12 Nov 2008

Thinking Green: It’s All About Tradeoffs

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This Wall Street Journal article (HT2 Rob Bradley) explains that some of the money you save in fuel from switching to a high-mpg vehicle is offset by higher insurance premiums:

Small cars generally cost more to insure than larger ones because they’re involved in more accidents and incur bigger claims, especially for injuries. That’s true regardless of the driver profile, though younger and less-experienced drivers tend to buy smaller, cheaper cars.

A 40-year-old male driver would pay an average of $1,704 to insure a 2009 Mini Cooper that gets 37 miles per gallon on the highway, according to a study by Insure.com, an online insurance broker. That same driver would pay only $1,266 — a difference of $438 — to insure a Toyota Sienna Minivan, which gets 23 mpg.

Similarly, a Honda Civic compact that gets 36 mpg on the highway costs $412 more a year to insure than a Honda CR-V, a small sport-utility vehicle that gets 27 mpg.

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