Why is a Coupe More Expensive?

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From your first exposure to a Corvette at a car show to your first time seeing a Porsche 911 on the road, coupes have long been exciting cars for car enthusiasts and novices alike. But coupes are generally known to be more expensive than their sedan counterparts.

Opinions on why they’re more expensive are generally varied. Some believe that the added design features and more attractive styling justifies the higher price, whilst some think that automakers charge more simply because they can.

So why is a coupe more expensive?

Coupes are more expensive as car manufacturers sell fewer of them than sedans, so they’re more expensive to produce due to economies of scale. These additional costs are passed onto the buyer.

So we know that coupes are more expensive to buy, but how much do they cost, and are they more expensive to insure?

How Much Does a Coupe Cost?

The cheapest coupes cost $20,000 to $30,000 from new. Prices of second hand coupes differ depending on the age, condition, and the make of car, but can cost as little as $1,000.

Some examples of new coupes you can buy for $20,000 to $30,000 in the USA (and £20,000 to £30,000 in UK):

  • Ford Mustang (USA)
  • BMW 2 Series Coupe (UK)
  • Subaru BRZ (USA & UK)
  • Dodge Challenger (USA)
  • Toyota 86 (USA & UK)
  • Mercedes CLA (UK)
Subaru BRZ
Subaru BRZ

The types of car you can get for this money will depend on which country you live in, and new coupes seem to be more expensive in the UK than they are in the US. But this gives you an idea of the most affordable new coupes money can buy.

The second hand market is totally different, and you can pretty much name your price. There are coupes for every budget in this market.

Some examples of coupes you can buy for $10,000 / £10,000:

  • Audi TT
  • BMW 3 Series Coupe
  • Audi A5
  • Honda CR-Z
  • Nissan 350Z
Nissan 350Z
Nissan 350Z

Why are Coupes so Expensive?

Coupes are more expensive than regular cars for automakers to produce so the additional costs are passed onto the buyer. Also, car enthusiasts are often willing to pay more for a coupe.

As well as accounting for lower sales volumes, car manufacturers also need to consider several other factors when pricing their coupes.

There are additional costs to consider in the design process, and the engineering of the more complex design. For example, coupes don’t tend to have a B-pillar, meaning more structural rigidity is needed to make the car as safe as a sedan.

Coupes largely appeal to car enthusiasts, so the manufacturers are competing in a less-competitive market with these models. As a result, they can charge more and know that people will still buy their cars.

Audi R8
Some people buy expensive coupes as status symbols

People tend to splash out on luxury goods as status symbols. Examples include expensive watches and designer clothing, and many coupes can be seen as a luxury type of car. People are willing to pay more as a consequence.

Are Coupes More Expensive Than Sedans?

Coupes are more expensive than sedans. They cost more to build and appeal to a more niche market than sedans, so automakers can afford to charge more money for them.

The main reason that many sedans appear cheap in comparison to coupes is that they far outsell their coupe counterparts.

Historically manufacturers have sold far more 4 door cars than 2 door. This means the cost of building a sedan is cheaper thanks to economies of scale, so they don’t have to charge as much to the buyer to make a good profit margin.

Do 2 Door Cars Have Higher Insurance?

2 door cars tend to have higher insurance premiums as they are often sports cars, and targeted at drivers who are likely to be involved in more accidents.

Many 2 door coupes are sports cars, and these vehicles will unfortunately be more expensive to insure.

This isn’t to say that all 2 door cars have higher insurance. Certain 2 door cars that aren’t considered sports or luxury vehicles may have equal, or occasionally cheaper insurance than their 4 door counterparts.

Volvo C30
Some 2 door coupes aren’t considered luxury cars

In fact, it’s more that luxury vehicle insurance is priced higher than regular vehicles’ insurance. It just so happens that many luxury vehicles are also 2 door coupes.

Why do Coupes Cost More to Insure?

Coupes cost more to insure because they’re targeted at people who are likely to drive faster and be involved in more accidents. They’re also more expensive to repair in the event of a crash, and luxury cars are more likely to be stolen by thieves.

Insurance companies take many factors into consideration when quoting for a policy, and coupe owners can expect to suffer from higher premiums due to the following:

  • Car enthusiasts, often young males, are the perfect target market for manufacturers selling coupes. The data suggests that this demographic is more likely to drive faster and be involved in more accidents
  • A coupe is usually more expensive to buy from new, so the insurance company will have to pay more if it’s wrecked in a crash
  • Coupes are usually more expensive to repair even if they’re involved in a minor crash
  • Sports cars, many of which are coupes, are targeted by thieves more often than other types of car
Aston Martin Vantage S
Powerful coupes, such as this Aston Martin Vantage S, will always be more expensive to insure

How Much More is Insurance for a Coupe?

On average, coupe insurance is 15-20% more than sedan insurance.

How much more expensive the insurance is for your coupe will of course depend on many factors, primarily the cost of the car and how powerful the engine is.

On an average policy you can expect to pay a few hundred dollars more for a sporty coupe than you would for a sedan.

Are any Coupes Cheaper?

Coupes are not often cheaper than other types of car. You would need to search the used car market to find a cheaper coupe.

Whilst new coupes can be costly, there are plenty of bargains to be had in the used car market.

As coupes age, their values often decrease faster than the value of equivalent sedans. There is more demand for used sedans, which still appeal to the mass market.

Coupes, on the other hand, are still mainly bought by car enthusiasts. So the lower the demand, the lower the price.

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Adam Chinn writes about the intersecting worlds of classic cars, driving pleasure, and smart investment strategies. Starting his journey at 26, he’s proven that one doesn’t need to be wealthy to begin investing in classic cars.

Adam’s insights have been recognized on platforms such as MoneyInc, Swagger Magazine, and Top Speed.

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