Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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The lowdown...

  • It’s a myth that the color of your vehicle affects your insurance rates
  • Many factors determine your insurance premiums, but the color of your car isn’t one of them
  • If you have a custom paint job, you may want to purchase supplemental insurance to protect it from damage
  • Another myth is that your state’s minimum auto insurance is all you need
  • You can ensure you get the best deal on car insurance if you compare several policies and review your coverage regularly

Many myths swirl around about how your choice of car color can affect you down the road.

Perhaps you’ve heard flashy-colored cars, such as red and yellow, get pulled over more often by police. Maybe you’re under the impression brand new shiny red sports cars get stolen most often.

Or you’ve latched onto one of the most common misconceptions about car-buying: that car color affects insurance costs.

The truth is, the color of your vehicle, with rare exceptions, has zero bearing on what you pay for insurance. And those rare exceptions involve custom paint jobs and aren’t about the color itself.

The following section separates fact from fiction on what does and doesn’t affect your price for auto insurance.

If you are looking to purchase a car soon and need better auto insurance, compare at least three to four policies today to find the best rates for you! Enter your ZIP code above to begin!

Common Myths About Car-Buying


There are a few common myths about buying a car. Most have to do with how your vehicle choice can affect your chances of theft, a ticket, or higher insurance rates.

Vehicle Theft

People tend to think the most commonly stolen vehicles are shiny, gaudy sports cars. It’s also a common misconception that new cars get stolen more often than used cars.

Actually, the opposite is true. Used cars are far more frequent targets of theft than new cars.

Moreover, thieves usually go for nondescript cars that blend into the pack on the highway.

Here are the ten most frequently stolen cars for the year 2015. The number of stolen units of each make and model is in parentheses.

  • 1996 Honda Accord (52,244)
  • 1998 Honda Civic (49,430)
  • 2006 Ford F-Series (29,396)
  • 2004 Chevrolet Silverado (27,771)
  • 2014 Toyota Camry (15,466)
  • 2001 Dodge Ram (11,212)
  • 2014 Toyota Corolla (10,547)
  • 2015 Nissan Altima (10,374)
  • 2002 Dodge Caravan (9,798)
  • 2008 Chevrolet Impala (9,225)

The only new car on the list for that year is the 2015 Nissan Altima. Moreover, notice what all the vehicle models have in common.

They’re all popular cars and trucks that tons of people drive and thus don’t draw much attention on the road.

No correlation exists between vehicle color and theft rates. If preventing theft is your primary concern, the color of your car shouldn’t factor into your decision.

Tickets and Citations


You might know someone who’s deferred from buying themselves or their teenager a brightly colored car for fear of attracting police attention. It’s long been rumored that red cars, for instance, get pulled over the most.

The only evidence supporting this myth is anecdotal. But if you’re worried about tickets, then really, you have a couple of options.

The first, and most obvious, is to take great care to follow traffic laws. Come to a complete stop (not a “California roll“) at all stop signs, follow speed limits, and so forth.

The other is to follow the same protocol as car thieves and buy the most nondescript car possible. But again, no hard evidence exists that this will shield you from police attention.

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Car Insurance Costs

The same cars rumored to get stolen and pulled over most often are also thought to carry the highest insurance rates, including:

  • Your reds
  • Your yellows
  • Your bright greens, etc.

But this is a total myth. Just take a look at any car insurance application. The company doesn’t even ask what color your car is. They want to know the make, model, year, mileage, and things like that.

Another urban legend exists that your car’s vehicle identification number (VIN) indicates its color.

The VIN is that long code featuring both numbers and letters that are imprinted at the corner of the dashboard under the driver’s side windshield.

A VIN identifies many features of your car, but the color isn’t one of them.

So the color of your car has no effect on how much it costs to insure it. The only exception is this: you have a custom paint job that was so expensive that you choose to pay extra to insure it.

Suppose you’re in a car club and get wings or flames painted on the side of your car. You can buy supplemental insurance to cover this “artwork” in case it gets chipped or damaged.

But even then, the cost of this insurance doesn’t vary based on the color of your paint job.

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State Minimum Coverage


Apart from New Hampshire and Virginia, every state sets minimum liability coverage levels. You have to keep this amount of insurance to drive legally. Often, drivers sign up for their state’s minimum to pay the lowest in premiums.

But insuring yourself at your state’s minimum coverage levels can be a disaster waiting to happen. State minimums can leave you woefully underinsured in an accident.

Sure, they keep you legal and prevent you from receiving a citation for driving uninsured. But what’s even worse than a ticket is having to pay big money out of pocket for an accident because your insurance is insufficient.

Take California, for example. The state’s minimum coverage requirements are as follows:

  • Injury or death to one person: $15,000
  • Injury or death to more than one person: $30,000
  • Property damage: $5,000

The highest cost of living state in the country requires that you carry only $5,000 in insurance to cover property damage.

What percentage of cars in a place like Los Angeles or Orange County do you think are worth $5,000 or less? Probably very few.

Many of those cars are valued at $50,000 or more. Imagine hitting one of those vehicles and totaling it while carrying only $5,000 in liability coverage.

When deciding on car insurance coverage, it’s a good idea to consider more than what the law requires. Think about how your state’s minimums compare to what the likely damage amount would be in an accident.

If there’s a huge gap, such as in California, consider spending a little more to secure better coverage.

Comparison Shopping


To get the best car insurance, you have to shop around. The auto insurance landscape is always in flux.

Not to mention, your own needs evolve over time as well.

Shopping Around

Car insurance companies are everywhere. You have dozens of options from which to choose.

So it makes no sense to go with the first offer you receive. Although, doing so almost certainly results in leaving a better deal on the table.

Instead, shop around and compare at least three to four quotes side by side. This way, you can select a policy with confidence knowing it beat out several other offers.

Reviewing Your Coverage

Insurance companies change over time, and so do your needs. The coverage you decided was best six months ago may not be best going forward.

The only way to be sure is to review your coverage every six months at renewal time.

Consider if your needs have changed. Did you change vehicles? Is there a new driver in the household? Did your driving record get better or worse?

Different needs often mean different policies are right for you.

Many factors determine what you pay for car insurance. But it’s a myth that the color of your vehicle is one of them. Choose whatever color you want with confidence knowing that you’ll pay the same to insure your car.

Looking to get a new car and maybe new auto insurance? Start comparison shopping today by entering your ZIP code below!