Here's some consolation for those of us who will never own a Nissan GT-R due to its price tag (cheap as it may be for the performance it offers): GT-R owners, on average, pay almost three times as much to insure their coupes than owners of a Honda Accord.
According to Insure.com, which compiled a list of the 20 most and least expensive cars to insure in 2009, the Nissan GT-R is the most expensive. The Web site says that the average price to insure the GT-R for a 40-year-old male who commutes 12 miles to work, with policy limits of $100,000 for injury liability for one person, $300,000 for all injuries and $50,000 for property damage, and a $500 deductible on collision and comprehensive, is $2533 per year.
Why so high? Insure.com says vehicles that are more expensive to insure get that way because drivers of those vehicles submit more frequent and more expensive insurance claims. When a vehicle is in its first model year - like the GT-R - and no such data exists, the insurance rates are derived from the MSRP, which in the GT-R's case was about $77,000 (it's since been raised to $81,790). Some companies also pay special attention to sports cars like the GT-R, rating those vehicles based on power-to-weight ratios or 0-60 mph times.
Sports cars dominate the list of the most expensive vehicles to insure in 2009. Below the Nissan GT-R were the Dodge Viper ($2446), the BMW M6 ($2236), and the Ford Shelby GT500 ($2186). The least expensive vehicle to insure, according to Insure.com's list, is the Hyundai Santa Fe midsize SUV at $832. The Kia Sportage is a close second ($840), while the Hyundai Entourage is the third least expensive ($848).
The Santa Fe was the least expensive vehicle to insure based on several facts: Its MSRP is low, starting around $22,000; it is "substantially better than average" for comprehensive insurance losses according to the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI); and it is "better than average" for collision and personal injury protection insurance losses.
A surprise on the least expensive list is the presence of the Smart Fortwo. Kim Hazelbaker of the HLDI says the Fortwo's low insurance costs stem from the fact that Mercedes has packed the Fortwo full of safety features, and ships body panels for repairs pre-painted. An older demographic is also apparently attracted to the Smart compared with other cars.
To compare the rates, Insure.com says it used the same profile mentioned above of the 40-year-old man, and averaged the rates across multiple zip codes and insurance companies. The complete lists can be found at Insure.com.