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Cheapest Auto Insurance and Annual Fuel Costs for Canada’s Best-Selling Cars

A list not just about the cheapest cars to insure but about the cheapest cars to insure that Canadians buy and the annual cost to fill’er up.

Feb. 1, 21
4 mins
A man reaches for the volume dial while driving his car

For more than two decades, the Honda Civic has been Canada’s best-selling car, and chances are, if you don’t have one insured on your auto insurance policy right now, you know someone who does. In a year like 2020, however, even Canada’s favourite passenger car struggled in sales. Only one of Canada’s 10 best-selling cars outdid itself in numbers sold compared to the year prior. All others saw a significant drop in sales last year, thanks to the pandemic.

The 10 top-selling cars in Canada in 2020

Rank Car Make & Model 2020 Sales 2019 Sales Change
1. Honda Civic 50,805 60,139 -15.52%
2. Toyota Corolla 37,156 47,596 -21.93%
3. Hyundai Elantra 25,006 39,463 -36.63%
4. Kia Forte 16,715 15,549 7.5%
5. Mazda 3 14,788 21,276 -30.49%
6. Volkswagen Golf 13,113 19,668 -33.33%
7. Toyota Camry 11,631 13,654 -14.82%
8. Volkswagen Jetta 10,552 17,260 -38.86%
9. Kia Soul 9,869 11,868 -16.84%
10. Honda Accord 7,844 11,381 -31.08%

Source: GoodCarBadCar.net

From the Honda Civic to the Honda Accord, these vehicles are tops with car buyers (even during a pandemic) but which of them is most likely to have the cheapest car insurance rate?

Canada’s top-selling cars ranked by the cheapest for auto insurance

The Kia Soul costs the least to insure, on average, of the 10 best-selling cars in Canada. How do the remaining nine cars compare? When it comes to the cost of insurance, the Volkswagen Golf gives the Soul a run for its money, but the Soul and the Golf both leave the rest of Canada’s top-selling cars in the dust.

We used a scale of one to 10, where one represents the cheapest car insurance rate, and 10 means the most expensive.

Rank Car Make & Model Premium Scale: 1 (cheapest) to 10 (expensive)
1. Kia Soul 4.1
2. Volkswagen Golf 4.2
3. Mazda 3 5.9
4. Volkswagen Jetta 6.4
5. Kia Forte 6.6
6. Honda Accord 7.5
7. Toyota Camry 8.4
8. Toyota Corolla 8.4
9. Honda Civic 8.6
10. Hyundai Elantra 8.8

If you’re interested in a vehicle that may be even cheaper to insure than what you see here, you may want to turn your attention to a pickup truck like the GMC Canyon (1.2 on the scale), Chevrolet Colorado (1.5), or a Toyota Tundra (1.9). All three of these vehicles landed lower on the scale.

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What goes into determining an auto insurance rate?

Part of what goes into your auto insurance rate is the auto you drive. If a vehicle has a higher frequency of insurance claims, like auto theft claims, it will cost more to insure. It’s not just the frequency of claims either; it’s also the vehicle’s claims costs. If the claims costs are consistently higher than other cars, this will also contribute to more expensive rates. It all boils down to the likelihood of a claim and the possible payout amount.

Other factors matter too, like where you live, your driving and insurance history, and driving record that will be layered into the auto insurance rate you pay. With all of these personalized components added together, the vehicle that costs you the least to insure may not be the car that’s the cheapest choice for anyone else in your social circle. Where does your car insurance rank? Compare car insurance quotes from more insurance providers here, at RATESDOTCA, than anywhere else for your lowest rate.

Canada’s best-selling cars ranked by fuel costs

Auto insurance isn’t the only item you’ll be spending money on to keep your car on the road and on the move. Depending on how often you drive, there's a good chance you spend as much on fuel each year as you do on your auto insurance which is why it's important to budget for both expenses. Even if you’re not driving much right now because of the pandemic, it’s still important to plan for the day when we’ll all be able to get back to normal.

We ranked the cars this time based on the cheapest of the upper-end estimates of the annual fuel cost and the best vehicle on this front is the Toyota Corolla, by a couple of hundred dollars. Again, though, the Kia Soul does well.

Rank Model Estimated Annual Fuel Cost*
1. Toyota Corolla $994 (the hybrid) - $1,718
2. Volkswagen Jetta $1,582 - $1,921
3. Kia Soul $1,763 - $1,966
4. Kia Forte $1,559 - $2,011
5. Mazda 3 $1,718 - $2,011
6. Volkswagen Golf $1,605 - $2,057
7. Honda Accord $1,130 (the hybrid) - $2,079
8. Hyundai Elantra $1,446 - $2,079
9. Toyota Camry $1,107 (the hybrid) - $2,124
10. Honda Civic $1,559 - $2,592

As you can see, your trips to the gas station can add up over the year. It’s easy to lose sight of it when it’s $30 here and $50 there each week. If you’re in the market to buy a new car in 2021, keep your car costs as low as possible by keeping an eye on fuel efficiency and insurance costs when making your new car purchase.

Premium scale methodology

For model year vehicles 2020 and 2021, we applied a scale of one through 10 where one represents the cheapest car insurance rate out of 30 of Canada’s top sellers (including SUVs and pickup trucks), and 10 represents the most expensive. The premium scale rankings are based on real quotes by real people who shopped their rate at RATESDOTCA and connected with a provider to discuss the quote they received. Only quotes for Ontario car insurance were reviewed as coverage can vary between provinces, and by limiting it to one province, you have a more accurate apples-to-apples comparison. Results may vary based on your circumstances.

* Annual estimated fuel cost is based on driving 20,000 km per year—a typically realistic distance for the vast majority of Canadians—at fuel prices that are estimated to be $1.13/L for regular, $1.35/L for premium, and $1.11/L for diesel. This information comes from Natural Resources Canada's Fuel Ratings Tool and does not include the costs associated with driving a plug-in hybrid electric model or battery electric vehicle. Keep in mind that consumption varies within a model due to options chosen when the car is purchased, as well as how you drive, traffic, and road conditions.

Lesley Green

Lesley Green is a senior writer and editor at RATESDOTCA and has been a part of the team since 2002. During non-pandemic times she enjoys live theatre, travelling, curling and, depending on how well she's hitting the ball, golfing.

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