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Does car color affect insurance?

No — this is a common myth, but insurance companies do not factor car color into auto policy rates, and red cars don’t cost more to insure.

Kara McGinleyRachael Brennan headshot

By

Kara McGinley

Kara McGinley

Senior Editor & Licensed Home Insurance Expert

Kara McGinley is a senior editor and licensed home insurance expert at Policygenius, where she writes about homeowners and renters insurance. As a journalist and as an insurance expert, her work and insights have been featured in Kiplinger, Lifehacker, MSN, WRAL.com, and elsewhere.

&Rachael Brennan

Rachael Brennan

Senior Editor & Licensed Auto Insurance Expert

Rachael Brennan is a senior editor and a licensed auto insurance expert at Policygenius. Her work has also been featured in MoneyGeek, Clearsurance, Adweek, Boston Globe, The Ladders, and AutoInsurance.com.

Updated|3 min read

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There’s a common myth among drivers and vehicle owners that the color of your car can raise your car insurance rates, but this is false. Despite what you may have heard, the color of your car does not affect your car insurance rates.

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There are many factors that contribute to the price of your car insurance and can make it higher or lower, like your age, ZIP code, and driving history — but car color isn’t one of them.

Key takeaways

  • It doesn’t matter if your car is red, yellow, black, or silver, the color of your car will not affect the price of your car insurance.

  • In fact, car insurance companies may not even ask you about the color of your car.

  • But if you have an expensive custom paint job and want to add coverage to insure it, then the modifications will affect the price of your auto policy.

  • While car color does not affect car insurance rates, things like the make and model of your car will, as will your driving record, age, credit score, ZIP code, and other factors.

Do red cars cost more to insure?

Nope! The color of your car doesn’t have any impact on your insurance rates. The myth that people who drive red cars are more likely to be in an at-fault accident or file a claim is false.

If driving a red car meant you were more likely to file a claim, then auto insurance companies would probably charge higher rates for red cars. Insurance companies use statistics to set their rates, which is why your age, ZIP code, and driving history all affect your premium. 

But color isn’t one of the things that affects rates, so if you’re car shopping and considering a red car, don’t worry that it will mean higher car insurance than if you chose a black or silver car of the same model.

→ Read more about the most expensive cars to insure

While some cars come in flashier colors like copper or bright green, it turns out that most drivers don’t actually want to stand out when it comes to the color of their vehicle. According to Axalta Coating Systems, these are the most popular vehicle colors in North America [1] :

  • White: 29%

  • Black: 19%

  • Gray: 17%

  • Silver: 11%

  • Blue: 10%

  • Red: 9%

  • Brown: 2%

  • Green: 1%

  • Yellow/Gold: 1%

  • Other: 1%

Custom paint jobs and auto insurance rates

The one situation in which your car’s paint will affect your car insurance rates is if you get a custom paint job or wrap. 

Modifying your car with a custom paint job(or other changes like rims or mod exhaust) can make your car look awesome, but you’ll be required to report those changes to your insurance company — and you’ll likely pay more to insure those modifications.

When it comes to car insurance coverage, your insurance company will consider your car to be in the same condition that you bought in its original form, so if you get a custom paint job for your vehicle and want it to be covered in case of damage, you should notify your car insurance company.

Many insurance companies offer a special coverage for aftermarket modifications, sometimes called custom parts and equipment coverage. 

This will extend your car insurance coverage to repair or replace your customizations if they’re damaged in an accident. This includes custom paint jobs as well as other custom parts, such as:

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How are car insurance rates calculated?

Although car color does not affect the price of car insurance, there are a lot of other factors that do affect your rates. 

Car insurance premiums are calculated based on lots of information about you and your vehicle. Insurance companies use that information to estimate how likely you are to file a claim — basically how much of a risk you’ll be to insure. The details that affect your car insurance rates include:

  • How much coverage you buy

  • Your driving record, especially recent accidents

  • You credit score

  • Your driving habits (like your yearly mileage)

  • Your age

  • Which city and state you live in

  • Your deductible amounts

  • The make and model of your car

But things that won’t affect your car insurance rates include your car’s color, paying off your car loan, or even getting a parking ticket.

Frequently asked questions

Does car color affect price?

Car color doesn’t affect the price of your car insurance, but it can affect the cost of buying a car. Some colors are more popular than others, while some colors have an added sheen or slight glitter effect, both of which can impact the price of a car.

What color is more expensive for insurance?

The color of your car doesn’t have any impact on your insurance rates, so having a red, silver, white, black, or blue car doesn’t make a difference when it comes to what you pay for car insurance.

Do black cars cost more to insure?

No, driving a black car doesn’t raise your insurance rates. However, if your car is painted with a custom black paint you’ll need to tell your insurance company, who may charge more to protect your custom paint job.

Do red cars get pulled over more often?

No, just like the myth about higher car insurance rates, the claim that red cars get more tickets is also false.

References

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Policygenius uses external sources, including government data, industry studies, and reputable news organizations to supplement proprietary marketplace data and internal expertise. Learn more about how we use and vet external sources as part of our

editorial standards.
  1. Axalta

    . "

    Axalta 2019 Global Color Infographic

    ." Accessed September 20, 2022.

Authors

Senior Editor & Licensed Home Insurance Expert

Kara McGinley

Senior Editor & Licensed Home Insurance Expert

gray linkedin icon link

Kara McGinley is a senior editor and licensed home insurance expert at Policygenius, where she writes about homeowners and renters insurance. As a journalist and as an insurance expert, her work and insights have been featured in Kiplinger, Lifehacker, MSN, WRAL.com, and elsewhere.

Senior Editor & Licensed Auto Insurance Expert

Rachael Brennan

Senior Editor & Licensed Auto Insurance Expert

gray linkedin icon link

Rachael Brennan is a senior editor and a licensed auto insurance expert at Policygenius. Her work has also been featured in MoneyGeek, Clearsurance, Adweek, Boston Globe, The Ladders, and AutoInsurance.com.

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