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UPDATED: May 6, 2020
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If you’re a new Smart car owner or thinking about buying one, you probably have some questions about insurance. Are smart cars cheap to insure, or do Smart cars cost more to insure than similar cars? What is the average insurance rate for a Smart car? We’ve got the answers you need.
Finding the best car insurance company for you can sometimes be a hassle, but it doesn’t have to be. In this guide, we will tell you everything you need to know about buying insurance for your Smart car and Smart car coverage insurance.
What do Smart cars cost to insure? Use our free quote tool to compare quotes easily.
What is Smart car insurance?
Buying insurance for a Smart car is very similar to purchasing a policy for any other car. One of the main differences is how the car’s price can affect how much insurance you need and how much your policy will cost.
It is important to note that car insurance companies use many factors when establishing policy prices, and many of them vary from state-to-state. Some of the more common factors that companies use to determine policy prices are:
- How much coverage you need
- How high or low you set your deductible
- Your age, address, and ZIP code
- Your driving record, including any past accidents or violations
- Your driving habits, including how frequently you drive and how many miles per year you average
- Your credit history
Not all of these factors apply in every state, so it is best to check with your car insurance provider to find out which factors apply to you and how you can use them to lower your car insurance premiums.
What is liability insurance for a Smart car?
Car liability insurance is the minimum insurance required by law in most states and applies to Smart cars just as it applies to all other vehicles. Liability insurance is intended to cover the other driver’s expenses if you are involved in a car accident.
The limits you are required to cover vary from state to state so you will need to contact your insurance provider to find out what they are.
Liability insurance is minimal coverage and does not cover the cost of any damage done to your own vehicle if you are in a crash, so you may choose to purchase additional coverage. Keep reading to learn more about what types of coverage are available to you.
What type of coverage do you need for your Smart car?
Like with all other cars, you’ll want to decide how much coverage you need. If you are financing your Smart car, your loan company may require you to carry full coverage insurance. Otherwise, you will need at least the minimum amount of liability insurance required by your state of residence.
Car insurance is meant to protect you in the event that you are involved in an automobile accident and need to file a claim. If you choose to purchase additional liability insurance or additional coverage, you will need to choose your coverage and deductible levels as needed. Other types of coverage you might consider are:
- Roadside Assistance – Many people wonder will my car insurance cover towing charges? This type of coverage is helpful for when your vehicle breaks down and can be used to pay for towing services, tire changes, etc.
- Gap Car Insurance – How does GAP car insurance work? This addition to your car insurance helps pay off your auto loan if your car is totaled or stolen and you owe more than the car is worth
- Medical Payment Coverage – This type of coverage may help pay for costs such as hospital visits, surgery, x-ray, etc. if you or your passengers are injured in an automobile accident
- New Car Replacement Coverage – This type of coverage is only available in some states and from certain companies and will pay to replace your vehicle in the event of an accident. In some cases, with Smart cars, this could be a cheaper alternative to full coverage insurance.
- Pay-as-you-go insurance coverage – This type of insurance offers rates based on each driver’s individual driving habits and is only available in some states and through certain companies
The table below shows some of the different types of policies and coverage available to you, along with what they do.
|Insurance Coverage Type||What It Does|
|Bodily injury liability||This is the part of your liability coverage that pays for medical bills if you've injured someone else in an automobile accident.|
|Property damage liability||This is the other part of liability coverage that covers the cost of any property damage you've caused in an automobile accident.|
|Personal injury protection||This type of coverage covers medical expenses for you or your passengers after an automobile accident.|
|Uninsured/underinsured motorist||This covers the costs if you're in an automobile accident caused by a driver with little or no car insurance.|
|Comprehensive||This type of insurance covers damage to your car that happens when you're not driving.|
|Collision||This type of insurance covers damage to your car after an automobile accident.|
Keep scrolling to learn more about Smart car insurance.
Are Smart cars expensive to insure?
All other factors being equal, Smart cars can sometimes cost less to insure per month than many other vehicles on the road. Whether you go with a liability only car insurance (is it really even cheaper?), a full coverage policy, or any number of variations of coverage in between, chances are good that your Smart car will be cheaper to insure than other large vehicles.
The main reason for this is that new Smart cars have a pretty small price tag compared to other cars. In turn, they are cheaper to replace, meaning that insurance companies put out less money when a claim is made regarding one of these cars. For this reason alone, your rates for full coverage insurance or a car replacement policy should be lower than for other larger cars.
There are also several other factors that affect this price difference such as safety and ownership and maintenance costs. Keep reading to learn more about the factors that affect how much you pay for your Smart car insurance policy.
How much is insurance on a Smart car?
As you can see from the table below, average annual insurance rates for hybrid vehicles are around $1,200 and the average annual rate for an electric vehicle is $1,215.
|Vehicle Type||Average Annual Rate|
Again, it is important to remember that these numbers are just averages and there are a number of factors that go into determining how much you actually pay for your car insurance policy.
So what’s the cheapest insurance for cars made by the Smart car company? It depends on a number of factors, which we’ll discuss. Read on for more.
What is the range of insurance for Smart cars?
If you’ve been considering purchasing a Smart car, you can rest assured that the insurance should be quite affordable. Gas-powered Smart cars are among some of the cheapest cars to insure. It is important to note that if you choose to purchase an all-electric vehicle, your insurance is going to be higher than if you go with a gas-powered model.
Insurance rates for electric vehicles are usually around 21 percent higher than for cars that run on gas.
Why do electric cars cost more to insure? First of all, electric models tend to carry a higher price tag, meaning the cars have a higher replacement cost. Repair costs are also higher because of the expensive battery system and the fact that they require specially trained mechanics to work on them.
The money that you save on car payments and gas will certainly add up to a substantial amount over time, though, possibly making up for this difference.
As the owner of an electric vehicle, you also may be eligible for a federal tax credit in the amount of $2,500 to $7,500. The Alternative Motor Vehicle Tax Credit is for placing a qualified fuel cell vehicle in service and may only be claimed by the original purchaser of the vehicle. It is only applicable to cars purchased before 2017.
If you choose to go with a gas-powered Smart car, you get the benefits of lower car insurance as well as savings on gas and car payments. This makes the Smart car a very good investment for the right kind of driver.
Do any car insurance companies cover the Smart Fortwo?
The Smart Fortwo is one of the most popular Smart car models and one of the cheapest to insure. The table below shows average annual rates for the Smart Fortwo models and also shows which companies offer the cheapest rates.
|Vehicle Model/Year||Average Rates||Cheapest Company||Cheapest Rates||Second Cheapest Company||Second Cheapest Rates|
|2011 Smart fortwo||$1,180||Cincinnati Insurance||$585||Vermont Mutual||$598|
|2012 Smart fortwo||$1,196||Cincinnati Insurance||$593||Texas Farm Bureau||$640|
|2013 Smart fortwo||$1,277||Cincinnati Insurance||$633||Texas Farm Bureau||$663|
|2014 Smart fortwo||$1,344||Cincinnati Insurance||$659||Texas Farm Bureau||$700|
|2015 Smart fortwo||$1,372||Cincinnati Insurance||$568||Texas Farm Bureau||$716|
|2016 Smart fortwo||$1,458||Cincinnati Insurance||$587||Texas Farm Bureau||$732|
|2017 Smart fortwo||$1,882||Cincinnati Insurance||$680||AllAmerica||$744|
Keep reading to learn more about Smart car insurance policies.
How long does it take to get a Smart car insurance quote?
It is easy and simple to get a car insurance quote for your Smart car.
You can request a free insurance quote in advance to see how much it might cost to purchase coverage for the vehicle before you decide on buying it; this may help you determine whether a Smart car is the best choice for your next family vehicle.
Sometimes by checking how much car insurance would cost before purchasing the vehicle, you can save yourself some headaches in the long run. You should always check beforehand to find out the costs of insuring a vehicle before you purchase it.
What kind of car is a Smart car?
The Smart car began as a project by Swatch, the Swedish watchmaker, who worked with Daimler-Benz to create the first tiny two-seaters, often referred to as “micro-cars.”
Nicolas Hayek, the man behind the Swatch company, was the main impetus behind the Smart car. His overall goal was to design a small car that was fuel-efficient, environmentally friendly, and able to park in areas where space is limited. The Smart car succeeded in all of these areas.
Keep scrolling to learn more.
Why do you call it a Smart car?
Hayek was not thrilled with the original models of the Smart car as they were gas-powered and not the modern electric marvels he imagined them to be. He was equally disappointed by the name “Smart” car which stands for Swatch Mercedes Art. He had originally hoped to call them “swatchmobiles.”
However, these cars did evolve over time, just like their name. They are now available in gas-powered, electric, and hybrid models. You can read more about the history of the Smart car by visiting Daimler’s Global Media Site.
How much does the Smart car cost?
Smart cars are also some of the cheapest vehicles on the market. Since the average Smart car price is less than $15,000 to purchase brand new, this makes them much cheaper to replace than other types of vehicles if they’re totaled out in an auto accident.
In turn, insurance companies will charge less for their premiums. Insurers face cheaper claims with cheaper cars, so it makes sense that it is a major factor in lowering car insurance prices for Smart cars. However, you should also remember that Smart cars depreciate in value fairly quickly, something to keep in mind when looking at a Smart car for sale.
The higher the price tag on your Smart car, the less beneficial this could be to you.
The more expensive the car, the more the insurance company will have to pay to replace it. This means higher premiums for you.
What is the most expensive Smart car?
Smart cars generally come with very bare accessories, so people who are accustomed to luxury vehicles may be disappointed in the lack of features.
Smart cars are meant to be economically friendly and fuel-efficient, not luxurious.
These cars do not come with a lot of extra features like many of today’s newer vehicles. For example, the 2017 Smart Fortwo sold for around $11,000 brand new, making it one of the most affordable cars on the market.
The most expensive Fortwo model, the Smart Fortwo Cabrio, costs just over $20,000 in electric form.
That being said, there are also luxury electric model vehicles out there and they are usually very expensive. They are also more expensive to insure.
Some of Tesla’s electric car models, for instance, sell for over $100,000 each. These luxury economical cars are much more expensive to insure because of the high replacement cost of the vehicle.
What are the benefits of a Smart car?
Most people who own Smart cars tend to be from low-risk driving populations. People choose this type of vehicle because they are environmentally conscientious, frugal, and statistically risk-averse. Many people have strong opinions about this type of car, and either love them or hate them.
While they are small and novel, Smart cars are not considered a primary target for thieves. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, Smart cars make up for a very small percentage of vehicle thefts in the nation each year.
You can watch the video below to learn a little bit more about what it’s like to be the owner of a Smart car.
It makes sense, then, that insurance companies see Smart car drivers as less likely to file an auto insurance claims. These drivers are considered low-risk by most insurance companies and, therefore, enjoy lower insurance premiums.
Smart cars are also underpowered, so it’s unlikely that people will engage in risky behaviors like those associated with sports cars or other high-powered autos.
While saving money on car insurance is a definite benefit, there are also other perks to owning a Smart car, such as low maintenance costs and excellent gas mileage. Keep reading to learn more.
How safe is the Smart car?
According to the Car Reliability Index, one of the most commonly purchased Smart cars, the Smart Fortwo has a reliability ranking of 53, which is better than the industry average. This scale is designed so that lower scores mean higher reliability. In this particular model, the engine was responsible for 31.25 percent of all faults, followed by the axles and the suspension.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gives the 2019 Smart Fortwo a superior safety rating. Keep reading to learn all you need to know about the safety of Smart cars.
Are Smart cars safe in accidents?
A lot of people worry about buying a Smart car because they believe that Smart cars are not safe. Smart cars actually do very well in safety tests despite their small size. There are some issues involved with the design and performance of Smart cars that future owners should take into consideration, though.
Although it does have a high safety rating, Smart cars are prone to certain kinds of collision damage that can be fairly serious. The car does not absorb damage as gently as larger vehicles, so minor accidents may cause more injuries and discomforts from whiplash or similar issues.
The size of these cars is of some safety concern, as well. Most of these cars are about eight feet long and five feet wide, so there isn’t a whole lot of space.
Crash tests have shown that the drivers, as well as the passengers of smaller vehicles, can be at a higher risk for injuries because of their body’s proximity to the front of the vehicle.
According to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the drivers of Smart cars are 12 times more likely to die in a car accident than those driving larger vehicles.
The Sacramento Injury Attorneys Blog backs up that statement: “The pint-sized cars do pretty well in crash tests, earning a five-star rating thanks to the vehicle’s race-style steel frame and generous use of high-tech side and front airbags. However, despite these great safety features, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) warns that these smaller cars are no match for larger cars in an accident.”
The video below demonstrates how the Smart car fares in various crash tests.
Smart cars are also generally under-powered, and people may find their performance lacking for highway driving or heavy commuting. People who are used to a more powerful vehicle will need some time to get used to driving a Smart car.
Are Smart cars dangerous to drive?
Despite their small size, Smart cars are surprisingly durable, and as far as safety concerns go, Smart cars have consistently tested well when it comes to safety on the road.
For instance, their steel frame resists crumpling, and the cars are more likely to roll, intact, than crumple. This makes them safer in many ways than family-sized sedans. There are also several other factors that enhance the safety of these vehicles.
- They’re lightweight and easily maneuverable, which also makes them less likely to cause substantial damage in auto accidents.
- They’re small.
- They’re capable of braking quickly.
- They cause little damage to other vehicles they collide with.
Most of the newest models of these vehicles feature “tridion” designs. The black and silver portions that are visible on these cars are made out of three layers of steel. This results in the energy from a crash being redistributed in a way that minimizes damage in the case of an impact.
You can read more about the safety ratings of Smart cars by visiting the Crash Test Ratings Section at AutoBlog.
Are Smart car engines reliable?
Among all the other benefits of buying a Smart car is the fact that they are super-efficient. By most estimates, a well-maintained Smart car can last up to three decades or more of ownership.
Keep reading to learn more about the reliability of Smart cars as well as servicing and maintenance costs.
How fast can a Smart car go?
The Smart Fortwo comes in several different models, including a few limited-edition versions. The engine of these Smart cars can go from zero to 60 mph in about 15 seconds, but the cars are set not to exceed the top speed of 84 mph. The reason for this is driver and passenger safety.
How often does a Smart car need servicing?
One issue that people often encounter as owners of Smart cars are the costs of repairs if they break down. Smart cars often require specially-trained mechanics to work on them, which can drive your costs up. They also often have expensive battery and engine systems, which can be pricey to repair or replace.
It is recommended that you take your Smart car in every 10,000 miles for a routine checkup.
Your mechanic may check your tire pressure, inspect the electrical systems of the vehicle, and clean your battery connections among other things. By keeping up with the proper maintenance, you can ensure that your vehicle drives smoothly and safely.
How much is the maintenance on a Smart car?
According to a study done by the American Automobile Association (AAA), electric and hybrid Smart cars have a pretty low overall cost of ownership. As you can see from the table below, when compared to a minivan or a pickup truck, they are generally cheaper cars to take care of.
|Vehicle Type||Annual Mileage |
|Annual Mileage |
|Annual Mileage |
|1/2-Ton Crew-Cab Pickup 4WD||$9,163||$10,839||$12,557|
Repair costs also factor into your car insurance rates. The price of repairs directly affects your premiums since the more it costs to fix your vehicle, the more your insurance provider will have to pay out in the event of an accident.
Are Smart cars cheap to run?
While some owners may take their Smart cars for the occasional cross-country trip due to their incredible gas mileage, this is not usually the case with these types of vehicles.
As a general rule, even among people who own them as primary cars, Smart cars are usually used for in-town driving, and they tend to rack up fewer miles than other types of vehicles.
This isn’t true of all Smart cars, but insurance companies often offer lower rates on Smart cars for this reason. Not only will owning a Smart car save you money on car insurance, but they also get excellent gas mileage.
How far can you drive a Smart car before stopping for gas?
Gas mileage varies from car to car and depends on whether the car is a hybrid or not. Most models get around 32 miles per gallon (mpg) while driving on city streets and up to 40 mpg while driving on the highway. How much does it take to fill up a smart car?
Most of these cars have a fuel tank capacity of 8.7 gallons, meaning you can drive for about 350 miles without stopping on a full tank of gas. The cost of that full tank will vary by area with local gas prices.
As newer models are released, they are getting even better gas mileage. Some models are completely electric and need no gas at all.
How far can you drive in a Smart car on a single charge?
Unfortunately, electric Smart cars do not have the longevity of gas-powered models. A fully charged electric Smart car can drive for only up to 58 miles before needing to recharge.
Many insurance companies offer discounts to drivers who opt for environmentally-friendly transportation, including Smart cars, electric cars, and hybrids.
Not all insurance companies offer these discounts, but they’re becoming more popular as “going green” becomes a mainstream lifestyle choice. You may also qualify for a number of other discounts not related to the purchase of your Smart car such as:
- Safe driver discounts for going multiple years without an accident
- Discounts for paying your annual premium in full rather than monthly
- Driver’s education discounts for completing a defensive driving course
- Good student discount for maintaining above a certain GPA
It’s always worth checking with your insurance company to find out who has the best car insurance discounts?
Unsure if a Smart car is the right choice for you?
Depending on your needs, a Smart car may or may not be the right choice for you. There are many factors to take into account when searching for the cheapest car insurance.
Not all Smart cars are two-seaters. Some Smart car models do have backseats, but they are still not roomy vehicles. Even Smart cars with four seats have very limited room in the rear seating area.
As far as large families are concerned, Smart cars are often too small to fit a large family’s needs.
In most cases, they are not capable of safely securing a child’s car seat in the vehicle. Families would need to consider a larger vehicle for these reasons.
Smart cars also do not offer much storage space. They’re not ideal for shopping trips, activities that require large amounts of equipment such as skiing or mountain biking, or long road trips. Many times, Smart cars are purchased as a family’s second vehicle used for short work commutes and solo trips. They are also ideal for single people or couples without children.
Smart cars are a relatively new phenomenon in America, although they have existed in Europe for many years. Of course, crowded European streets are better-suited to the tiny economical vehicles than the open roads of the United States, where muscle cars and sport utility vehicles reign.
Watch the following video for more information on what it’s like to own and drive a Smart car.
However, the small size and low sticker price of the Smart car make them quite appealing for the right type of buyer. As the economy struggles, many people are considering these economical and fuel-efficient vehicles. Not only are these cars cheap to purchase, but car insurance for Smart cars is usually quite affordable, as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
We’ve got answers:
How much does it cost to fill up a Smart car?
|Annual Fuel Cost||$1,050|
|Cost to Drive 25 Miles||$1.75|
|Cost to Fill the Tank||$22|
|Tank Size||8.7 gallons|
Can you drive a Smart car on the motorway?
Yes, they can go higher than 90 MPH.
Now that you know all you need to know about Smart car insurance, you can feel more confident in purchasing your Smart insurance policy. So what will Smart car insurance cost for you? We can help with that.
To compare Smart car insurance quotes, use our free quote tool right now.