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How Does Your Car Color Affect Your Car Insurance Rates?

By Insurance.com Posted : 06/10/2008

Do people with red cars really get more speeding tickets than those with blue cars? Do car insurance companies use the color of your car to determine your rates? Do certain colors increase your chance of an accident?

How Fast is that Red Car?
Although no one keeps official statistics, stories and anecdotes help to reinforce the urban legend about red cars getting more tickets and being more expensive to insure. However, according to the urban legends website snopes.com, there is no evidence to support these ideas. The lack of statistics makes it impossible to say which color cars get more tickets, but police and insurance companies deny any link between red cars and an increase in tickets and accidents.

In general, driving the speed limit is always a good idea, no matter what color car you drive. If you keep your red car at or near the limit, your chances of getting a ticket are much smaller. In fact, they are probably the same as the guy next to you driving the speed limit in his purple car.

Color and Personality
It may not affect the number of tickets you receive, but what does your car color say about your personality? CAA Magazine, a publication of the Canadian Automobile Association, looked at the psychology behind your choice of car color. According to their analysis, the color red supposedly signifies you have a -��need for speed,-�� a theory snopes.com says adds to the perception that red cars receive more tickets.

The Color of Money
What about car insurance rates? Does your car insurance company use color to determine your premium? The answer is no.

Some people have suggested that insurers use the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to determine the car color and use that information, in part, to set the rate for each car. But car color is not one of the details stored in a VIN. Unless your car insurance company asks you, they really have no idea what color your car is. It has no effect on your rate.

If car color doesn't matter, what types of things do insurers look at when considering your car? Factors like year, make, model, car body type, and engine size are taken into consideration. The Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) maintains reports on insurance losses for different makes and models. Some insurers may use this information to adjust the rate they quote you. However, things such as your driving record and ZIP code are often more important to your rate than the type of car you drive. Of course, your rate quote may be higher if your car is expensive, or lower if it has important safety features like air bags.

If you keep your red car near the speed limit, stop at red lights, yield to oncoming traffic, and make your cell phone calls when you are stopped, you will probably keep your rates low regardless of your car's color.

So, if you want that red car, go right ahead and get it.

No matter what color car you have, our car insurance rate quote tool can help you find your best rate on car insurance.

Originally posted: August 22, 2006.

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