Report: Luxury Cars Purchase Prices Only the Start
A new report by the country’s leading auto safety laboratory is confirming a truth already known to owners of Audis, Mercedes-Benzes, and Bentleys, not to mention their insurers: Buy a luxury car and you can expect luxury-grade repair bills.
Those high bills extend even to the cost of personal injury claims, according to a new report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety‘s Highway Loss Data Institute.
The study of crash losses for 2014 to 2016 vehicles, based on collision insurance claims, indicates some of the lowest overall crash costs for the Smart Fortwo electric car and some of the highest for the BMW I8 plug-in hybrid, which is listed behind only Bentley Continental luxury sedans.
Luxury cars have higher-than-average accident costs while SUVs and pickup trucks are mostly on the low side. Looking at personal injury claims only, minicars and small cars have the most claims, while very large pickup trucks have the fewest, the institute said.
Collision insurance covers damage to a car or truck when the owner is at fault in a crash. The researchers also looked at claims against comprehensive insurance policies, which cover theft, damage unrelated to a crash, and damage to other vehicles caused by the insured driver.
Analyzing the comprehensive insurance data gives the researchers insight into the actual losses associated with particular models. As a result, it’s a valuable tool for car buyers to compare models. The results go hand-in-hand with IIHS’ most famous yardsticks for evaluating new cars and truck, its Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ awards.
Matt Moore, HLDI’s senior vice president, said:
“Whenever consumers are on the hunt for a new vehicle they should consult two key resources: safety ratings from IIHS and insurance loss results from HLDI. … Combined, they give a good picture of a vehicle’s overall safety and insurance costs.”
More-Complete Data From Insurance Claims
IIHS said information from insurance claims gives a more comprehensive picture of all auto accidents than police statistics because the insurance claims include crashes that don’t result in injuries and claims that don’t get reported to police. More than half of the insurance claims cost less than $3,000, with many running $1,000 to $2,000. And unlike Top Safety Picks, the results reflect not only how safe these vehicles are mechanically, but how they are driven.
Cost Rankings: Cheapest and Most-Expensive
Here’s IIHS’ list of vehicles with the lowest claim costs, with the average cost per incident and the overall cost to the insured per vehicle year:
- Smart Fortwo electric 2-door microcar; $4,921 average; $162 per vehicle year
- Ram 1500 LWB 4WD, large pickup; $4,065 average; $185 per vehicle year
- Ford F-250 4WD, very large pickup; $4,940; $187
- Kia Soul electric, small station wagon; $3,786; $189
- Chevrolet Corvette Z06 convertible, midsize sports car; $7,145; $204
- Jeep Wrangler 2dr SWB 4WD, small SUV; $6,555; $205
- Ram 2500 crew cab SWB 2WD, very large pickup; $3,451; $215
- F-350 SuperCab 4WD, very large pickup; $4,789; $221
- Subaru Outback 4WD with EyeSight; mid-size station wagon; $3,750; $222
- Subaru Outback 4WD, midsize station wagon; $3,692, $222.
Here are the most costly, with average cost per claim and overall cost to the insured per vehicle year:
- Bentley Continental GT 2dr 4WD; $35,744; $2,536
- Bentley Continental Flying Spur 4-door, 4WD; $28,816; $2,338
- Bentley Continental GTC convertible 4WD; $29,478; $1,923
- BMW i8 plug-in hybrid 2dr 4WD; $21,588; $1,657
- Maserati Granturismo 2dr; $18,785; $1,597
- BMW M6 2dr; $17,436; $1,498
- Audi RS7 4-door, 4WD; $16,013; $1,401
- BMW M3 4-door; $16,866; $1,359
- BMW M4 2-door; $13,499; $1,349
- Maserati Ghibli 4-door, 4WD; $13,272; $1,339.