Do people with red cars really get more speeding tickets than those with blue cars? Do car insurance companies use the color of your car to determine your rates? Do certain colors increase your chance of an accident? What does the color of your car SAY about your personality?
How Fast IS That Red Car?
According to the Web site Colormatters.com there may be some truth the urban legends surrounding car color and speeding tickets … at least anecdotally.
Visitors to that site say that when they drive red cars they seem to get more speeding tickets. Although there seems to be no official statistics kept for such things, and the police aren’t talking about it, the stories reinforce the urban legend that many have heard.
In general, driving the speed limit is usually a good idea no matter what color car you drive. If you keep your red car at or near the limit, the chances you will get a ticket are much smaller. In fact, they are probably exactly the same as the guy next to you driving the speed limit in his purple car.
Color and Personality
In Great Britain there was actually some research done that suggested that the colour (they really like that spelling for some reason) 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.
Here is what it said about certain car colors (listed in order of most dangerous to least)*
Match? No Match?
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.
The Color of Money
What about the car insurance rates question? Does your car 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. But the fact is that 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 percent 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 (of the car, not YOU) 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 and get it. 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 the speed of that little red number somewhere around 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 10+ Tips to Help You Save on Car Insurance article
*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.