The 10 Cheapest Cars to Insure in Ontario

By Heidi Unrau | Published on 01 Feb 2024

which car has the cheapest insurance in ontario
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    Looking for the cheapest cars to insure in Ontario, especially in the bustling Greater Toronto Area? With rising gas prices and real estate costs, saving money is more important than ever. While commuting might be a necessity, choosing the right car can significantly cut down on insurance expenses. Let’s cruise down the list of the 10 most budget-friendly cars for insurance in Ontario.

    Vehicle
    Average Cost of Insurance (monthly)
    $362.25
    $395.33
    $406.58
    $426.58
    $430.92
    $454.50
    $482.42

    Methodology

    The top 10 cheapest cars to insure in Ontario will change frequently based on the most up-to-date claims data. However, certain makes and models consistently make the list. So I’ve rounded up the makes and models that frequently grace the top of the charts.

    To calculate the average cost of insurance, I requested quotes for each car using the Hardbacon Auto Insurance Comparison tool. Each car returned 12 quotes and I used those results to calculate the average monthly cost of insurance.

    The following driver information was used to generate each quote:

    • Area code in the Cambridge-Waterloo Region
    • Female driver
    • 30 years of age
    • Clean driving record & no previous claims
    • Daily commuter

    Based on the results, I have ordered the top 10 cheapest cars to insure in Ontario from lowest monthly premium to most expensive. Let’s take a look.

    Chevrolet Spark

    Estimated Price: $23,995

    Safety Rating: Good

    Average Cost of Insurance: $362.25/month

    Lowest Quote I received: $272/month

    Unfortunately, the Chevrolet Spark has been discontinued as of Summer 2022. To find this great car, you’ll need to buy it used. Clutch offers one-stop online shopping for used vehicles. Browse through hundreds of cars, get fast quotes when you’re selling, and book a test drive for the one you want.

    Volkswagen Golf: IIHS Top Safety Pick

    Starting Price: $37,378

    Safety Rating: Excellent

    Average Cost of Insurance: $395.33/month

    Lowest Quote I received: $290/month

    Mazda 3: IIHS Top Safety Pick

    Starting Price: $24,200

    Safety Rating: Excellent

    Average Cost of Insurance:$406.58/month

    Lowest Quote I received: $306/month

    Chevrolet Cruze

    Estimated Price: $21,095

    Safety Rating: Good

    Average Cost of Insurance: $411/month

    Lowest Quote I received: $326/month

    As of 2019, General Motors discontinued the hugely popular Chevy Cruz to focus on expanding its line of trucks and SUVs. To find a Chevy Cruz, including the latest 2019 model, you’ll need to shop the used car market, like Clutch.

    Toyota Corolla: IIHS Top Safety Pick

    Starting Price: $26,604

    Safety Rating: Excellent

    Average Cost of Insurance: $426.58/month

    Lowest Quote I received: $322/month

    Mitsubishi Mirage

    Starting Price: $16,998

    Safety Rating: Good

    Average Cost of Insurance: $430/month

    Lowest Quote I received: $306/month

    Hyundai Elantra: IIHS Top Safety Pick

    Starting Price: $24,506

    Safety Rating: Excellent

    Average Cost of Insurance: $430.92/month

    Lowest Quote I received: $323/month

    Kia Forte

    Starting Price: $23,683

    Safety Rating: Good

    Average Cost of Insurance: $454.50/month

    Lowest Quote I received: $334/month

    Toyota Camry: IIHS Top Safety Pick

    Starting Price: $34,205

    Safety Rating: Good

    Average Cost of Insurance: $482.42/month

    Lowest Quote I received: $368/month

    Honda Civic

    Starting Price: $28,754

    Safety Rating: Good

    Average Cost of Insurance: $510/month

    Lowest Quote I received: $366/month

    What if none of these cars are right for you? 

    These are some of the cheapest cars to insure in Ontario for 2024, but what if none of them are right for you? No problem, you can still save money on car insurance by shopping smarter, not harder. Things to keep in mind: 

    Type of car

    “Family cars” like sedans, minivans, SUVs, and crossovers are generally less expensive to insure; they’re built for and heavily marketed to families. Therefore, family cars are known to have more safety features and are less sexy for thieves. Also, people who choose these types of cars are generally older, more experienced, and risk-averse drivers.

    Trim level 

    A trim level, also called a trim package, is a version of the car model that has specific features. Manufacturers typically bundle upgrades into trim packages. Insurance tends to be cheaper on cars with the most basic trim package.

    If you want to add more bells and whistles to your vehicle beyond the standard model, you need to upgrade the trim level.  More sophisticated tech makes your car more expensive to repair, which impacts your insurance premiums. Upgrading to a more powerful engine could also increase the cost of car insurance if providers think you are more likely to speed.

    Vehicle Safety Rating

    Insurance companies view cars with higher safety ratings as less risky to insure because they are less likely to result in severe injuries or fatalities, which can lead to expensive insurance claims. On the flip side, Conversely, cars with lower safety ratings may carry higher insurance costs due to their perceived increased risk of costly claims following accidents. You can find a vehicle’s safety rating by visiting the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) website.

    Why are some cars cheaper to insure in Ontario 

    Insurance is a risky business, literally. How much you pay for car insurance in Ontario depends on how likely you are to make a claim. As a driver, you are one variable. The type of car you drive is the other variable. So which car has the cheapest insurance in Ontario? Well, that depends. Some cars are cheaper to insure than others because, statistically, they are far less likely to be involved in a car insurance claim. 

    To determine which cars are cheaper to insure than others, insurance providers use a system called CLEAR, Canadian Loss Experience Automobile Rating, provided by the Insurance Bureau of Canada. The CLEAR system gathers data from car collision claims across the country. 

    That information is organized and vehicles are then grouped by risk level for every make, model, and year. Vehicles in the high-risk category have the highest rates of claims, and the claims are typically more expensive. Generally, it will cost you more to insure a vehicle in a higher-risk category, and cost less to insure a vehicle in a lower-risk category. Under the CLEAR system, a vehicle’s level of risk is determined by: 

    • Expected claims frequency 
    • Estimated cost of a claim
    • Likelihood the vehicle will be stolen 

    Under the CLEAR system, cars with the cheapest insurance in Ontario usually have 3 characteristics: 

    • Extensive safety features 
    • Less expensive to repair 
    • Extensive anti-theft features 

    Recap: It is more expensive to insure vehicles that are less safe and more expensive to fix or replace. It is less expensive to insure vehicles that are safer and less expensive to fix or replace. 

    Car buying tips for cheaper insurance in Ontario

    Ontarians pay Onterrible car insurance premiums, but you can hack the system. If you’re on the market for a car and want to keep your insurance premiums down, here are some things to look for, and things to avoid:

    What to look for:

    • Family cars like minivans, SUVs, crossovers, and 4-door sedans
    • Smaller, compact cars
    • High/Excellent safety rating 
    • Robust safety features 
    • Robust Anti-theft features 
    • Base trim package 
    • Consider a used car, 2-3 years old 

    What to avoid:

    • Sports cars 
    • Electric cars
    • Luxury/High-End cars
    • Higher trim level/package 
    • Limited safety features
    • Limited anti-theft features 
    • Cars from the “most stolen” list
    • Higher trim packages

    How to find the cheapest car insurance in Ontario

    Have you tried not living in Brampton? I’m not even joking. The GTA City of Brampton consistently ranks as the most expensive city for car insurance year over year. The remaining top 5 most expensive cities for car insurance in Ontario are:

    • Toronto
    • Mississauga
    • Richmond Hill 
    • Vaughan

    Unfortunately, you probably can’t move thanks to cringy real estate prices. Worst case Ontario, you’ll need to shop like a boss to drive down those rates. Here’s how: 

    Compare quotes. The Hardbacon Auto Insurance Comparison Tool gives you up to 12 quotes at once to help you find the best price for your needs.

    Bundle your policy with your homeowner’s insurance. If you rent, ask about bundling with your tenant insurance.

    Select a higher deductible. Just make sure you have enough in your emergency fund to cover it.

    Install an anti-theft device. Many car insurance companies offer discounts if you install an approved anti-theft device. Ask if they provide an incentive program and which devices are approved, then shop around for that too. 

    Drive less. If you can, avoid getting behind the wheel as much as possible. You could qualify for cheaper car insurance if your vehicle is only used occasionally, and not on a regular basis. If you work from home, you definitely want to inquire about dropping your car insurance down to occasional or pleasure use

    Be defensive. Aggressive, reckless, and risky driving behaviour will put you in the fast lane to claims-ville in ticket-town. Collisions and traffic violations jack your rates way up. Slow down, keep a level head, and follow the rules of the road.

    Use a Telematics product. Telematics technology analyzes your driving habits and uses that information to provide custom coverage based on your behaviour behind the wheel. If you’re a good driver, ask your car insurance provider if they offer any User-Based Insurance (UBI) options.

    Swap your tires. Proper winter tires give you more control on slippery roads and drastically reduce your stopping distance. You’re far less likely to hit the ditch or slide through a stop sign into another car. For this reason, many car insurance providers offer discounts if you install winter tires. 

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    Heidi Unrau is a senior finance journalist at Hardbacon. She studied Economics at the University of Winnipeg, where she fell in love with all-things-finance. At 25, she kicked-off her financial career in retail banking as a teller. She quickly progressed to become a Credit Analyst and then Private Lender. This hands-on industry experience uniquely positions her to provide expert insight on loans, credit scores, credit cards, debt, and banking services. She has been featured in publications such as WealthRocket, Scary Mommy, Credello, and Plooto. When she's not chasing after her two little boys, you'll find her hiding in the car listening to the Freakonomics podcast, or binge-watching financial crime documentaries with a bowl of ice cream. Fun Fact: Heidi has lived in five different provinces across Canada and her blood type is coffee.