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Does Red Car Color Affect Insurance Rates?

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Research Last Updated: 05/30/2012

Avoiding a red car color when buying a new car doesn’t mean you will save on your insurance rates.

red car color and insurance rates

The color of your vehicle isn't a rating factor when it comes to your insurance premium.

Red is the color of anger, stop and attention. Is it also the color of higher insurance rates?

Not necessarily.

Now, owners of red cars may pay higher insurance rates; but that is due to other factors. When it actually comes to the color of your car and your insurance rates -insurance companies are colorblind.

The Myth Surrounding Red Car Color and Insurance Rates

For decades people have believed that buying a red car automatically meant that their insurance rates would increase. This has become one of those urban legends that people like to keep passing down, but never take the time to really confirm.

Honestly though, who could blame them? How many of you out there want to spend your Saturday evening reading insurance statistics as to whether or not insurance rates are higher with a red car color?

This myth could have started when two people with the same car, but different colors compared insurance rates and found that the red car was higher. It could have also been a parent trying to talk their young adult child out of a red sports car by telling them that they would pay more for insurance.

Wherever the myth started it has never died, but now you will be that much smarter than your friends after you have read this.

Red Car Color Affects Drivers

There is something about getting into a red sports car that changes a person. It makes them want to drive faster, act free and have fun; all of which lead to dangerous driving. People that are usually careful drivers find themselves acting different behind the wheels of a red car (I can personally attest to this).

In a good number of cases, drivers that buy red cars already have the type of personality that lends itself to dangerous driving and they gravitate to this red car color. These types of drivers already have a higher chance of getting a traffic ticket or into a car accident, so they would have higher insurance rates no matter what color of car they drive. It is because they prefer the red cars that it gives the illusion that red cars automatically have a higher insurance rate.

The Type of Vehicle Available in a Red Car Color

Close your eyes and think about all the red cars that you see on the road. What types of cars are they?

Are they older model sedans? Minivans? Station Wagons?

No, they are sportier than that, aren’t they? They are the sports versions of vehicles and sports cars; cars that have the capability to go faster and are more expensive to fix if they were in a car accident. Both of these factors will raise your base insurance premium higher than what it would be with other vehicles.

So, in this case it’s not the red car color that causes the higher premium, but the car that the color is found on.

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Michele Wilmonen

Michele’s first introduction to insurance was working for a major insurance company as a file clerk and a mailroom supervisor in a regional office. She learned insurance directly from underwriters and claims adjusters from questions and also watching them do their job. Since then, she’s earned a number of insurance certifications from the Insurance Institute of America and also a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Idaho. She blogs at Car Insurance Guidebook.

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