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10 best-selling passenger cars that are the cheapest to insure

May 10, 2022
4 mins
Young parents and their toddler son get ready to load into the car

This article has been updated from a previous version.

For more than two decades, the Honda Civic has been Canada’s best-selling car, and chances are, if you don’t have one listed on your auto insurance policy right now, you know someone who does.

Nevertheless, Canada’s favourite passenger car struggled in sales over the COVID-19 pandemic. Supply chain issues and a global microchip shortage disrupted many car buyers’ plans, forcing them to make concessions due to availability or high prices.

However, one of Canada’s 10 best-selling cars seemed to avoid these challenges, as sales for the Tesla Model 3 increased by 108% over last year.

Canada’s 10 top-selling passenger cars in 2021

Rank Car make and model 2021 sales 2020 sales % change
1 Honda Civic 43,556 50,805 -14.27%
2 Toyota Corolla 40,020 37,156 +7.71%
3 Hyundai Elantra 26,312 25,006 +5.22%
4 Kia Forte 14,428 16,715 -13.68%
5 Tesla Model 3 12,802 6,151 +108.13%
6 Volkswagen Jetta 12,584 10,552 +19.26%
7 Toyota Camry 11,897 11,631 +2.29%
8 Mazda3 11,804 14,788 -20.18%
9 Nissan Sentra 10,015 6,806 +47.15%
10 Volkswagen Golf 8,587 13,113 -34.52%


Even though the Honda Civic reigns supreme in sales, which passenger cars can you anticipate having the cheapest car insurance rate?

The best-selling passenger cars ranked by cheapest to insure in Ontario

The Volkswagen Golf, the tenth most popular passenger car, ranks number one for cheap auto insurance in Ontario. How do the remaining nine vehicles stack up? You might be surprised that Toyota Corolla drivers pay the most for auto insurance on average out of the cars on this list.

Rank Car make and model Average premium for vehicle model in
1 Volkswagen Golf $3,114
2 Tesla Model 3 $3,961
3 Volkswagen Jetta $4,050
4 Mazda3 $4,091
5 Kia Forte $4,352
6 Honda Civic $4,771
7 Hyundai Elantra $4,867
8 Toyota Camry $4,889
9 Nissan Sentra $4,923
10 Toyota Corolla $5,144

The best-selling passenger cars ranked by cheapest to insure in Alberta

The Volkswagen Golf also tops the chart for the cheapest auto insurance in Alberta. Most other vehicles seem to come in the middle of the road for auto insurance costs.

Rank Car make and model Average premium for vehicle model in
1 Volkswagen Golf $2,291
2 Volkswagen Jetta $2,523
3 Mazda3 $2,680
4 Honda Civic $2,891
5 Kia Forte $2,982
6 Tesla Model 3 $3,010
7 Toyota Camry $3,014
8 Nissan Sentra $3,050
9 Hyundai Elantra $3,111
10 Toyota Corolla $3,272

What goes into determining your auto insurance rate?

Auto insurance companies use several factors to determine the insurance rate you pay — details like your home address, driving record and insurance history. The vehicle you drive also plays a significant role in your premium.

Some vehicles tend to be involved in more collisions than others or have the propensity to be stolen, resulting in more claims. Usually, cars with higher claims on average will cost more to insure and vice versa.

The vehicle that costs you the least to insure may not be the car that’s the cheapest choice for someone else. It’s wise to compare auto insurance quotes to ensure you pay the best possible rate.

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Estimated annual fuel or charging cost

The cost of car ownership has skyrocketed over the past two years as soaring gas prices are leaving Canadians feeling squeezed. For this reason, it is more important now than ever to consider fuel and charging costs in your car-buying decision.

We ranked the passenger cars by the estimated annual fuel cost. Ultimately, the Tesla Model 3 soared to the top of the list for its fully electric technology.

Rank Car make and model Estimated annual fuel cost**
1 Tesla Model 3 $441 - $558
2 Toyota Corolla $1,628 (hybrid) - $2,812
3 Hyundai Elantra $1,628 (hybrid) - $2,886
4 Toyota Camry $1,813 (hybrid) - $3,478
5 Kia Forte $2,553 - $3,293
6 Volkswagen Jetta $2,590 - $3,145
7 Nissan Sentra $2,627 - $2,997
8 Volkswagen Golf $2,627 - $3,367
9 Honda Civic $2,627 - $4,013
10 Mazda3 $2,812 - $3,293

As you can see, your trips to the gas station can add up. It’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture when you pay $30 here and $50 there. However, if you’re in the market to buy a new car in 2022, keep an eye on fuel efficiency and insurance costs when making your new car purchase — it can help you save on car ownership.


*To get the average premium by make and province, we used actual data from people who have shopped for auto insurance at RATESDOTCA.

Since coverage can vary based on home address, age, and several other factors, we limited the scope of our analysis to provide a more accurate apples-to-apples comparison.

To get the average premium for each vehicle model in Ontario and Alberta, we used the following methodology:

  • Number of vehicles: 1
  • Number of drivers: 1
  • Clean driving record (no collisions, suspensions, or traffic tickets)
  • Age: 30-39
  • Gender: Male

We then ranked the models by the cheapest premium to most expensive premium. Results may vary based on your circumstances.

**The annual estimated fuel cost is based on driving 20,000 kilometres per year — a realistic distance for most Canadians — at fuel prices estimated to be $1.85/L for regular, $2.09/L for premium, and $2.26/L for diesel based on the national daily average retail prices for gasoline on May 3, 2022. This information comes from the Natural Resources Canada Fuel Consumption Ratings Search Tool. It does not include the additional costs of driving a plug-in hybrid electric model or battery electric vehicle. Consumption varies within a model due to options chosen when the car is purchased, how you drive, traffic, and road conditions.

Lesley Green

Lesley Green is a seasoned writer and editor. She previously worked at RATESDOTCA, sharing her expertise with the marketing team for nearly two decades. Lesley enjoys live theatre, travelling, curling and, depending on how well she's hitting the ball, golfing.

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