Does Car Color Affect Car Insurance Rates?

Red cars don't have higher car insurance rates. Driving and claims history are more reliable indicators of the insurance rates you will pay.
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One of the common questions asked about car insurance is whether or not the color of a car affects the rate. Some people may not care deeply about the color of their car, so if insurance companies change their rates based on color, this would probably affect car-buying habits. The fact of the matter is, however, that car insurance rates are not affected by the color of a vehicle. This urban legend has been so frequently repeated that it is treated as an established truth, but in reality insurance companies are concerned with much more concrete determinants of driving patterns.

Do owners of red cars pay more car insurance?

The most familiar worry regarding the color of a car is that owners of red cars will pay more for car insurance. This misconception stems from the belief that police pull over and ticket red cars more commonly than cars of other colors. Don’t worry: this is also false.
Tickets are due to objective violations, such as speeding, which is measured by radar guns, and are not based on subjective factors like color. While the belief may have come into existence from the popular association of flashy sports cars and racing with the color red, there is nothing to corroborate this trend in ticketing patterns or insurance rates as a result.
One study has suggested that color may have an effect on the likelihood of an accident. This is not because of the color per se but is due to visibility issues. A car that is white will be more visible at night, for example, than a darker car, and may result in a higher chance of an accident, but even this does not mean that insurance rates change accordingly.
As a matter of fact, Kristopher Kirchen, president of Advanced Insurance Managers, remarks that “the color of your vehicle is not even a question on the insurance application, and it is a non-factor.”

What factors do insurance companies take into consideration?

Since the information insurance companies receive comes from the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) associated with your car, it is very rare that the insurance company even knows the color of your car let alone charges you a higher rate because of it.
The only case where color may come into play is if your vehicle has a custom paint job, but, again according to Kirchen, this is due to the fact that custom modifications in general affect rates rather than the paint itself.
The factors that do affect your insurance rates are much more directly related to your individual driving habits and the status of the car you own. The following are a few common indicators of whether or not you should expect higher rates.
  • A consistent history of moving violations and tickets
  • Poor credit
  • Frequent claims
  • Reliability of the insured vehicle
While it is not necessarily guaranteed that any one of these will increase your rates, they are much more likely to do so than the color of your car.
If you are worried about having an increased car insurance rate, it is wiser to address the above areas of concern or take advantage of special discounts than to focus on the color of the car. Certainly, if you are concerning about your insurance premium, then don’t let color steer you away from a safer ride.
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