• Car insurance premiums can vastly differ from city to city
  • NerdWallet.com has developed the Ford F-150 Insurance Index
  • Average annual car insurance premium for an F-150 is $1,003.98

Consumers often forget to consider insurance premiums in their car-buying decisions. But insurance is just as much a part of a vehicle's cost of ownership as fuel or maintenance. And it often varies greatly depending on geography. To sift through some of the confusion, NerdWallet.com, a consumer-friendly financial literacy website, has developed the Ford F-150 Insurance Index, which uses America's top-selling vehicle to illustrate the differences in insurance premiums from city to city. The variances can be eye-opening. For example, insuring an F-150 in Detroit costs eight times more than insuring a car in Boise.

The index reveals that six of the 10 most affordable places to own an F-150 are in California, yet California is one of the states where the F-150 is not a best-seller. It also determines that the average annual insurance premium for an F-150 is $1,003.98.

NerdWallet's methodology for this study was to retrieve quotes for four different driver profiles in the 150 most populous cities: 27-year-old single men and women, and 40-year-old married men and women. For each driver profile, they chose each city's two least expensive insurance quotes to determine an overall average and then divided this number by the local median income.

Here are the 10 most affordable and 10 least affordable cities to own a Ford F-150:

MOST AFFORDABLE

RankingCityAverageMedian Income% of Median Income
1Fremont, Calif.$754.38$100,5740.7501%
2Arlington, Va.$810.60$100,4740.8068%
3Irvine, Calif.$783.96$96,2780.8143%
4Huntington Beach, Calif.$751.75$80,0200.9395%
5San Jose, Calif.$783.24$80,0900.9779%
6Gilbert, Ariz.$810.13$79,9161.0137%
7Santa Clarita, Calif.$818.81$78,8941.0379%
8Scottsdale, Ariz.$788.69$72,1021.0939%
9Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.$815.75$74,1181.1006%
10Boise, Idaho$534.74$47,4461.1270%

LEAST AFFORDABLE

RankingCityAverageMedian Income% of Median Income
1Detroit, Mich.$4,199.43$23,60017.7942%
2Hialeah, Fla.$1,706.18$28,8785.9082%
3Newark, N.J.$1,830$31,2935.8480%
4New Orleans, La.$1,962.91$34,3615.7126%
5Providence, R.I.$1,887.14$33,9895.5522%
6Miami, Fla.$1,530.55$28,3015.4081%
7Grand Rapids, Mich.$2,014.92$38,6435.2142%
8Baton Rouge, La.$1,587$38,8064.0896%
9Brownsville, Texas$1,138.75$29,6193.8447%
10St. Louis, Mo.$1,207.13$31,9973.7726%


What it means to you: Whether you're in the market for an F-150 or an entirely different vehicle, you should acquire a sense for what insurance premiums will be in your area. This may help inform your overall car-buying decision.

author photo

Jessica Shea Choksey is an automotive journalist and former writer/reporter for the PBS/Discovery Channel television series "MotorWeek." She began her career in journalism as an editor for numerous magazines and publications mainly outside of the automotive field. Jessica currently resides with her family, in Southern California.

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