MADISON (WKOW) -- The Wall Street Journal ran a story last week advising car shoppers to check up on car insurance rates before they buy.
It's an interesting suggestion, because car insurance rate differences between cars usually aren't top of mind to many buyers.
The Subaru Impreza can cost an adult male driver $900 a year in Madison, but the Honda Odyssey, for instance, only costs $500. The two cars attract a different kind of driver, says UW Business School professor Martin Halek, and that accounts for some of the difference.
Sports car drivers, according to Halek, may drive faster and get into more expensive accidents if they happen to get into an accident.
The federal government's Highway Loss Data Institute compares different makes and models according to total accident and insurance claims filed by drivers of different cars.
Essentially, you end up paying more if other people who buy your car aren't good drivers, statistically speaking.
Car shoppers would be wise to check into insurance costs before buying. Madison agent Mike Bolger of American Family says most of his customers ask about the insurance premiums "after they've already finished with the dealership's finance manager," he says.
Email Dan Cassuto at firstname.lastname@example.org