Auto Insurance

Does the colour of your car impact your car insurance rate?

By: Dominic Licorish on March 24, 2017
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One of the most persistent beliefs about car insurance is that if you drive a red car, you should be prepared to get pulled over a lot: and pay higher insurance rates as a result.

But if you avoided buying a red car because you didn’t want to get fleeced on your insurance premiums, we’ve got some bad news. You’ve been had. As an expert tells us below, it’s a myth that your car colour impacts your premium.

Next time you’re in the dealership looking for a new ride, don’t limit yourself to the safe and boring greys and beiges of the automotive world. Go bold. Go red. It’s fine, I promise.

Despite there being no evidence of colours impacting rates, the majority of people (myself included at one point) get the impression that the colour of your car affects your insurance rate.

To put the myth to rest, I talked to Kristen Gill, senior vice president of personal lines pricing and development at Aviva Canada. I asked her about car insurance and car colour and she gave me a pretty unambiguous answer.

Do insurance companies care what colour your car is?

“No,” Gill says. “Colour is not a rating factor and Aviva does not use colour for rating or underwriting.”

So pink, hot red, purple or maroon, you’re free to go wild with your colour choice when buying your vehicle.

Why do people think the colour of their car makes a difference to their insurance rate?

This one’s a little more tricky, as the origin of the myth is difficult to pin down. People naturally search for explanations for things they see happening in their life. Historically, the colour red has been associated with performance cars such as Ferraris and Mustangs. And of course, performance cars were designed to go fast, so it might that such cars were just getting more tickets — raising their insurance premiums in the process.

But that’s not a result of insurers charging them more for being red.

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Take a look at our auto quoter. When you use our comparison tool to shop around for rates, at no point is the form requiring any information about your vehicle’s colour. Because it doesn’t matter.

According to Gill, vehicle colour just doesn’t work as a usable variable for insurers to collect.

“In general, a good variable should be easy for an insurer to obtain and verify, such as driving and claims history, or vehicle information such as year, make and model,” she told me. “We have found that variables that align with good driving experience — the type of vehicle driven and the external exposures the vehicle is faced with — to be the most predictive rating variables.”

Basically the biggest factors in determining your insurance rate are your driving history, the vehicle itself, and where you live.

So spread the word and let’s bury this car insurance myth once and for all.