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Toddler in toy car Don’t fall for the misinformation: a red car will not cost more money to insure. Although there’s no evidence to back it, the belief persists that the color of your car affects your insurance rates. The reasoning behind this belief is commonly that red cars get more tickets than other colors, which in turn affects rates.

However, that’s false two times over. Not only does car color play no role in car insurance rates, a particular type of car’s risk, whether it be by make or model, isn’t determined by the number of tickets its owner receives (or whether that car color gets pulled over more frequently).

Read on to learn more about car color and insurance rates.

Key takeaways

  • Car insurance rates have nothing to do with the color of the car because it does not reflect the risk represented by the car or the driver.
  • The make, model, year and trim level of the car do affect car insurance rates, but not the color.
  • Your insurer takes into account your driving record to calculate your car insurance rates, but that only affects you, not other people who drive a car with the same color.

Does the color of a car matter for insurance?

No. The color of the car doesn’t have any impact on your insurance rates.

“The color of your vehicle is not even a question on the insurance application, and it is a non-factor,” says Kristofer Kirchen, president of Advanced Insurance Managers.

Instead, insurers ask for your vehicle identification number (VIN) during the underwriting process. Vehicle color isn't a component of the VIN code. A VIN can tell you quite a bit about a vehicle, including where it was built, its trim level and even warranty details, but it cannot tell you or your insurer the color of your ride.

Do tickets affect how a car is rated by insurance?

Tickets matter when an insurance company looks at your driving record to calculate your individual rates and decide whether you are a high-risk driver.

Insurance follows the car, but a ticket follows the driver. So, if you got a speeding ticket in your red sports car, and then you sold it and bought a blue sedan, the surcharge for that ticket will be applied to your new car. The old car will be rated based on the driving record of its new owner, not yours.

Insurance companies care far more about claims, which directly affect their bottom line. A car with many claims or a record of more expensive claims will be more costly to insure – for everyone who buys that model of car.

Whether red cars are more frequently pulled over is harder to pin down. Law enforcement officers say it’s simply not an issue, and certainly, a radar gun or speed camera doesn’t know the difference between red, silver or white.

Is there any situation where the paint on your car affects insurance?

The only way paint can be a factor in your insurance rates is if you have a custom paint job, but even that shouldn’t add a ton to your premium.

“Custom paint could increase your rates,” Kirchen says. “It could be considered under additional custom parts and equipment, but there would only be a nominal fee charged for it.”

So, in this case, it’s the value of the paint job itself that affects your insurance and not the color of that paint job.

So, if you like red cars, don’t worry about choosing one. Just remember that how you drive that car can have an impact on your rates, so drive safely and avoid tickets and claims.

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