Why Car Colors Affect Car Insurance Rates

Actually, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III), the color of your car does not affect your car insurance rates. However, your age, gender, and driving record will.

You may have heard that red cars are more costly to insure because of how often they get into accidents. Red cars actually do not get into more accidents than other colored vehicles. In fact, according to Reader’s Digest, black cars are more likely to get into an auto accident. This is because they are harder to see at night and during inclement weather conditions.

What Factors Affect Your Car Insurance Rates

Truthfully, every insurance company calculates rates in a different manner. If every insurance company offered the same coverage with the same rates, the insurance world would be completely different. However, in general, here are some things that may affect the cost of your monthly premiums:

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Your Age

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that teens and seniors are especially at risk for getting into accidents. This is because:

  • Combined with inexperience and the underdevelopment of their frontal lobes, teens are unable to drive safely or employ defensive driving maneuvers.
  • Seniors can get into accidents because of medications, poor vision, poor hearing, and inability to grip the steering wheel.

Once a young driver hits 25, if they have a good driving record, they could see a decrease in their monthly premiums. Once a senior hits 60, however, their rates may rise.

Your Gender

According to Traffic Injury Prevention, men are more likely to get into car accidents (and totaling their vehicles) than women. This is because:

  • Young men are more likely to engage in risk-taking behaviors.
  • Men are less likely to wear seat belts.
  • Men develop at a slower rate than women, meaning that male teenagers are more likely to “take chances” than their female peers.
  • Men are more likely to drive while intoxicated or fatigued.

The III says that men, in general, drive more miles than women. This could be because of the prevalence of men in the trucking and construction industries. 

Your Driving Record

If you have a clean driving history, and you have been driving for a few years, your insurance company may “reward” you for your record by reducing your insurance rates. This is because the insurer has little or no reason to believe that you will be involved in a collision since you have not yet been in a crash.

However, certain parts of your driving history could raise your monthly rates, including:

  • How many traffic tickets you have gotten
  • Whether your license has been suspended in the past
  • Whether you have been arresting for driving and driving
  • How many accidents you have been involved in

Typically an insurer will check the past five years that you have been driving. So, if you were arrested for a DUI in the ‘80s, this is unlikely to affect your current insurance premiums (although this cannot be said for every agency).

Your Car’s Make and Model

Some cars are more likely to be stolen than others. Take the Ford F-Series, for example. If your pickup truck was made before 2007, these cars are infamous for being easy to steal. Honda Civics are also easy to steal, according to Forbes.

If your insurance company believes that your car has a high likelihood of getting stolen, they may raise your monthly rates.

Your Location

Where you live will also play a role in how your insurance agency calculates your premiums. If you live in a rural town with only 800 people, your rates will likely be lower than if you were living in New York City.

Your location will determine your rates because:
  • Some areas have higher car theft percentages.
  • Some densely-populated areas, in general, have higher car accident rates.
  • Your state may have laws that require you to carry a certain amount of coverage.

Other factors could impact your insurance rates depending on where you live.

How Many Miles You Drive in a Year

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, on average, men drive 16,550 miles a year. Women typically drive 10,142 miles a year.

How often you drive will have a direct impact on your insurance rates. Your insurance agency will assume that the more miles you drive, the more likely you are to get into an accident.

Some agencies even offer discounts for people who drive under a certain amount of miles a year. However, this will depend on a variety of external factors.

Will the Color of My Car Affect My Likelihood of Getting into an Accident?

The Office of Motor Vehicle Management says that car accidents are overwhelmingly caused by human error. For every 100 car accidents, 98 are caused by human error. The acts you take behind the wheel are more likely to increase your odds of getting into an accident––not the color of your car.

Per Reader’s Digest, here is a list beginning with the safest and ending with the most likely to get into accidents:

  • White
  • Yellow (which in some studies is considered to be safest)
  • Creme
  • Beige
  • Blue
  • Red
  • Silver
  • Gray
  • Black

Brightly colored cars are easier to see at night. With this increased visibility, they are less likely than darker-colored cars to get into accidents.

In Conclusion

While your car’s color will not affect your insurance rates, various aspects of your life will. However, your car’s color may play a role in your chances of getting into an accident.

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