Are red cars more expensive to insure?

It is a myth that owners of red cars pay more for car insurance. Your car insurance rates are more affected by your driving record and credit history.

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A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Written by Laura Berry
Former Insurance Agent Laura Berry

Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP® Joel Ohman

UPDATED: May 4, 2022

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Here's what you need to know...

  • The color of your car has less impact on your insurance rates than the type of paint used.
  • If you have other “high-risk” factors as a driver, a red car may make your premium increase.
  • Red cars don’t have higher traffic violation and accident rates.
  • Keeping a safe driving record will reduce your premiums more than changing your paint color.

It has long been thought by many motorists that the color of their cars has a great impact on their car insurance rates. Contrary to popular belief, red cars are not necessarily more expensive to insure than cars of other colors.

The type of vehicle that you drive, as well as the type – not necessarily color – of paint job you have on your car, is far more likely to cause your premiums to be affected.

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Many times, the color red is attached to sports cars and luxury vehicles. Metallic paints and other types of specialty paint jobs can cause the value of a vehicle to increase, thus increasing auto insurance premiums.

Since each car insurance provider calculates risk differently, you should get several quotes to see if your red car really is more expensive to insure.

Other risk factors that auto insurance companies consider when insuring red cars is the driving history of the owner.

If a young male driver that has gotten into numerous accidents buys a brand-new red sports car, there is a good chance that his auto insurance premiums will go up substantially.

When does car color affect your car insurance rates?

Although you might want to buy a red car because it is reflective of your personality, your auto insurance provider might put you into a high-risk category because of it.

If you are unmarried, under the age of 25, and have a less-than-spotless driving record, buying a red car might be an indication that you are also taking risks behind the wheel.

While the color of your car may change your premiums, the type of paint used is more of a factor. Many car manufacturers use special pigments to make their own signature automotive paint colors, which usually causes the value of these vehicles to increase.

These specialized paints include:

  • Metallic paints
  • High gloss finishes
  • Paints with metallic specks

These are more expensive to produce. If your car has any of these types of paints, it would be more expensive for your car insurance company to pay out a claim.

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Do red cars get into more accidents or receive more traffic tickets?

There is a myth that red cars are more likely to attract the attention of the police, but this is only true if the driver is doing something wrong. The fact is: red is an eye-catching color.

Safe drivers are always on the lookout for potential hazards, and a red car is much more likely to stand out.

On the other hand, red is no longer the flashy color that it was in years past. There are many new cars being manufactured with dark red paint jobs, orange-red paints, and even metallic reds. These vehicles are pickup trucks, station wagons, and even compact cars.

If you own a car that is very memorable, live in a small town, and the police know you on a first-name basis, then yes, your red car might cause you to get more negative attention.

However, there are probably many other red cars driving on the road with you that have never been pulled over because the drivers are cautious and responsible.

If you visit the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s website, you can find out which newly manufactured cars are the safest, and likely, the least expensive to insure.

How can the drivers of red cars get lower insurance rates?

  • Probably not from a new paint job – Even if you were to have your red car painted a different color, your premiums probably wouldn’t go down right away. After you have been categorized as being in a particular insurance risk group, any changes that you make will need to be consistent.
  • Finding applicable discounts – It is a far better idea to look for discounts that your car insurance provider can use to reduce your rates. Any anti-theft devices such as alarm systems and special locks can help you to get a discount on your car insurance premiums.
  • Keeping a safe driving record – By avoiding accidents and receiving few driving infractions, you will see your auto insurance rates go down when it is time to renew your policy. At first, your premiums might not be reduced by much, but any reduction in price is a good sign.

Within a year or two, your rates will be much lower despite the fact that you are still driving a red car. Remember, the owners of red vehicles can be safe drivers, too. Make an effort and you will see the difference.

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