Do red cars cost more to insure? Who said it first? That’s something we don’t know, but we can tell you that the rumor about car color affecting auto insurance rates is a big, fat myth.

It’s easy to see why many drivers may assume this to be fact. After all, the logic seems reasonable. Certain car colors are conspicuous and bright and it would make sense that perhaps, those cars would either have higher or lower accident statistics than their neutral colored counterparts.

Yet there’s no evidence that is true. Few studies have been done on the topic and those that have often lack worthwhile statistics. One study from 2007 in Australia suggested that white cars were 10% less risky than other colors. Yet, this one report used data from the years 1984-2004 and didn’t take place in the U.S.  Few other studies have been done and to accurately measure data, researchers would also need to account for environment and weather conditions. 

Car insurers do not ask about the color of your car

In fact, they don't care what it is when determining your car insurance quotes. They will ask for your vehicle VIN number, which states your car’s make, model, and engine type, but color is not a component of that. Because of this, the color of your vehicle can in no way directly affect your auto insurance premium.

Here’s What Does Matter for Your Auto Insurance Premium:

  • Year
  • Make
  • Model
  • Driving history
  • Condition
  • Age/Gender/Credit (in some states)
  • Annual Mileage
  • Discount factors (marital status, anti-theft, good student, organization memberships, etc.)

Your car insurance rate may increase if any of the factors listed above change. If you move to a high-risk area or are involved in multiple accidents or violations, then your premium will surge. It’s possible that having a very bright colored vehicle could make you stand out more to police officers if you are speeding or violating the law. That said, if you’re a safe driver, there’s no reason your vehicle’s color would affect your rate. The same factors will still be used to determine your premium.

More: Insurance rates by car

Remember, that correlation is not causation. It is possible that the color of your vehicle could indirectly cause an accident that may raise your car insurance, but in general, there are many factors that cause an accident such as driver inattention, weather conditions, location, and speed. There’s no way to determine whether a distracted driver rear-ended you because your car was black instead of silver, even if it resulted in a premium increase because your location became riskier.

The bottom line is that car insurers do not care about your vehicle’s color and they will not penalize you for it. Red cars do not cost more to insure. All we recommend is to choose a car color you like and enjoy driving it today. Of course, one reason you may want to reconsider car color is if you’re planning on reselling your vehicle. Going for a bright color that’s very popular this year may not help the resale value, or the depreciation rate, three years from now. If you’re driving safe and paying attention to the factors that do affect your insurance rate – such as a car’s make and model – then you can expect to see your premium remain low, regardless of your car’s colorful appearance.