We've been talking a lot about value on the Convoy blog lately, so it might seem strange to suddenly be talking about expensive cars and their just-as-expensive insurance premiums. But there is still value in a luxury car - for those who can afford the upfront cost, a luxury car comes with certain features that other cars don't, such as included maintenance, higher quality (and longer lasting) parts, and a much higher resale value compared to your average family sedan. And for those who are in the market for a higher end vehicle do have their own value needs to consider - one of which is the higher cost of full coverage insurance.
You might think that insuring your new $100,000 luxury car or SUV would be a relatively affordable car to insure, given that you are older, you own your home, you have established credit, and you have a near-perfect driving record (compared to a 21-year old in a Mustang flooring it at every stop light on his way to his job at Starbucks). After all, car insurance is calculated by combining certain risk factors, such as your age, your driving record, your zip code, whether the car is prone to theft, how powerful the car's engine is, and even how much damage the car could do to others or property in a collision. Plus, no one looks for the most expensive cars to insure and blindly selects their next set of wheels from that list. But there is another factor that most companies don't publicize in the search for affordable insurance premiums.
It appears that since the following models cost so much to build in the first place (indicated by their astronomical price tags), they also tend to cost a whole lot more than a Civic to fix after a fender bender. This list of the ten most expensive cars to insure (excluding the ultra-exotic, like Ferraris or Lamborghinis) comes from Forbes and Quadrant Information Services, which gathered data from the nation’s five largest insurance carriers. So before you treat yourself to that "accomplished adult" Mercedes, read on. To arrive at the estimated annual insurance premiums, we used calculations from MSN Money based on a 40-year old male in California.
Image: James Hamel
10) 2014 Audi A8L W12: This is an aluminum-bodied car and it is important to know that despite the fact that aluminum allows carmakers to build lighter, more efficient automobiles, that as a metal it is much harder to work with for a body shop. Not only are any dented panels nearly impossible to repair and usually require replacing, the cost of aluminum is higher than steel. But this is the simply ravishing looking Audi A8; Germanic muscularity at its most handsome (swoon). A shame, then, if you should crash this rather large, long-wheelbase version with the brutally powerful 12-cylinder engine (also found in many Bentley models). $2,567
9) 2014 Jaguar XK/XKR: Another aluminum-bodied car that forces insurance premiums up due to their difficulty to fix. Plus, this coupe/convertibles' speed capabilities no doubt conspire to win it this position. $2,983
8) 2014 Porsche Panamera Turbo S: You would think if you bought a Porsche Turbo and picked the more responsible sedan over the top-heavy SUV or one of their iconic sports coupes that you would be given a lower insurance rate. You would be wrong. $3,792
7) 2014 Mercedes G63 AMG: It has 563 horsepower and starts around $140,000, yet as an SUV it is really not comfortable for on road use - where most owners keep these vehicles. They are built with four separate locking differentials for optimum off-road traction, and their slab-sided appearance may look militaristic, which no doubt is little help in crowded supermarket parking lots where no one watches where they are going. This SUV should be rear ended by a rhino in Africa, not by a Toyota Prius outside CVS. $3,811
Image: James Hamel
6) 2014 Mercedes Benz GL63AMG: It costs $118,000 to purchase (that's without options), comes with a supercharged 550 horsepower V8 engine, yet still looks like any other three-row crossover SUV doing the daily school run. Only this one can do it much faster and is more likely to get its driver in trouble than in your average Ford Explorer. $4,245
5) 2014 Mercedes Benz CL550: It’s odd to us that this is the “base” version of the CL two door coupe (that next year is replaced by the more stylish and advanced S-Class coupe). And to top it off, the CL has one more powerful V8 engine from Mercedes with the top motor coming from AMG. Those can’t be cheap to insure either. Not for a car that looks like a chubby Accord Coupe. $4,476
4) 2014 Nissan GT-R Track Edition: This special edition of the already insane GT-R sport coupe (nicknamed “Godzilla” in its native Japan) is meant for people who love to take their rides out to the race track on weekends and drive them to the absolute limits. Some people can handle that kind of driving, in a controlled environment, but this GT-R edition comes with a twin-turbo, hand-built, 545 horsepower V6 engine, whose brutal thrust comes on quite unexpectedly to the uninitiated. And did we mention this “Godzilla” also breathes fire and can knock over skyscrapers? $4,993
3) 2014 Audi R8 5.2 Spyder: This is the only other Audi on this list and guess what? It is also the only other Audi that is entirely made from aluminum body panels. Adding to the cost is that the Spyder is a convertible and maintaining vehicular body rigidity when it already has no top will always require more work, thus more expense. $5,018
2) 2014 Mercedes Benz SLS AMG GT: This coupe has lift up “gull-wing doors,” but not just any gull-wing doors. Scoff. No, these doors are designed in a way that if the car flips over in an accident the built-in incendiary devices will blow the doors away from the car allowing the owner’s escape. That can’t be cheap to fix. $5,371
1.) 2014 BMW M6: Since no list on expensive car insurance premiums would be complete without a BMW, and boy does this model represent. The M6 may cost a bit more to insure than the aforementioned Mercedes coupes, but the M6 is just as potent a racer and starts at a more palatable $110,000. Not that we ever thought that would sound like a bargain price to us, but hey, maybe you did really well in your 30s. $5,435
If these numbers are making you anxious, check out our list of the least expensive cars to insure!
James Hamel is a freelance road tester, auto journalist, and Motor Press Guild full member. Find past work at Autobytel.com and current work at iSeeCars.com. Contact James at [email protected].