports Car?

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Reviewed byJoel Ohman
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UPDATED: Aug 17, 2020

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Sports Cars and Insurance Companies Summary
Sports Car Insurance FactsDetailsSource
Sports car associated risksInsurers consider sports cars at higher risk for tickets and accidentsVarious insurance companies
Sports car classificationBased on things such as size, engine, performance, speed capabilities, make and modelVarious insurance companies
Sports car fatal accident ratesFive of the top ten vehicles with fatal accidents are sports carsQuadrant Data
Sports cars insurance rates$1,527-$3,783 annuallyQuadrant Data
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Are you in the market for a new car? Perhaps you’re looking to make a smart purchase that’s still fun to drive. But what do insurance companies consider a sports car? Are all 2 door cars considered sports cars? Being a savvy consumer, you’ve decided to do some research on how “fun” your car can be before you get dinged on the insurance for having one of the most expensive cars to insure. Sports car insurance rates average $221.25 per month or $2,655 per year.

Many of us buy first and think later, which can lead to excessive insurance premiums. What is an insurance premium? The price you pay for insurance coverage during a given period of time. We’ve put together this guide to help you decide which car you can afford to insure and answer the questions about what is considered a sports car.

Before finding delving further into the question, “What does insurance consider a sports car?”, compare sports car auto insurance quotes among top sports car insurance companies to find the best sports car insurance rates. You can start with our free tool above to compare sport car insurance rates and plans.

What are considered sports cars?

With high-performance engines and flashy designs, sports cars can offer unique driving experiences. The added horsepower and speed capabilities mean that insurance companies may be less eager to insure them for competitive rates.

A sports car is typically designated as a vehicle that has a higher horsepower engine, two seats, and generally a smaller overall size. This is a broad definition, however, as there is no standard set of rules for classification. Insurers can classify cars however they choose.

Certain models from manufacturers like Toyota, Subaru, and Honda may not seem like sports cars but may be categorized as such for insurance purposes. So if you’re wondering something like, “Is an Audi considered a sports car?” or “Is a Honda Civic Coupe considered a sports car?” the answer is that it depends on the insurance company.

High-end sports cars don’t leave room for confusion. Obvious sports cars like those manufactured by Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini, or Jaguar offer some of the most high-performance engines that you can buy.

Insurers designate vehicles with a symbol that represents their overall characteristics. Each symbol is assigned a “rating variable,” which more or less helps determine how much you pay for insurance (this is an extremely simple explanation of the concept).

Sports cars have symbols associated with higher insurance rates.

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Sports Cars Are Different From Others

While each insurer may have a different definition of exactly what it considers a sports car, there are some basic characteristics insurance companies look at to determine where to draw the line (some of which may be pretty obvious).

  • Make & Model – A Porsche 911 is a sports car, no further consideration necessary.
  • Number of Cylinders – A car with a 4-cylinder engine will almost always cost less to insure than an 8-cylinder. Of course, there are some 4-cylinder cars that fly, which is why this list contains more items.
  • Motor Size – Expect to pay a sports car premium with a 350-cubic inch motor.
  • Horsepower – There may not be an exact cutoff, but the more horsepower, the more likely it will be designated a sports car.
  • Height to Weight Ratio – A lightweight car that sits low to the ground typically has some “get up and go.”
  • Number of Doors – Not all two-door cars are considered sports cars but also not all four-door cars are sedans.
  • “Sports Package” – This may be an otherwise tame vehicle model with a wild package added to it.
  • Turbo-Charged/Super Charged – Anything that is badged as turbo or super is likely to be a sports car.

The video below gives you a brief rundown of how car performance has been beefed up for sports cars today and what makes them different from other cars.

What can you expect to pay for insurance on a sports car? In the next section we’ll take a look at what factors affect sports car insurance rates.

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Is auto insurance for a sports car more expensive?

Does your insurance go up if you buy a sports car? Sports car insurance costs will be more expensive than insurance for other types of cars. But why?

The allure of this type of vehicle is that it’s fast, sexy, and inherently more dangerous to drive than a minivan. Forbes magazine stated that “sports cars are just plain built for going fast and driving aggressively — nobody buys a low-slung speedster just to pilot passively to church on Sundays.”

While “sexy” is not a rating factor for any insurer that we’re aware of, terms such as “fast” and “dangerous” certainly stir up images of police lights, speeding tickets, and accidents for insurers. But they’re not just imagining things; insurers have the data to back it all up.

Cars with the Most Frequent Occupant Fatalities
Vehicle Make and ModelFatal Accident Rate (Cars per Billion Vehicle Miles)
Mitsubishi Mirage10.2
Chevrolet Corvette9.8
Honda Fit7.7
Kia Forte7.4
Chevrolet Spark7.2
Subaru BRZ6.9
Nissan 370Z6.2
Nissan Versa6.1
Kia Rio5.9
Dodge Challenger5.8
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As you can see from the table above, out of the top 10 cars with the highest fatal accident rates, 50 percent are sports cars.

The video below breaks down some of the most expensive cars to insure in America. You’ll notice a trend — the majority of the cars discussed are considered sports cars.

It boils down to this: Sports cars are known for being involved in high-risk driving behaviors and therefore more likely to be in accidents. These cars typically cost more to manufacture, therefore they cost more and are more expensive to repair or replace in the event they are damaged. Combine that with the fact that tickets may be more common and you’ve got a higher insurance rate.

The Insurance Institue for Highway Safety concurs that sports cars provide a higher risk, but also says that efforts are being made to make these cars as safe as possible.

As a side note, sports car insurance for a driver under 25 is exceptionally expensive due to the liabilities of the car and the inexperienced driver combined.

How much does it cost to insure a sports car?

As with most cars, insurance rates will vary depending on the type of car and the company providing the policy. Rates also depend on many things such as age, driving record, and location. As we’ve discussed, though, insurance rates will definitely be higher for sports cars.

Average Annual Car Insurance Rates By Vehicle Type
Vehicle TypeAverage Annual Car Insurance Rates
Sedan$1,594
Sports car$1,873
SUV$1,784
Truck$1,731
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The data above shows average annual rates for several popular vehicle types. The sports car edges out the other vehicle types in the table. What does Geico consider a sports car? Every company can have different specifications, so it’s best to ask a Geico insurance agent if you want to know what qualifies a sports car.

Let’s take a look at some examples and tiers of insurance for sports cars.

The Cheapest Sports Cars to Insure

Not all sports cars have insurance rates that are through the roof. Some of these cars average relatively affordable premiums. For a few cars, the yearly insurance costs are close to the national average.

Average Annual Rates for the Cheapest Sports Cars To Insure
Vehicle Make and ModelAverage Annual Car Insurance Rates
Fiat 124 Spider$1,527
Mazda MX-5$1,547
Hyundai Veloster$1,712
Chevrolet Camaro $1,821
Ford Mustang$1,822
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Looking at some of these rates and cars might be a little surprising. Is a Mustang considered a sports car for insurance?  How does the popular Camero rank as one of the cheaper to insure? Is a Nissan Maxima considered a sports car for insurance purposes? These rates demonstrate that some sports cars can garner reasonable rates.

The Mazda MX-5 is a popular sports cars and it’s one of the more affordable to insure. One of the least expensive sports cars on this list, the Hyundai Veloster, is also on the cheaper end for insurance. The same goes for the Fiat 24, which has both a reasonable sticker price and more affordable insurance rates.

Perhaps two of the most iconic cars of all time on the list, the Ford Mustang and the Chevrolet Camaro, are also relatively inexpensive to insure.

Mid-Level Sports Car Insurance

This category contains an iconic sports car as well as a few newcomers. MSRPs for these vehicles tend to be higher than those of the average vehicle.

Average Annual Mid-Level Sports Car Insurance Rates
Vehicle Make and ModelAverage Annual Car Insurance Rates
Toyota 86 (Scion FR-S)$2,057
Nissan 370Z$2,195
Dodge Challenger$2,389
Chevrolet Corvette$2,467
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This list holds one of America’s beloved muscle-car era vehicles in the Dodge Challenger. Is a Dodge Challenger considered a sports car? Is a Chevy Cruze considered a sports car? Some might say no, but as discussed above, the distinction is up to the insurance companies.

The Dodge Challenger combines an intense driving experience with hefty insurance rates. Formerly known as the Scion FR-S, the Toyota 86 is one of the newer names on the list with insurance rates that are more expensive than other vehicles at a similar price point.

One of the most iconic sports cars in history, the Chevy Corvette holds a spot on the list with a heftier price tag and insurance rates. Finally, the Nissan 370Z is a moderately-priced sports car with higher-than-average insurance rates.

High-End Sports Car Insurance

The cars in this category are as sleek and powerful as luxury sports cars. Given the performance and MSRPs of these vehicles, insurance rates will be much higher.

Average Annual High-End Sports Car Insurance Rates
Vehicle Make and ModelAverage Annual Car Insurance Rates
Jaguar F-Type$2,751
Porsche 911$3,261
Tesla Model S$3,567
BMW i8$3,783
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BMW, known for its luxury and power, saw the i8 come in with some of the highest average rates among cars. The classic Porsche 911 comes with high performance, a high price tag, and above-average insurance rates. The only electric vehicle on this list, the Tesla Model S has redefined the idea of a sports car. With a very high MSRP and complex engineering, the Model S has higher than average insurance rates as well.

Save Money on Insurance for Sports Cars

As discussed, your specific insurance rates will depend on a number of variables. We also know that your new sports car will come with higher rates due to the risk associated with such a vehicle.

Auto insurance discount opportunities will vary depending on the insurance company; however, doing some research may yield some program discount incentives. For example, here are some 21st Century auto insurance discounts. Some common discounts offered by insurance companies include:

  • Added safety features – Additional vehicle safety equipment reduces the risk to the insurer and may come with a discount.
  • A clean driving record – A usage-based program may provide discounts for monitoring your safe driving.
  • Anti-theft devices – Features that deter theft will yield a discount as they reduce the risk to the insurer.
  • Defensive driving courses – Some insurers will give you a policy discount if you successfully complete a driving course.
  • Bundling policies – If you have additional types of insurance, such as a homeowners policy, with the same company, you may get a discount.
  • Insuring multiple vehicles on the same policy – As with the bundling discount, you reap the benefits of having more than one vehicle insured on your policy.

Now that you know more about what insurance companies consider a sports car,  just enter your ZIP code into our FREE tool below if you’re ready to start comparing car insurance rate.

References:

  1. https://www.forbes.com/sites/jimgorzelany/2019/05/14/fatal-attraction-these-are-the-deadliest-cars-on-the-road/#eb6319de31ed
  2. https://www.iihs.org/news/detail/sports-car-ratings-show-range-of-performance

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