If you’ve ever wondered does the color of a car affect insurance, you might be surprised at the answer. The common myth is that red vehicles cost more to insure, but that isn’t necessarily true, as there are other factors involved.
Does Car Color Affect Insurance?
When it comes to auto insurance coverage, the type you need depends on your state and your own situation. Regarding the rates issued to insurers, several factors come into play, such as the vehicle’s age and your driving history.
You might have heard that the color of your vehicle will affect your auto insurance rates, but this is a common myth. It doesn’t matter what color it is because the insurer will not factor that into your policy rates.
Insurers know the vehicle identification number (VIN), but the color isn’t included with this information. Many factors that impact your insurance costs include the following:
- Body type
- Engine size
- Your credit score
- Sticker price
- Average repair costs
- Overall safety record
- Risk of being stolen
- Your deductible amounts
As you can tell, numerous variables go into policy costs, but vehicle color isn’t one of them. However, this doesn’t mean that color doesn’t indirectly impact the price. Certain situations, such as high demand and low supply for a specific color, can increase the costs of a vehicle and increase its premium.
Even though auto insurance might be more expensive for red vehicles in certain situations, it isn’t directly related to the color. The insurer takes other factors into consideration, which can cause an increase in costs.
Some people believe that flashier vehicles displaying red and yellow colors are more likely to participate in riskier driving, but there is no statistical data to prove this. However, studies have shown that certain models are more likely to be stopped by police but not necessarily because of their colors.
Red and yellow vehicles do tend to attract more attention in general, even by the police. If you receive a ticket for speeding, this might cause your auto insurance rates to increase because you have a moving violation on your record.
About risks, white vehicles tend to have the lowest statistical risk of being involved in an accident. According to a 2012 report by CCC Information Services, red isn’t even in the top five vehicle colors involved in thefts. Thieves prefer black, gold, green, and white vehicles, and their number one preference is silver. But just like traffic tickets, certain models are more likely to be stolen than specific colors.
Do Red Cars Cost More to Insure?
Certain vehicles are more expensive to insure than others, but that’s usually due to the vehicle’s make, model, and age. Many people believe that color plays a role in policy costs, but that’s not true.
According to a survey conducted by Insure.com, 46 percent of 2000 licensed drivers thought red vehicles are more expensive to insure since they’re pulled over more frequently. As mentioned, color doesn’t determine rates. Instead, the insurer bases rates on your driving habits, which doesn’t depend on what type of vehicle you’re driving. The next two most important factors include the type and year of your vehicle. For instance, a 2001 pickup truck is going to cost less to insure than a 2015 sports car.
So where does this myth of red cars being more expensive to insure stem from? It comes down to numbers. Sports cars will have higher insurance rates because drivers tend to drive faster and have a higher chance of getting into an accident. When the average sports car driver shops for a vehicle, they tend to gravitate more toward red. The fact there are more red sports cars on the road and the odds these sports cars have higher rates leads many people to think that it’s the color that causes the higher rates and not the vehicle itself.
Who Actually Cares About Color?
When it comes to the vehicle’s actual color, even though the insurer doesn’t care about it, drivers do. According to a survey conducted by Insurance.com, 1000 licensed and married people over the age of 25 were asked their vehicle’s color and why they selected it. The survey found the top colors included the following:
- Black: 19.5 percent
- Silver: 18.5 percent
- White: 16.2 percent
- Blue: 12.5 percent
- Red: 8.5 percent
The reasons behind the specific colors include the following:
- The color was pretty: 31.5 percent
- There was no other option: 25 percent
- It wouldn’t show dirt: 10.2 percent
- The driver looks good in it: 9.7 percent
- It blends in: 7.6 percent
- It stands out: 6 percent
- It’s safe: 5.8 percent
- For resale value: 4.2 percent
Are There Exceptions to When Color Matters?
Although there are certain situations where the vehicle’s color can impact rates, there is one exception. If your vehicle’s color is one of the least likely to be targeted for theft, you might find your premium rates are lower based entirely on the color.
Also, if the paint used for your vehicle is rather expensive to purchase or apply, you will experience an increase in the vehicle’s value. This will cause your rates to increase.
If you opt to modify the paint, such as through a custom paint job, you want to include this as part of your insurance coverage. Your insurer will consider your vehicle to be in the same condition that you purchased it, so if you make a modification through a custom paint job and want it covered in case of damage, notify your insurer.
Insurers might offer special coverage for these aftermarket medications called custom parts and equipment coverage. This extends your coverage to repair or replace your customizations, such as custom paint jobs, wheels, sound systems, or lights.
Although the color of your vehicle doesn’t have a direct correlation in regards to auto insurance, it does play a small role. When shopping for auto insurance rates, make sure you shop around and compare costs so you’re getting the best price for the type of coverage you need.
Check this out if you need additional information, resources, or guidance on car insurance.
Is Insurance Higher on Red Cars?
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