The Altima and Sonata are very closely matched. Over a 5 year period, there is only about a $1,000 difference in the cost of owning the two cars. And even though the Altima has a slightly lower sticker price, it is the Sonata which edges out to a slightly lower overall cost. The Sonata is expected to get fewer repairs over the years, but it is the cost of insurance which plays the largest part in what it will cost to own one of these cars.
In 5 years, a Nissan Altima will cost roughly $2303 annually, and about $11,529. In contrast, the Hyundai Sonata costs something like $1716 each year for a rough total of about $8,590. This savings is based on such things as highway safety statistics and standard safety devices, among other factors. The safer a vehicle is, and the lower the number of accidents the model has been in, the lower the cost to insure it.
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These figures are based on drivers with excellent driving and credit records, and will not reflect most drivers. Your own insurance costs will vary dramatically according to your personal data, but you will see the best rates if you have a safe driving history and a credit score of 650 or higher. There are more than a dozen factors involved in determining your auto insurance rates, including possible discounts based on your occupation or whether you have a college degree.
A difference of $3000 for insurance is an eye-opening one, especially among two cars that are so closely matched in overall cost to own. It indicates that the Altima is more likely to cause accidents or incur more severe damages, based on past experience. It demonstrates that insurance companies perceive the Sonata as a lower risk and are willing to lower the premiums because of that. If safety is a primary concern, you might do well to look into the highway safety statistics for this car before investing in it.