How did you settle on choosing the color of your car? For most people, you choose a color you know you like and that you won’t get tired of seeing. After all, you’ll be driving this car for a long time.
So you choose a color based on your personal preference. If that happens to be red, well, you’ve probably heard from someone that red cars cost more to insure.
It’s become a popular belief that continues to spread, but it’s a myth. So hopefully you never factored that in when choosing your car. So why do people believe it and where does the myth come from?
Does having a red car increase your insurance?
According to a study done by InsuranceQuotes.com, 44 percent of Americans believe that owning a red car means having higher premiums even though it’s completely false. Having a red car will not have any effect on any part of your insurance.
Insurance companies consider many things when calculating your rate. The color of your car is not one of those factors.
In fact, insurers won’t ask you for the color of your car when you get a quote. Insurance companies want to know the year, make, model, and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).
Instead of color, the kind of car you own will affect your insurance. A high-end import car will be more expensive to insure than a standard mainstream model.
Will you get pulled over more in a red car?
It’s also a myth that red cars get pulled over more than cars of other colors. And while there have been studies that show certain models of cars get pulled over more, those results aren’t the strongest.
In 2016, Insurance.com reviewed data claims and traffic violation data for over 300 car models and revealed that the most ticketed vehicles were a mix of luxury and economy.
But keep in mind that police aren’t flagging down drivers because of their car. It’s always to do with the driver’s behavior. But the information can be viewed as what vehicles attract drivers who are more prone to traffic violations.
The indirect effect of the red car insurance myth
So what’s contributing to the myth? And how come so many people believe in it?
Studies and statistics are inconclusive. But some seem to hypothesize that drivers behind the wheels of red cars and flashy sports cars tend to get more tickets than other vehicles.
The ongoing theory is that drivers with those vehicles tend to take more chances behind the wheel than those who drive other colors and cars.
Since they take more risks with their driving, they will likely pay more for car insurance because they have more tickets and/or claims on their driving records. So inadvertently, the red car insurance myth could affect your premiums. Just in a very roundabout way.
When color does matter
The color red doesn’t necessarily affect your insurance rates, but it’s possible that a custom paint job will.
Custom paint jobs can be considered by some insurance companies as additional custom parts or equipment. Even if it does increase your premiums, it won’t be by much. It’ll be a minor added fee at best.
But in the case of car colors most frequently stolen, consider yourself lucky if you have a red car. In 2012, CCC Information Services reported that car thieves prefer going after green, gold, black, and white cars. Silver is the most commonly stolen car color.
In this case, having your car stolen will most likely increase your rates as you will have to file a claim. But only if you have comprehensive insurance.
Factors that do affect your premiums
In the end, it’s not about your car color. If you want to buy the red car, just know that it won’t increase your insurance. It’s a myth with no research or statistics to back it up.
What does affect your premiums are your driving record, claims history, and some other factors you might not be able to change. So go ahead and buy that red car if you want to. A red car won’t cost you more than a black, silver, green, or blue car.
Here are a list of things that insurance companies factor in when setting the cost of your premiums:
1. Your car
Insurers look at the type of car you drive. Some cars are more expensive to insure because they cost more to repair.
You can see the impact of your car on your insurance rates using our car insurance calculator tool.
2. The number of miles on your car
The more you drive, the higher chance you have of being in an accident.
If you’re driving day in and day out to go to work, you’re also more likely to be driving during rush hour. This also contributes to increasing your premium.
3. Your driving record
If you have a clean driving record, your premium will automatically be less. Car insurance companies care about how accident-prone you are. The less likely you are to get into an accident and file a claim, the cheaper your premiums will be. This is because you will cost less money to insure for these companies.
Most insurance companies offer a good driver discount to those who have been accident, violation, and claims free for a certain number of years.
4. Where you live
Where you live and where you park your car affects your premium as well. Typically, urban areas are more densely populated and therefore have more incidents of theft and vandalism.
5. Your age
Unfortunately, auto insurance is more expensive for drivers under 25 years old. New and younger drivers tend to pose a greater risk on the roads.
6. Your gender
Men tend to be considered high risk drivers and are involved in more accidents than women. They usually pay a higher insurance premium.
7. Credit history
Insurance companies believe that there’s a correlation between credit score and your driving behavior. So if you have a lower credit score, you will be paying more for car insurance.
8. Relationship status
Insurers tend to view married couples as being safer drivers. Statistically, they are involved in fewer accidents. So insurance companies usually offer a discount if you have a spouse.
9. Coverage and deductibles
It depends on what you can comfortably afford, but the higher your coverage and the lower your deductible, the higher your rate. If you can raise your deductible, you should try to do that.
10. Insurance claims history
If you’ve filed a claim, this will most certainly affect your premium and cause it to go up. Insurers believe that once you’ve been in an accident (even if you aren’t at fault), you’re more likely to get into another one.
11. Previous insurance
Always try to maintain continuous insurance. If you have a gap in your insurance coverage — even if it’s for one day — can result in you paying fines and getting your driver’s license and registration suspended. It also signals to insurance companies that you are a high-risk driver and therefore could pay more for insurance.
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