Does The Color Of Your Car Affect Your Car Insurance Premium?

“Don’t buy a red car — they cost more to insure!” Chances are you’ve heard this adage at some point in your life, particularly when you’re shopping around for a vehicle. You may also have heard that white cars cost less to insure because they’re less visible. But is this really true? Do insurance companies really care what color your car is? Let’s dig into the facts.

So Do Red Cars Really Cost More to Insure?

The short answer is: no, not really. But there’s a little more to it than that.

Insurance companies generally do not use car color to set their premiums. With a few exceptions (of which red is not one), they don’t care what color your car is, whether it’s asphalt gray or bright green. But the misconception that red cars cost more does have its root in a few realities.

For one, red cars tend to be pulled over more often by police. This doesn’t have anything to do with the insurance companies at all, but rather a preconceived notion that motorists driving red cars tend to drive faster. Getting pulled over more often means a higher likelihood of getting a traffic violation, which will in turn raise insurance premiums.

Secondly, red is also a common color for sports car buyers, and people with sports cars, in general, tend to drive faster and more recklessly than most motorists. This also ties into the previous note about the police: drivers of red cars, even if they’re not sports cars, garner a reputation for being fast drivers.

There are a few exceptions when it comes to car color, however, and these could attract higher insurance rates.

Unusual colors such as purple or pink may result in higher premiums, because if there is a claim for repairs, it will likely be more difficult and expensive to respray those cars than if they were painted a more common color. This is also true of metallic and pearl colors — and if you have custom paint like racing stripes or flames or the like on your vehicle, you will have to inform your insurer, as they will have the original paint color on your policy and will have to update that information. Needless to say, these may also be more expensive to repair (and thus cost more in insurance premiums).

Finally, some colors that are popular with car thieves may or may not raise your rates, depending on how expensive the vehicle is. These colors include black, gold, green, and ironically, white. But again, that depends heavily on the make, model, and year of the vehicle.

Aside from these few exceptions, insurance companies aren’t particularly concerned with your car’s color. However, that doesn’t mean you should ignore your car’s paintwork entirely — if your paint and chassis is heavily neglected, you might end up with your claim for body repair work being rejected. Prevention can be key here — it’s worth investing some time and money into protecting your paintwork and chassis so you don’t end up stuck with an unnecessary repair bill.

So What Does Affect Insurance Rates?

When it comes to which car you choose, there are a few factors that may affect your insurance rates, as pointed out by Ross Martin at The Zebra. These are things like the make, model, and year of your vehicle, its general condition, how many miles are on the car, and whether or not you have any safety or anti-theft devices installed on the vehicle. All of these play a much bigger factor in insurance premiums than color, as do factors like age, marital status, driving record, and where you live.

If you do find yourself paying more than you’d like for your auto insurance, you’re not without options. Cheap car insurance isn’t as difficult to come by as you might fear. A few steps you can take to bring down your car insurance premiums include:

● Simply asking for discounts. Your average auto insurer has a wealth of potential discounts for things such as occupation, good grades at school, and more. Get in touch with your insurance company and see what they might have available.
● Shop around and compare auto insurance quotes. You don’t have to stick with your existing insurance company just because you’ve been with them for a long time. There are free tools online you can use to get cheap auto insurance quotes and find the best bang for your buck.
● Taking a defensive driving course can bring down those insurance rates as well.
● If you hardly ever drive your vehicle — such as if you work from home — consider switching to a usage-based model for your car insurance. You might be eligible for a low-mileage discount, which can bring your premiums down significantly.