Are Red Cars More Expensive To Insure?

min read
Updated: 18 March 2024
Written by
Jeff Bray
On this page Open

When you’re in the market to purchase your next vehicle, new or used, one of the questions that is inevitable is how much your car will cost to insure. But, what if that car just happens to be red?

Now, many factors play into your monthly bill. The year, make, and model is always a given, but will the style of your ride add to the cost of ownership? Let’s take a moment to expose fact from myth when it comes to red vehicle ownership.

Key Takeaways

  • A vehicle’s color does not impact your cost of insurance.

  •  Red is not the most dangerous car color on the road.

  • Where you live can be a factor in how much you pay for insurance coverage.

Regardless of your vehicle’s color, insurance costs are on the rise. For 2023, the average rate for full coverage auto insurance is $2,014 per year or $168 per month. Costs vary depending on which state you live in and what type of vehicle you drive, especially if you drive an Electric Vehicle.

Are Red Cars More Expensive To Insure?

The short answer is no. Your favorite color will not determine your auto insurance premium. You won’t pay more if you drive off the lot in a shiny new red convertible, fancy red dually, or run-of-the-mill red sedan.

Many car shoppers never purchase their dream vehicle out of fear of higher insurance rates. This is a common myth many red car enthusiasts fall for. We want to encourage you today that you can finally take the keys and cruise the open highway with the top down, music playing, and the wind in your hair.

Among the factors that determine your rate is your age, where you live, your driving record, and the coverage level you choose—color never enters the picture.

 

The Electric Vehicle (EV) Factor: While you may be saving money at the pump, your insurance cost may be more due to repairs, primarily over batteries. According to Consumer Reports, batteries alone can cost from $4500 – $15,000. Your car warranty can cover your EV battery for eight years up to 100,000..

Do Red Cars Get More Tickets Than Other Colors?

Any type of altercation with law enforcement will raise your auto insurance rates. These are among the top three:

  •       Speeding ticket – can increase insurance rate by 21 percent.
  •       At-fault accidents – can raise insurance rates by 42 percent.
  •       DUI – can raise the insurance rate by 93 percent.

However, having a red vehicle does not automatically mean you will receive more tickets or be involved in any more of the above incidents than other vehicles on the road. Driving habits determine these.

Although, the thought behind the red-car theory says that red-car drivers drive faster and thus expose themselves to more of the above dangers. But this would be simply in the hands of the driver themselves.

Do Red Cars Get Pulled Over More?

The truth is, factors that contribute to getting pulled over go beyond the color of the vehicle. It includes drivers going with the flow of traffic and not paying attention to their speed, drivers “paying attention” to their speed and just running late, and drivers experiencing an emergency needing to get to their location or a hospital.

In any of these situations, It is just a matter of numbers if a driver will be behind the wheel of a red vehicle. However, there is no real evidence to support the theory that red cars are targets for law enforcement.

Forty-eight percent of drivers feel that something needs to be done to curb the desires of drivers who feel-the-need-for-speed, such as photo enforcement or even vehicle governors that alert the driver when they are driving over the posted speed limit.

Knowing Your Speed Limit Language: The Institute for Highway Safety sets speed limits. They adapt them for road conditions and community safety. Some of the speed classes are Designed Speed, Operating Speed, and Posted Speed. Maintaining your speed can help you from being pulled over, red, white, or black.

Are Red Cars More Likely To Be Stolen Or Vandalized?

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NCIB), Over one million vehicles were stolen in 2022. This is the first time theft has been this high since 2008. While this study did not break down the vehicle color, other studies like the one below by iSeeCars stating the most popular vehicles on the road give you an idea of what is out there.

This being said, the most stolen vehicles in 2021 were Chevy and Ford full-size pickups, both around 48K, followed by Honda Civics and Accords.

Thieves do not consider color when they steal vehicles; they are after parts. However, they do not want to be seen, so red will be the least likely vehicle they would attempt to hotwire.

Car Color Percentage of Ownership
White 25.8
Black 22.3
Grey 18.4
Silver 12.1
Blue 9.8
Red 8.6

Red is at the bottom of the list here for ownership, only eight percent, while white and black are in the twenties. This means there are far fewer red cars on the road.

 

Where Did The Red Car Myth Come From?

It has been said that red catches the eye because of its bright color. Others state that red creates an optical illusion of speed. In either case, it’s felt that red places a target on the back of the owner; for law enforcement or to entice thieves to take it for a joyride.

Fast and Furious: It was believed those who drove red vehicles were prone to be targets of road rage. This was over the belief they drove more aggressively. However, a 2007 Australian study showed red cars were less likely to be involved in traffic accidents.

Does Color Play Any Role In Car Insurance Rates?

Could there be instances where an insurer charges higher rates for a particular vehicle color? If there were, we are sure it would be a coincidence. Rates on vehicles are primarily  based on make and model rather than color.

If a maker seems to rate a color or a shade of color, it may only be a coincidence, given due to the popularity of the color at the time.

When you start talking about colors and rates of insurance, we need to discuss colors and accidents. What colors are involved in more collisions? Our review below shows which poses a higher risk. The lowest-risk vehicles are white and yellow.

Vehicle Color Higher risk (percentage) than average
Black 12%
Grey 11%
Silver 10%
Blue 7%
Red 7%

Black and grey seem to have the highest risk of having an accident, while red is at the bottom of the list with only 7 percent. Red has a lower risk, but again, color does not weigh into how much you will pay for your insurance premium. So, what will?

What Factors Do Affect Your Premium Cost?

When we get down to it, these are the major factors that play into what you will pay for your auto insurance.

Age/Gender/Marital Status

These are three of the bigger factors for auto insurance. Insurance companies feel young men are generally riskier drivers. The age factor drops when you turn 25, experience and maturity are cited as factors. Some states, like California and Hawaii, do not use gender in their rate calculations.

Where You Live

Location. Location. Location. This can be where you live in the country or even your zip code.

Vehicle Use/Mileage

The more you are on the road, the more at risk you are of an accident.

Driving Record

When you shop for a new policy, your new insurance provider will look at your history, and any tickets or DUIs will cause an increase in your rates with a new provider.

Claims/Insurance History

Just as your driving history counts against you, if you have had an accident, theft, or claim against your vehicle, such as hail damage, these can cause an increase with your new provider.

Credit Score

Believe it or not, some providers will run your credit when you apply for insurance. Four states are prohibited from using credit to determine your insurance rate. Again, California and Hawaii, and also Michigan and Massachusetts, cannot use your credit to determine your insurance rate.

FAQs

Does Car Insurance Cost More For Red Cars?

No. It is a myth that red cars cost more to insure. The legend comes from the flashy style that the color bestows. Car insurance depends more on the type of vehicle, the mileage you drive in a year, and the coverage level you select for your car.

Does Color Play Any Role In Insurance Rates?

There are no facts that one color or another draws a higher rate. However, certain colored cars are more dangerous on the highway. Black vehicles, for instance, are ranked one of the most dangerous. With the increase in danger, such as being in accidents, owners themselves see an increase in rates after a claim.

What Color Cars Are More Expensive To Insure?

A car’s color can increase the likelihood of filing an insurance claim. Studies have shown that driving a black, grey, or silver car increases the chances of your vehicle being stolen or you are having an automobile accident. Either event can cause your insurance rates to see a dramatic increase.

Go back to top