The purchase price of a car is only the beginning of what it really costs to own a vehicle. Fuel, insurance, and maintenance all add to the cost of ownership. The ideal vehicle would have great fuel economy, low maintenance requirements while being affordable to insure. The smart car insurance owner attempts to balance these factors.

Fuel Economy

One way to control operating costs is by purchasing a fuel efficient vehicle. When considering gas mileage, smaller is usually better. The heavier the car, the more fuel it takes to move it. Fuel economy can’t be considered on its own, though. An ultra compact car may not suit a driver’s needs. A two-seat Smart car is not a practical choice as the main vehicle for a family of five, for example. A four-door compact sedan, on the other hand, is much more workable.

Insurance Ratings

Evaluating a vehicle for its insurance cost potential considers several factors. The ability of a car to protect its occupants affects accident benefits that insurers pay. Cars that can be repaired affordably generally have lower premiums. Models that thieves find irresistible will cost more to insure.

Safety in an accident requires good design and sufficient mass to protect those inside. To some extent, that runs counter to the fuel efficiency ideal of low mass. There are points where the two criteria overlap. This is where we find small cars with cheap insurance.

Affordable Car Insurance With Fuel Economy

The most affordable cars to insure in Ontario are in the SUV and minivan classes. These vehicles have the size and mass to protect occupants. They are manufactured in such quantity that parts are easy to source. Appealing to family markets, these vehicles attract safe driving demographics. They are not, however, noted for great gas mileage.

Ultra compact vehicles deliver in the mileage category. While some perform impressively in safety testing, there’s simply not enough room for occupant protection to match the safety of larger vehicles.

To reach a balance of economy with both insurance and fuel, the compact class performs the best. The 4-door sedan design also appeals to the family market. Sales are significant, ensuring available parts and reasonable repair costs.

Small Cars with Cheap Insurance

cheap insurance

In 2015, only one small car made the top ten of inexpensive vehicles to insure. This was the Smart FourTwo Coupe, an ultra compact 2-door. It sits alone along with minivans, SUVs and crossovers at the top of affordable cars to insure. For total operating cost performance, the Smart FourTwo is likely the winner.

Outside of the top ten, there are proven performers in both fuel efficiency and affordable insurance. These are still among the best-selling vehicles in Canada:

Honda Civic sedan


(Coupe packages typically cost more for both fuel and insurance)

Toyota Camry

toyota camry 2017

(particularly the hybrid model for fuel economy)

Volkswagen Jetta


(traditionally the cheapest sedan to insure)

Volkswagen Golf


(better fuel economy than the Jetta)

Ford Focus


(good balance of mileage and insurance cost)

Hyundai Accent


(similar benefits to the Focus)

Every Ontario insurance company prices auto policies their own way. Use the Ratelab car insurance calculator to pinpoint the lowest cost insurance for your situation. Start by entering your postal code above.