Facts & Figures
Does Car Color Reflect Personality and Car Insurance Prices?
Is it really true that people with red cars get more speeding tickets than those with green cars? Do insurance companies really determine your premiums based upon the color of your car? Are the chances of an accident really increased by certain colors? Does the color of your car indicate something about your personality?
Are Red Cars Faster?
Colormatters.com suggests that there may be some truth to the urban legends surrounding car color and speeding tickets… at least anecdotally.
Visitors to that site report that when driving red cars, they seem to get more speeding tickets. Although there seems to be no official statistics, stories like these tend reinforce the urban legend.
If you don't speed, you won't get a speeding ticket, so driving the speed limit is a good idea no matter what color car you drive.
Color and Personality
In the United Kingdom, research suggested that the color of your car says something about your personality type. And accordingly, based on your personality type, your likeliness to be involved in an accident (in the U.K. at least). That research showed that black cars are twice as likely to be involved in crashes as cream-color cars. Whether this is true in the United States is unclear.
Just for fun, here is what the research implied about certain car colors (listed in order of most dangerous to least)1.
- Black cars denote an aggressive personality or someone who's an outsider or rebel.
- Silver cars indicate someone who's cool, calm and slightly aloof.
- Green cars can often be chosen by people with hysterical tendencies.
- Yellow cars signify someone who is idealistic and novelty loving.
- Blue cars are chosen by the more introspective, reflective and cautious driver.
- Gray cars represent those who are calm, sober and dedicated to their work.
- Red cars denote those who are full of zest, energy and drive and who think, move and talk quickly.
- Pink cars are chosen by gentle, loving and affectionate drivers.
- White cars represent status-seeking extrovert drivers.
- Cream cars are the least likely to be involved in accidents and denote self-contained and controlled owners.
Color And Your Premium - Any Relation?
What about the car insurance rates question? Does your auto insurance company use color to determine your premium? The answer is…no.
Some people have suggested that insurers use the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to determine the car color and use that information, in part, to set the rate for each car. However, car color is not one of the details encoded into a VIN number. So technically, unless they ask you the color of your car when you buy your car insurance policy, they really have no idea what color it is. And thus has no affect on your rate.
Additionally, according to an article in the Chicago Sun-Times in 2005, despite the mistaken belief by 25% of drivers that color affects your car insurance rates, it really has no effect on your insurance at all. Factors like year, make, model, body type, and engine size are taken into consideration along with the driver's personal information.
So, if you want that little red sports car, go right ahead. Does it mean you are full of zest, energy and drive and think, move and talk quickly? Only you can answer that.
The fact is, if you keep your speed at or just below the posted limit, stop at red lights, yield to oncoming traffic, and make your cell phone calls when you are stopped, you will probably do a lot more for your car insurance rates than any color ever could.
For more on car insurance savings see our article, 10 Tips to Help You Save on Car Insurance.
1. Quoted from the "Fun at Work" blog by Robin Thompson who quoted from an article in the June 20th 2005 edition of the Register-Herald in Beckley, West Virginia.