Do Red Cars Really Cost More to Insure?

Do Red Cars Really Cost More to Insure?

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The myth is just that: a myth. Red cars cost no more to insure than cars with other colors. Insurers have no infrastructure to rate cars based on their color, but they do for many other factors.

Do red cars have higher auto insurance?

In short, no. Auto insurance companies have many factors they use to rate drivers based on the amount of risk they pose, and car color is not one of them. When you go for a quote, whether it's through Geico, Allstate or another large insurer, they will never ask you for your car's color. We've reviewed rating manuals that auto insurance companies use to calculate how much premiums they charge, and there are no rules for the color of a car in the quoting process. There is no way for your company to know the color of your vehicle.

What factors affect auto insurance rates?

Feel free to buy, lease or finance a red car, or give your current car a new coat of red paint. There are other factors you can worry about — some that you can't control — that determine your auto insurance quotes. Below we go over a few of these factors in detail.

Driving record

There's another myth in the car insurance industry: red cars get ticketed more often than other cars. But zero studies have conclusively shown that show red cars are pulled over more — so it, too, is likely a myth. If it were true though, drivers who have more speeding tickets and other violations end up paying more for insurance, thus their red car would be more expensive to insure.

Overall, we found violations can increase auto insurance rates by upward of 33%.

Car type

Your car model will have more of an impact on your insurance than its color. As we found in this study of the cheapest cars to insure, your vehicle can affect rates by several hundred dollars. SUVs and luxury cars tend to cost more to insure, but it's not a steadfast rule. More common cars, such as the Honda Accord, tend to cost more to insure — and it may have something to do with its high theft rate.

Age and gender

Your age affects your auto insurance rates as well. Drivers under 25 can pay thousands more for the same coverage as a driver over the age of 30. That's because research has shown young drivers are at a higher risk of getting into an accident. Gender also has an impact on your rates.

We found men generally pay about 30% more than women in some states and in some cases.

Marital status

Tying the knot also influences your car insurance premiums. Married drivers are considered more responsible by insurance companies and less likely to file claims, but both spouses must have good driving records to see premiums drop. If one spouse has many accidents on their record, for example, the combined insurance will end up being much more expensive.

Occupation

A controversial but true rating factor is occupation. Auto insurance companies tend to view drivers in professional occupations as less risky, compared to drivers with less-skilled jobs.

Neighborhoods with a higher percentage of less-skilled workers tended to pay around 11% more than neighborhoods with more skilled professionals. Some states, such as California, do not allow the practice of asking for occupation.

Where you live

Your rates can fluctuate by several hundred dollars based on your ZIP code and where you live in a city or state. In Florida, for example, rates can differ by more than $2,000 per year in certain areas. You aren't likely to move just to lower your auto insurance rates, but be wary that certain areas can end up costing you a lot more to insure your car. Cities prone to auto theft, floods and other disasters will be more expensive for car insurance.

Mark is a Senior Research Analyst for ValuePenguin focusing on the insurance industry, primarily auto insurance. He previously worked in financial risk management at State Street Corporation.

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