What’s Cheaper to Insure – An Automatic or Manual Vehicle?
Last Updated on June 20, 2019
Manual vehicles are declining in popularity. However, a number of drivers still debate whether it’s cheaper to insure an automatic or manual vehicle.
What’s the cheapest vehicle to insure? Today, we’re explaining the difference between insuring automatic and manual vehicles.
Automatic Cars Are More Expensive to Insure than Manual Cars
Automatic cars tend to cost more to insure than manual cars. Automatic cars are also costlier to repair. The difference is not significant. However, there is a difference.
UK-based car insurance provider Admiral conducted a study and found that premiums were 5.63% higher for automatic vehicles compared to manual vehicles.
“This seemed mostly driven by the increased costs of an insurance claim for an automatic and also an increased claim frequency,” explained Admiral.
In other words, automatic cars experienced more breakdowns than manual vehicles. And, when automatic vehicles require repairs, those repairs tend to be more expensive. All of this means higher costs for insurance providers who insure automatic vehicles. Insurance companies pass these higher costs onto the drivers of automatic vehicles.
Your Insurance Company Always Analyzes your Car’s Make, Model, Year, and Type
Your insurance company looks at hundreds of factors to provide you with a personalized rate on car insurance. Your car’s make, model, year, and type all play a crucial role in the price you pay for car insurance.
Yes, your car’s transmission – also known as the gearbox – will affect the price you pay for car insurance. Your insurance company will likely ask – or discover – whether you’re driving a car with an automatic or manual transmission. Depending on what they discover, you might pay more or less for car insurance.
Your car’s transmission type is a relatively minor factor in the price of your car insurance. There are dozens of other factors that will have a bigger effect on your car insurance rates, including all of the following:
- The age of your vehicle
- Your driving record and incident history
- The area you live in
- The make and model of your vehicle
- The value of your vehicle
- The type of insurance you’re buying (basic liability, comprehensive, collision, etc.)
- Your deductible
Some People Drive More Safely in an Automatic Vehicle
Some drivers make a different argument when comparing the costs of insuring an automatic vehicle versus a manual vehicle.
Basically, this argument boils down to this:
Yes, automatic cars are slightly more expensive to insure, but some people are more likely to get into a collision in a manual vehicle than an automatic one, which will raise your rates in the long run.
In general, there’s no significant difference in accident statistics between manual and automatic vehicles. Otherwise, insurance companies would charge significantly different rates to drivers of either type of vehicle.
However, certain people are more comfortable driving an automatic vehicle than a manual one. You might have more experience driving an automatic car, for example. That leads to a reduced risk of accidents and safer driving habits.
Automatic cars can also be easier to drive and park on hills. Manual cars are more likely to stall. Some drivers find manual cars to be more restrictive than automatic cars.
If you are more comfortable driving an automatic car, then automatic cars can be cheaper to insure in the long run. All it takes is one accident, one parking mistake, or one stalled vehicle collision to cause your rates to rise.
The difference in insurance prices between an automatic and manual vehicle is about 5%, but the difference in insurance prices between a driver with a clean driving record and a bad driving record can be up to 100%.
Of course, other drivers feel safer driving a manual vehicle – so this certainly doesn’t hold true for all drivers.
Ultimately, automatic cars are generally slightly more expensive to insure than manual cars.
The reason is simple: car insurance premiums are higher for automatic cars because the repairs for automatic transmissions are more expensive – and more frequently required – than repairs on cars with manual transmissions. Your insurance company pays higher compensation on claims involving automatic vehicles, and they’ll pass these higher costs onto drivers like you.
Of course, the difference in price between automatic and manual vehicles isn’t significant enough to warrant dropping your insurance plan or switching providers instantly. The difference, with most insurance companies, is between 2% and 7%. Nevertheless, the difference in insurance prices between manual and automatic vehicles is one of many things to consider when shopping for vehicles.