Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

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UPDATED: Jul 14, 2021

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It’s a commonly held belief that certain color cars automatically garner higher insurance premiums. However, this is one of the biggest car insurance myths around. There is no correlation between the color of your car and your premium.

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While it is assumed that insurers charge more for colors like red, yellow, or electric blue cars, the color of the car itself has nothing to do with the premium you’re charged. Many other factors help companies determine what to charge you.

No Correlation Between Color and Tickets

Many people have always believed that bright, flashy colored cars make police officers notice them more, which makes them scrutinize their behavior more, in turn causing more tickets. Red cars seem to be the most likely to get more tickets, according to this myth.

Contrary to popular belief, there really isn’t any correlation between the color of the car and the amount of tickets drivers of that color receive.

Police departments and insurance companies all over the country have denied any link between the number of tickets and the color of the car.

Still not a believer? Snopes.com, the Internet authority on urban legends, says it is a myth, especially that red cars receive more citations. In fact, one reporter set out to prove it was true, but in his study found that, indeed, red cars did not receive more than their fair share of tickets.

What difference does this make to insurance? Well, someone who gets more tickets is assumed by the insurance company to be a more reckless driver. Thus, he will pay more in insurance premiums because he is a higher risk. However, the car color alone won’t indicate this.

In fact, most insurance companies don’t even know what color your vehicle is. That information isn’t included in the VIN. So unless they ask or you volunteer the information, they aren’t even likely to know.

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Some Cars Are More Costly to Insure

All this is not to say that all cars are created equal, especially when it comes to insurance costs. There are many cars that cost more to insure than others. However, it’s not because of their car color. Click here to find which which vehicles are the least expensive to insure.

Sports cars as well as high-performance cars do have higher insurance premiums, especially on the comprehensive and collision portions. Statistically, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners says sports car drivers get more tickets and are involved in more accidents than drivers of other cars are.

In addition, these cars are very fast, and their drivers tend to drive them quite fast. This can also lead to more accidents.

All of this leads to insurance companies charging more to cover these vehicles. Since many such cars are painted red or other bright, flashy colors to suit the personality of the car, perhaps that’s why the myth began.

However, other cars will cost you more to insure. New cars and any expensive car will cost more since they would be more expensive to replace. Larger vehicles, like vans or SUVs, can cause more damage than a smaller vehicle, so sometimes the liability insurance for these are a bit higher, even if they are old and not worth very much themselves.

Features that Lower Insurance Costs

On the flip side, there are many features that a vehicle can have which can actually lower your premium. One such feature is having four doors. Almost every two-door car is classified as a sports car, no matter how sporty the vehicle actually is. As we’ve already established, sports cars will cost more in insurance. So if you’re deciding between a two-door or four-door version of the same car, realize that the four-door will save you a lot of money on insurance.

No matter whether you have a car, truck, van, or SUV, there are many safety features available that can provide great discounts on your insurance. Since these have been shown to reduce injuries in accidents and so reducing the amount of money they would have to spend in an accident, insurance companies encourage their customers to have them by giving them discounts.

Airbags are standard in almost every modern car. The more airbags you have, the better the discount. Daylight running lights, crumple zone passenger areas, and anti-lock brakes are standard on many vehicles. More recent developments in safety features include things like back-up camera and electronic stability control. Some vehicles can even warn you if there is someone in your blind spot or if you are drifting off to sleep.

Make sure you tell your insurance company about every safety feature you have, so they give you credit for all of them. For more information about safety features to look for, visit Consumer Reports.

Don’t forget to look for features that can help prevent auto theft as well. Insurance companies like these too, as it saves them a lot of money if they don’t have to pay to replace your stolen car. Alarm systems have been around for a long time, but now there are more advanced ways to keep your car safe.

Some vehicles are equipped with an engine immobilizer. This feature requires the key to be in the ignition or the motor will shut itself off, preventing hotwiring. You can also get monitoring systems that can help the police locate the car in just seconds.

Driver Information Affects Premium

Insurance companies also look at your personal driving information when they determine your insurance premiums. If you have a history with a lot of traffic violations or accidents, you are going to pay more for insurance.

Many people don’t realize that insurance companies also look at your credit history. While it isn’t the primary indicator they use, they do include it in the determination of your insurance costs. Studies have found that people who are responsible with their money are also responsible drivers, and vice versa. Thus, if you have bad credit, you could reduce your premiums by raising your credit score.

These factors hurt new drivers, who have no driving history at all and usually haven’t established a credit history either. It’s one reason teens are more expensive to insure. However, young drivers can offset this to a degree by making good grades, as insurance companies usually give discounts for that.

Obviously, the amount of insurance you carry will greatly affect your insurance costs. If you carry comp and collision, you’ll pay more than those who just buy liability. Additionally, if you carry very low deductibles, you’ll pay for it in higher premiums. To lower your insurance costs, raise your deductible to $500 or even $1,000.

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Geography and Demographics

It’s not only your driving history or kind of car that you drive which affect your premiums. Insurance companies also look at things like demographics and geography.

For example, since men of any age are more likely to have accidents than women of the same age, men generally pay higher premiums than women do. Your age also will affect the bottom line. Young women usually pay higher premiums until they turn 21. Men don’t usually see a drop until they reach 25. In fact, young men between 16 and 25 pay the highest premiums of any age group.

Where you live also plays a role in the way your premiums are determined. Urban drivers generally pay much higher premiums than people who live in rural areas. Because there are just so many more cars and traffic, living in a large city means you are more likely to be in an accident than if you live out in the country.

Living in a high crime area can also cause premiums to be higher for all drivers in that area, even if you haven’t been a victim of vandalism or car theft.

How to Save Money on Insurance

While repainting your car may not do anything to lower your car insurance premium, there are ways you can save money.

Evaluate your insurance needs to see if you are paying for more than you need. If you have towing privileges from a car club or free from the car manufacturer, drop the towing rider on your policy.

If you have an older car that is paid off, do the math to see if it still needs comp and collision coverage. Just remember that without this coverage you’ll be completely responsible to replace it if it is stolen or if you wreck it.

Lowering your liability to the state requirements may seem like a good way to save, but that decision could cost you a lot in the future. Since some state minimum requirements are so low, you could end up paying a lot out of pocket, perhaps wiping out any savings or retirement you have. It’s best to leave liability at the recommended 100/300/50 level or higher and look for other ways to save.

Another way to save is to get multiple quotes from several different companies. Since they all calculate premiums differently, you could possible save quite a bit from one company over another. For more tips on saving money on your car insurance, visit the Insurance Information Institute.

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