Any way to lookup typical liability costs for a car?

I’m looking for a car for my daughter and was surprised at some of the seemingly random variations in liability costs in different vehicles or even the same vehicles over different years. For example, a 96 Pathfinder might be $300 but a 2002 Pathfinder is $500. So even though they are similar cars, the costs are very different. Keep in mind, this is the cost for liability, not collision. I fully understand why collision would be different, but I don’t fully understand why the liability would be so much greater in a newer car.

What I’ve had to do is keep calling my insurance agent for each specific car to see what the rates would be. That’s a hassle to do over the phone each time for each car I find. I’ve also used some of the online auto insurance quote websites, but that’s a pain since I have to go through all the initial config screens.

What I really want is a website where I can enter the specific make/model/year and get an idea of what the relative liability would be. Something like a scale from 1-100 where I can see that the 96 Pathfinder is at 40 on the scale and the 2002 is at 60. That would save me a lot of time so I could easily dismiss the cars with high liability costs.

If you can work with an A through E scale, State Farm has a liability index tool at

As to the “why” it comes down to aggregated claims history and what costs more to fix.

Liability is 95% about the driver, their age, sex, driving record etc., the kind of car shouldn’t matter too much. But almost any car with only two doors (except an economy car) is going to be considered a ‘sport’ model and will have higher liability. Trucks and large SUVs can also do more damage so they’ll be higher in general too. Not sure why liability on a 96 Pathfinder would be less than an 02. The early SUVs were ‘tippier’ and had fewer airbags so I’d expect them to be slightly less safe (and liable to injure passengers and/or other drivers).

And just my observation, but car insurance is something the internet was made for (like booking airline tickets). I haven’t used an insurance agent in 20 years*!* :smiley:

Thanks for the link. Too bad it doesn’t have the ratings for the different years as well, but it’ll give me a place to start.

The difference from car to car is mostly about the kinds of people who tend to drive the cars. That’s why you get the odd situation where identical cars wearing different badges have different insurance rates. For example, looking at gotpasswords’s link, the Subaru BRZ is cheaper to insure than the Scion FR-S, the VW Routan is cheaper than the Dodge Grand Caravan and the GMC Canyon and Sierra 1500’s are cheaper than the Chevy Colorado and Silverado 1500.

I also believe they’re based on each company’s internal loss statistics, so they will vary a bit from company to company.