June 21, 2024
Car insurance for smart cars: Average premiums by model

You might have seen a smart car zipping around a city street near you. They are typically easy to park in congested urban zones and use very little fuel. Mercedes no longer produces the smart Fortwo in the U.S. However, they’re still sought after in the preowned market. While prices vary by location and the vehicle’s condition, the current fair market price for a 2019 smart Fortwo Prime model is about $15,061, according to Kelley Blue Book. If you are thinking about purchasing one, you may want to consider the cost of insurance for these types of cars. The average annual cost of full coverage car insurance for a smart Fortwo Prime is $1,865, according to 2023 rates from Quadrant Information Services, which is 7 percent lower than the 2023 national average of $2,014 per year. However, many factors affect the cost of car insurance for smart cars, including the model you own, the type of coverage you get, your driving record and more.


How much is insurance for a smart car?

Bankrate’s insurance editorial team examined two different styles of smart Fortwo to help give you a starting point as you shop for car insurance.


Models included in this review:


smart Fortwo EQ Prime

smart Fortwo EQ Pure

The average cost of car insurance is affected by many things — and a vehicle’s make and model is one of the most significant. Smart Fortwo vehicle-specific factors that could affect insurance rates include:


Crash rate stats per make/model: Smart Fortwos received a rating of “basic” to “good” from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Although they are fairly safe, their size may not provide as much protection in a crash as a larger vehicle. Previous models of the smart Fortwo received a four-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, but the most recent model was not rated.

Price of parts: The smart Fortwo has higher-than-average repair costs, with an average expense of $751 per year. The cost of parts, as well as the limited number of mechanics familiar with the model, may be contributors to the cost of insuring smart Fortwo vehicles.

Safety features: Smart Fortwos have a number of safety features. For example, the Tridion safety shell is a steel cage in the shape of a hemisphere that encompasses the car. The vehicles also come equipped with side and knee airbags, anti-lock brakes and smart seatbelts capable of detecting changes in motion.

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Car insurance for a smart car by model

Car insurance rates for smart cars can depend on many factors. The vehicle’s age, value and model can affect rates in similar ways as your location, driving record and average mileage. Bankrate collected quote data to bring you an average cost of auto insurance for small cars to use for comparison. To get a more accurate rate based on personal circumstances, you can get online quotes from a handful of car insurance companies to compare.


Car insurance for smart Fortwo EQ Prime

The Prime is smart Fortwo’s upper trim level. At the time of manufacturing, it was also available as a Sports or BRABUS Sports package. The model’s higher value may cause premiums to be slightly higher than lower trim levels.


smart Car Fortwo EQ Prime car insurance Average annual premium

Minimum coverage $571

Full coverage $1,865

Car insurance for smart Fortwo EQ Pure

The Fortwo EQ Pure is the most affordable, entry-level trim. Full coverage is slightly less expensive than the Prime model.


smart Fortwo EQ Pure car insurance Average annual premium

Minimum coverage $573

Full coverage $1,792

Cheapest car insurance companies for smart cars

Choosing the right insurance company could make the most significant difference in the cost of car insurance for smart cars. Bankrate collected quote data from five of the best car insurance companies with the largest market share to show you how rates may vary based on the carrier.


Average annual premium for full coverage by model

Car insurance rates for the Prime and Pure are closely priced. However, premiums can vary significantly for the same level of coverage from one car insurance company to another.


Car insurance company smart Fortwo EQ Prime smart Fortwo EQ Pure

Amica $1,423 $1,330

Erie $1,031 $1,056

Geico $1,105 $1,056

State Farm $1,856 $1,747

USAA $1,160 $1,117

Smart car features that impact insurance costs

Some smart car features could lower insurance costs, especially safety equipment, which may be the most important component that keeps insurance rates affordable. The smart Fortwo’s safety features are designed in layers to protect the passenger and driver:


Tridion steel cage: The outer safety shell of a smart Fortwo makes up for the vehicle’s small size, which could otherwise be vulnerable in a crash with a larger vehicle such as an SUV. The hard, crumple-resistant steel helps protect the driver and passenger in case of a collision.

Airbags: Smart Fortwos come equipped with dual front, side and knee airbags. They work together to reduce the risk of serious injury in case of a serious collision.

Smart seatbelts: The seatbelts are motion-sensing. They adapt before a crash occurs to restrain the driver and passenger shortly before a collision.

Other car insurance coverage for a smart car

Nearly all states require drivers to carry a minimum level of vehicle insurance. However, a state’s minimum may not be enough. It is likely that you will need liability coverage to drive legally. However, liability insurance only helps for damage you cause to other vehicles and property or for injuries you cause to others who were not in your vehicle. If your car is damaged, liability insurance will not cover repair or replacement costs for your car. The following optional coverage types could expand your protections:


Comprehensive and collision insurance: Together, the two coverage options make up full coverage, providing reimbursement up to policy limits for damage to your vehicle after an approved claim for such causes as collisions, theft, fire, flooding, hail damage and vandalism.

Medical payments: Adding medical payments coverage can help pay for you and your passenger’s medical bills in case of an accident, regardless of who is at fault.

Original equipment manufacturer (OEM): This add-on helps ensure repairs will be made using the original manufacturer’s parts.

How to save on car insurance for a smart car

While smart car insurance is typically more affordable than standard auto insurance, there are a number of ways that you can save, including shopping around for cheap smart car insurance. Here are three ways to reduce insurance costs:


Compare quotes: The best way to find affordable smart car insurance is by requesting quotes from multiple insurance providers and finding the coverage that best fits your desired coverage level and budget.

Utilize discounts: You can qualify for a number of insurance discounts for your smart car, including safety feature discounts. You can also bundle your policies to save, and opt for savings through billing options like autopay.

Consider usage-based insurance: Some insurance companies offer policies that base premiums on actual driving behavior, potentially resulting in lower costs for safe drivers or those who don’t frequently use their vehicles.

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