Do You Pay More for Insurance if You Drive a Red Car?

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Red cars are not inherently more expensive to insure than other vehicles since color is not one of the factors insurance companies use when calculating coverage rates. Instead, your premium should depend on factors like your driving record, the type of car you drive and your personal characteristics.

Read below to find out more about the common belief that red cars cost more to insure and what factors will play the biggest role in determining your auto insurance prices.

Key Takeaways

  • It is a myth that car insurance is more expensive for red vehicles because insurance companies do not base your rates on your car’s color.
  • There is no evidence suggesting that red is the most likely of any car color to be pulled over, stolen or involved in a car accident.
  • The factors that will most commonly impact your auto insurance prices include your driving record, location, driving habits and vehicle make and model.
  • Insurance companies could also consider other factors like your age, gender and credit information but these rating factors are banned or otherwise regulated in some states.

Do Red Cars Cost More To Insure?

You will not have to pay more for car insurance just because your car is red as insurance providers do not take the color of your car into account when they determine how much you have to pay for auto insurance.[1]

Instead, insurers consider factors that indicate how likely you are to file a car insurance claim.

Even if insurance companies did take color into account, red vehicles likely wouldn’t be the most expensive to insure. A 2007 Australian study found that, although red cars are more likely to get into accidents than white cars, they are less of a crash risk than black, gray and silver cars.[2]

Where Did the Myth of Red Cars and Insurance Come From?

The myth that owners of red cars have to pay higher car insurance premiums may stem from the fact that bright-colored cars typically stand out more. As a result, some people may believe that police officers’ eyes are naturally drawn to red cars and that they are more apt to pull over these vehicles. However, even in a case like this, it would be the reckless driving behavior resulting in a traffic ticket that caused the rate increase, not the vehicle's color.

In addition, the color red may be associated with flashy sports cars, which are more expensive to insure than other vehicles. However, sports cars have higher insurance costs because they can inflict more damage and are more expensive to replace after a collision, not because of their color.

It’s also worth noting that you may need to add a custom parts and equipment coverage endorsement to your policy in order to insure a custom paint job of any kind. As a result, you likely will end up paying a bit more for coverage if you decide to paint your vehicle red and want to be reimbursed for the cost of the paint job after an accident.

What Factors Affect My Car Insurance Rates?

Car insurance companies will typically consider the factors below when calculating your auto insurance premiums rather than the color of the vehicle you want to insure.

Driving Record

Your driving record is one of the biggest factors impacting your car insurance coverage prices. While safe drivers are generally considered low risk and should get to pay lower premiums, a driver with a history of citations and at-fault car accidents will be considered a higher risk and will have to pay more for coverage.

Age and Gender

Depending on the state you live in, your car insurance company may take your age and gender into account when determining your rates. For example, young drivers may have to pay more for coverage since they are generally less experienced behind the wheel and more prone to crashes. Meanwhile, men may have to pay more than women since they are statistically more prone to collisions and major traffic violations.[3]

However, auto insurance companies are not allowed to take your gender into account in California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina or Pennsylvania.[4] Meanwhile, Hawaii bans the use of age as a rating factor, while Massachusetts only allows insurers to consider age in order to offer discounts to drivers ages 65 and up.[5][6]

Credit Information

While insurance companies do not look directly at your credit score, many of them do look at a credit-based insurance score that predicts your likelihood of filing a car insurance claim based on how well you manage your finances. However, the use of credit-based insurance scores is restricted in California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Oregon and Utah.[7]

Place of Residence

Your address and zip code can influence your car insurance prices since insurers commonly base your premiums on the frequency of claims in your area. As a result, if you live in a big city with a high rate of crashes and car thefts, you may have to pay more for coverage than someone in a rural town where there are fewer car insurance claims.

Car Make and Model

The make and model of your car will also play a role in determining your auto insurance premiums. For example, older vehicles tend to be less valuable, meaning your insurance company won’t have to pay as much if your car is totaled in an accident and can afford to charge you less on your premiums. Conversely, sports cars, electric vehicles and newer models are far more costly to repair or replace and may be more expensive to insure as a result.

Anti-Theft Devices

If you install an anti-theft device like a car alarm, kill switch or brake lock, your insurance company could offer you a discounted rate on your auto insurance premiums since there will be a lower chance that you will need to file a comprehensive insurance claim due to your car being stolen.

How Much You Drive

How and when you drive can also impact the amount you have to pay for coverage. In general, drivers with little mileage such as those who work from home will have a smaller chance of getting into a car accident. As a result, they will be less risky to insure and could receive lower car insurance quotes.

Conversely, someone with a long commute to work will have a greater chance of getting into a car crash and may have to pay higher premiums as a result. For the same reason, someone who mostly drives during rush hour traffic could face higher rates than someone who mostly drives in the early morning or late at night when there aren’t many people on the road.

Additional Factors That Affect Car Insurance Rates

Car insurance prices can also vary based on other factors such as these:

  • Homeownership and marital status: If you are married and/or own a home, your insurance company will likely view you as more financially stable than a single person or renter. This means they could charge you less for coverage since they will consider you a low risk to miss a premium payment.
  • Policy details: The coverage types you add to your policy, the coverage limits you set and the number of vehicles covered by your policy will all impact how much the policy will cost.
  • Insurance history: Someone who has let their car insurance lapse will generally have to pay more for insurance than someone with a history of continuous coverage. Meanwhile, someone with multiple prior claims will likely pay more than someone who has never filed a claim before.
  • Other discounts: Many insurance providers offer car insurance discounts for a number of reasons including bundling policies, practicing safe driving habits, maintaining good grades as a student and more.
  • Personal factors: Insurance companies may factor in your education, income and occupation when setting your auto insurance rates, although some states regulate the use of these as rating factors.

Do Red Cars Get Pulled Over More Often?

There is no research suggesting that red cars are pulled over at a disproportionate rate.[8] Meanwhile, there have been mixed results in studies on the impact of the color red on drivers; one study found that red vehicles prompted more aggressive behaviors from other drivers but another found that people did not perceive a disproportionate risk in scenarios involving red cars compared to cars of other colors.[9]

Are Red Cars More Likely To Get Stolen?

Red cars are less likely to be stolen than black, silver and white cars.[10] However, car thefts generally have little to do with the color of the vehicle and instead depend more on the availability of the vehicle and the resale value of either the entire car or its parts. Below is an overview of the 10 most stolen vehicles in 2021.[11]


Make and Model

Number of Thefts in 2021

Most-Stolen Model Year


Chevrolet Pick-Up (Full Size)




Ford Pick-Up (Full Size)




Honda Civic




Honda Accord




Toyota Camry




GMC Pick-Up (Full Size)




Nissan Altima




Honda CR-V




Jeep Cherokee / Grand Cherokee




Toyota Corolla



Find Cheaper Car Insurance Rates


Are red cars ticketed more than others?

There is no evidence that red cars receive parking tickets at a higher rate than cars of other colors.[8]

Does car color affect insurance rates?

Contrary to the red car insurance myth, your vehicle will not cost more to insure based on its color.[1]

Why are some cars more expensive to insure?

Some cars may be more expensive to insure than others because they are more expensive to replace, are more likely to be stolen, lack anti-theft devices and other safety features or are driven more frequently.


  1. Insurance Information Institute. “8 Auto Insurance Myths.” Accessed July 26, 2023.
  2. Monash University Accident Research Centre. “An Investigation Into the Relationship Between Vehicle Colour and Crash Risk,” Page 9. Accessed July 26, 2023.
  3. Insurance Information Institute. “What Determines the Price of an Auto Insurance Policy?” Accessed July 26, 2023.
  4. Journal of Insurance Regulation. “Gender X and Auto Insurance: Is Gender Rating Unfairly Discriminatory?,” Page 11. Accessed July 26, 2023.
  5. “§431:10C-207 Discriminatory Practices Prohibited.” Accessed July 26, 2023.
  6. “Massachusetts Consumer Bill of Rights for Automobile Insurance.” Accessed July 26, 2023.
  7. Experian. “Which States Prohibit or Restrict the Use of Credit-Based Insurance Scores?” Accessed July 26, 2023.
  8. Snopes. “Do Red Cars Get More Speeding Tickets?” Accessed July 26, 2023.
  9. Association for Psychological Science. “Seeing Red on the Road: Can Color Impact Driver Behavior?” Accessed July 26, 2023.
  10. AAA. “Does Car Color Matter?” Accessed July 26, 2023.
  11. National Insurance Crime Bureau. “Chevrolet and Ford Full Size Pick-Ups Most Stolen Vehicles for Second Year in a Row.” Accessed July 26, 2023.

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