Does Having a Red Car Increase Your Car Insurance?
You may have heard that red cars cost you more in insurance. But is there any truth to that? Learn about what factors go into the cost of car insurance and if having a red car is one of them.
Getting a vehicle can be exciting — there’s nothing quite like that new car smell! But it can also be stressful trying to iron out all of the details. Do you want a new or used car? What brand and type? What can you afford? Are you going to buy or lease? There are a lot of decisions to be made that can have a bearing on your immediate and future finances.
But what about car color? More specifically, what about a red car?
“Don’t get a red car … you’ll get pulled over more and your insurance will be higher!” they say.
Is there any truth to that statement? Is there more to the color of your vehicle than just being stylish? Can choosing a red car impact your finances?
So, is insurance higher for red cars compared to other colors? Or is that just a common driving myth?
The truth is, having a red car — or any color for that matter — has about as much impact on the cost of your insurance as a proud parent putting a “my kid is an honor student” sticker on the back bumper of their car. In other words, that red paint has no impact on what you pay for car insurance. Car insurance companies simply do not factor in color when determining your rates because it has nothing to do with the risk represented by the car or the driver.
Another common driving myth: red cars get pulled over more.
The story goes that red is the most eye-catching color, making it easier for police officers to spot you if you’re cruising 50 in a 45. Again, this is not true … at least not in such simple terms.
According to The Balance, the most ticketed car color seems to vary from study to study — with one study showing white vehicles were the most ticketed (red came in as the second highest), and another study finding that black cars were the speeders of the pack (with red coming in fifth). Odds are the numbers vary based on factors such as location and the popularity of car colors: if there are more red cars on the road then, naturally, there will likely be more red cars being pulled over.
So, what is the biggest factor in cars being ticketed? Driver behavior. Cars don’t speed simply because they are red. The driver has a little … err, a lot … to do with it.
So if car color has nothing to do with insurance rates, how are they calculated? In short, rates are determined by how risky each driver looks to the insurance company and the likelihood that the driver will make a claim. As you might expect, drivers who are deemed to be “riskier” will likely be charged a higher insurance rate.
Each insurance company has its own formula to determine rates, but there are some general factors that they may consider when doing so.
We’ve established that car color has no impact on your insurance premium … red car owners rejoice! But what factors do go into that formula? Understanding what can affect your premium can help you potentially save. Some of the factors include:
- Age: Young drivers (under 25 years old) are considered higher risk compared to more experienced drivers, so their rates tend to be higher.
- Driving history: Drivers with a poor driving history are going to have a higher premium.
- Location: Insurance rates vary by state, with rates in urban areas generally being higher than those in rural locations, because those cities have a higher potential for accidents, vehicle theft, etc.
- Type of vehicle: Car value, cost to replace or repair, popularity to thieves, and safety features all go into the equation.
- Credit history: Some insurance companies try to predict the likelihood that you will file a claim by determining your credit-based insurance score. They then use this score as part of the puzzle when deciding your premium. Some states, however, limit or ban this practice.
- Amount and type of coverage: The more coverage you select, the more you’ll likely pay.
If you’ve got a red car parked in your driveway, don’t fret, because the color does not impact how much you pay for car insurance. But other factors do. And while some of these factors are unfortunately out of your hands, you do have control over others, such as your credit score or your ability to drive safely.
Always be sure to review your policy and, if you have questions, speak with your insurance company to make sure you’re adequately protected while getting the best deal for you and your finances.