Do Red Cars Cost More To Insure?
Car insurance companies do not charge higher insurance rates for red cars. "The color of the car is not a typical underwriting criteria," notes Jeanne Salvator of the Insurance Information Institute, a non-profit trade group. "What really matters is your driving record and the car you drive."
Are Red Cars More Prone to Crashes?
The most-cited study on the topic of car color and car crashes suggests that white cars are the least likely and black cars are the most likely to be involved in an accident. In fact, black cars are 12%, silver cars are 10%, and red or blue cars are 7% more likely than white cars to be involved in a crash, according to the Monash University (Melbourne, Australia) study.
Overall, white, orange, yellow and gold cars are the safest car colors because they are the most visible at both noon and midnight.
Driving Behavior and Recklessness
A car's color is negligible compared to a driver's behavior: speeding, driving while texting, driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, violating right-of-way rules, unsafe lane changes and following another vehicle too closely, among other factors. A high-risk driver will pay more for the cost of insurance coverage than low-risk drivers because the former has more accidents and files more claims than the latter.
Do Red Cars Get Pulled Over More Often?
If the red-car insurance myth were true, one would expect that most high-risk drivers purchase red cars and that most red cars are bought by high-risk drivers, but that is not the case. This unexamined, perhaps common belief hinges on America's deep cultural associations with the color red itself and our love of cheap arm-chair psychology: Drivers of red cars must be attracted to that color car because the color red expresses the inner life of the drivers themselves: fast, passionate, impulsive or aggressive.
If some traffic violation data seem to suggest that law enforcement does, in fact, pull over red cars at higher rates than other cars, perhaps a certain car might catch a police officer's attention because it is a flashy Corvette that also happens to be red.
So, these subjective factors muddy the water. But it is important to remember that speeding tickets are issued based on the court-approved evidence of sophisticated radar guns, not the color of your car. In the same way, auto insurers base their insurance premiums on driving records, not a custom paint job.
Are Red Cars More Likely To Get Stolen?
Are car thieves more attracted to a red car? According to another Monash University study, green cars are more frequently stolen than (in descending order) black, red or white vehicles. And while vehicles that sport flamboyant, attention-getting custom paint jobs may deter a car thief, there are other factors that far outweigh a car's paint job when it comes to auto theft: most of all, opportunity and the black market's desire for parts from certain models.
|Rank||Car Model||Number of Annual Thefts|
|1||Ford Pickup, full size (F-150, 2006)||38,938|
|2||Honda Civic (2000)||33,220|
|3||Chevrolet Pickup, full size (Silverado 2004)||32,583|
|4||Honda Accord (1997)||30,745|
|5||Toyota Camry (2007)||15,656|
|6||Nissan Altima (2015)||13,355|
|7||Toyota Corolla (2018)||12,137|
|8||Dodge Pickup, full size (Ram, 2001)||11,292|
|9||GMC PickUp, full Size (Sierra 2018)||11,164|
Comprehensive coverage offers insurance against auto theft, so be sure to ask your insurance company about this stand-alone, add-on insurance product. Further, most auto insurance companies offer discounts on premiums for vehicles that have anti-theft devices, such as GPS tracking, kill switches, brake locks, car-wheel clamps, steering-wheel locks, audible alarms and vehicle identification number (VIN) etchings.
How Do Auto Insurance Companies Assess Rates?
A red car does not cost more to insure—there is no "red-car increase" for auto insurance. Not only do red cars not have higher premiums, they also don't possess higher crash rates, receive more tickets for traffic violations or bear higher stolen-car claims than other vehicles.
When determining car insurance rates, auto insurance companies do not consider car color any more than they consider engine size. When determining auto insurance rates, insurers consider other factors:
- Education and occupation
- Marital status
- Homeowner status
- Place of residence
- Driving record
- Insurance history
- Credit score
- Make, model and age of vehicle
- Annual miles driven
- Other licensed drivers in the household
Red cars are not a higher risk, so they don't cost more to insure (all things being equal) than any other car, despite that car's color. Typically, the number of accidents and claims are the primary factors that can drastically affect what you pay for auto insurance.
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