Are red cars more expensive to insure?
You may have heard a piece of conventional wisdom that red cars cost more to insure than the same make and model in another color. Is there any truth to this statement, or is it simply an “urban myth”?
The answer is that red cars may cost more to buy, but they usually do not cost more to insure.
This apparent paradox is explained by figures compiled by LeaseTrader.com, a website which specializes in tracking the price of cars sold over a period of time. According to a study which compared only color as a variable in car sales prices, LeaseTrader.com found that red cars cost on average nine percent more than cars of other colors. Black cars ranked seven percent higher in price, and blue cars at six percent.
DuPont Automotive Systems report gives even more illuminating information. Given the fact that, according to the DuPont report, only 11 percent of cars in the United States are red, compared to white at 21 percent, black at 18 percent, and silver and gray at 17 percent and 15 percent respectively, it is clear that red cars cost significantly more to purchase than cars of other colors.
However, this does not translate directly into higher insurance prices.
Few car insurance companies would bother to inquire about the color of a vehicle when issuing a policy, and if they did, it is likely that customers would look elsewhere for insurance, feeling that this was a frivolous use of raising prices. Most car insurance companies ask only for the make and model of the car and price their insurance products based on how much it costs to repair the car if it is in an accident; car color has no bearing on these costs.
Before you breathe a sigh of relief, though, there may be an indirect link to red cars and higher insurance rates. Theoretically, red cars are equated with younger, more energetic drivers, speed, and the unfortunate reality of getting more speeding tickets. This means that if you own a red car, you may be more likely to be pulled over for speeding, and more speeding tickets will definitely raise your insurance rates.
A recent study by Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, compared car colors involved in accidents worldwide and found that black cars were more likely to be involved in a wreck. Of course, this data would be affected by the fact that black is an extremely popular color for cars both in and out of the United States, so statistically black cars should be involved in more accidents. However, this factor was accounted for and black cars still outranked other colors in numbers of accidents by 12 percent.
Other Factors have much greater influence than the color of a car!
Far more important than the color of your car, however, is the presence of other factors which affect your insurance rates. For example, if you are very young or old, have many accidents or tickets, have illegal driving convictions such as DUI or reckless driving, or have a poor credit rating, you can expect much higher car insurance rates for any car your drive, no matter what the color. Further, if you live in an urban area or one which is designated as high-risk, you will pay more for your insurance.
On the other hand, if you are married, have a good driving record, attend driver’s training such as defensive driving courses, and insure multiple vehicles with the same company, you will get much better rates on your car insurance.
You can find reasonable rates on cars of all colors and makes by shopping around for your car insurance. Online websites which allow you to instantly compare quotes from several companies will give you a good idea of exactly what you will pay for insurance on your current vehicle. Be sure to talk to your agent about discounts for which you may be eligible as well, such as multi-car, multi-line, and good driver discounts.