The following post on selecting an insurance-friendly vehicle comes from David Bakke, who writes about budgeting, smart spending, insurance options, and retirement for Money Crashers, an online guide to improving financial fitness.

While we all try to get the best price when buying a new car, people often forget to factor in the cost of auto insurance. And depending on the type of car you choose, it could be a make-or-break consideration. Though many factors go into determining a person’s annual car insurance premium, the car itself certainly plays a role.

For example, insuring a sensible 2013 Toyota Sienna costs about half of what it costs to insure that cherry red, spit-shined 2013 Porsche Caymen R you’ve been eyeing (though not because of the color!). And that’s a difference that adds up. So next time you’re shopping for a new ride, use these 5 tips for picking an insurance-friendly car.

1. Research premiums

Before you buy your new car, go online to get a quote for that year, make, and model. The results may be enlightening. Though there are moves you can make to minimize your costs, such as increasing your deductibles or dropping comprehensive or collision coverage, it’s important not to sacrifice solid protection for a shiny new car.

Considering a new car? Get an online quote from Esurance.

2. Avoid high-performance vehicles

Sports cars, large SUVs, luxury cars, and anything, well, souped-up all come with boosted insurance premiums because they generally cost more to repair or replace. Safety is also a factor — a small, zippy sports car generally offers fewer safety features and attracts more lead-footed drivers than a modest midsized sedan. Plus, these cars are typically gas guzzlers, which will also add to your expenses.
So unless you’re prepared to shoulder the many surrounding costs for your dream car, your best bet is to simply stay away from these high-end rides. Sensible choices reap their own rewards.

3. Research average repair costs

Cars that are more expensive to insure are generally more expensive to fix and sometimes require hard-to-find parts. Research the typical repair and maintenance costs for vehicles in your area. On many sites, you’ll find average ownership costs broken down into various categories. You can also research which cars cost the least (and most) to repair, which are worthy considerations (and ones that your insurance company will also take into account).

4. Know the stolen vehicle statistics

As you might imagine, cars that are more likely to be stolen are more expensive to insure. You can find stolen-car statistics through the National Insurance Crime Bureau. (Esurance recently reported on the most stolen vehicles of 2011.) If you’re shopping for a new car, the good news is that shiny new cars are not the most commonly stolen.

5. Go with a less expensive model

Add-ons that come standard on high-end models, such as sunroofs and built-in navigation systems, are nice to have but expensive to repair. Yes, this too means higher insurance premiums. You’ll be spending enough on your new car as it is, so if you’re willing to forego some of these luxuries, you can save on the sale price and on your insurance premium.

Final thoughts

Before you decide on your next car, do your homework to investigate how it will affect your car insurance premium. A little reality check can have a big impact on what you have to lay out each month.

DIY hacks | Getting there