Do Red Cars Really Cost More to Insure?

by Christy Bieber | Updated March 30, 2022 - First published on Aug. 8, 2021

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Woman smiling as she drives a red vehicle.

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You may be surprised at the answer.

Drivers buying auto insurance want to get the most affordable protection possible. For that reason, many people avoid buying red cars. That's because it's a common belief that red cars cost more to insure.

Red cars get a bad reputation because they can be associated with flashy sports cars that indeed can be more expensive to insure due to a higher accident risk and more expensive parts. But the reality is, red has gotten an undeserved bad rap, and drivers don't need to steer clear of this color to avoid high car insurance costs.

Color doesn't affect insurance costs -- but other factors do

The reason that red doesn't result in a car insurance premium increase is a simple one: There's no statistical data that indicates red cars get into more accidents. In fact, there's no specific correlation between a car's color and the accident risk, so color shouldn't affect auto insurance premiums.

A driver's choice of vehicle does have an impact on auto insurance rates for other reasons though. That's because certain factors can affect the risk an insurer will have to pay out a lot of money. Here are a few of those factors to be aware of when you're shopping for a car:

The make and model of the vehicle

Some cars have a higher loss history, which means data gathered by insurers shows there are more claims associated with that vehicle make or model. This happens because some vehicles are at a higher risk of theft, have costlier parts, or are more likely to be driven in ways that lead to collisions. A fancy Porsche, for example, is a lot riskier to insure than a boring old family minivan.

The vehicle's safety features

A vehicle with more safety features is less likely to be involved in an auto accident. And if it is in a crash, serious injury is less likely because of better protections, such as airbags. Since insurers have to pay out injury claims, a safer car will cost less to insure than one that's lacking in protective technologies.

Anti-theft devices

Devices such as car alarms or vehicle tracking can make it less likely a car will be stolen -- and more likely it will be recovered if it is. Cars equipped with these features cost less to insure because there's a reduced risk insurers will have to pay to replace them after a theft.

So when shopping for a car, drivers don't need to worry about color. But they should consider getting several insurance quotes for the vehicles they're considering purchasing. By checking out auto insurance prices for various cars from several insurers before buying a vehicle, drivers can make certain they aren't getting a car that's costly to insure. They can also be ready to buy auto insurance, which will be required before they are allowed to drive their car off the lot.

The good news is that motorists who want a red car can go ahead and buy one without worrying about paying more to insure it due to their color choice alone.

RELATED: See The Ascent's guides to the best cheap car insurance and best car insurance companies.

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