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News Room

Could The Colour Of Your Car Influence Your Premium?

Jason Snyman
2020-03-23
Are red cars more expensive to insure? Are white cars safer, and therefore cheaper? Does the colour of your car influence the price of your monthly insurance premium at all? We separate fact from fiction once and for all.

Does the colour of your car affect your insurance premium? It may sound ridiculous, that something so small could have such an impact. Adding to that, there are a lot of myths going around. So, we’re going to set the record straight once and for all. 

Insurance companies take a great amount of factors into account when calculating the risk of insuring you or your belongings. These factors will all determine your monthly premium rates. For instance, when it comes to life insurance, if you’re a smoker who never exercises, it stands to reason that you would be a higher risk when taking out life insurance. With car insurance, insurers will look at the type of car, the age of the driver, the marital status of the driver, where the car is parked and so on and so forth. 

There are many factors to consider, and they all make sense in their own way. Broadly speaking, colours such as black and red are seen as higher risk vehicles. White or green, on the other hand, are low risk. You may have heard somebody say that white vehicles are safer because they’re easier to see at night. These are all things to take into account.

So, how do we separate fact from fiction? 

How Does The Colour Of Your Car Influence Your Premium?

Here are the top three factors to take into account when it comes to the colour of your car, and why your premium may suffer.

  • Visibility;
  • Predisposition Toward Road Rage;
  • Risk Of Hijacking.

Obviously, lighter and brighter coloured cars are more visible. They stand out, and they’re easier to spot in low light. 

Personality traits are also reflected in the colour of the car that you drive. Many people, of course, take any colour they can get when buying second hand. But there’s a lot to be said about the colour you choose, should you have the chance. Drivers who choose red, for instance, may be inclined to drive faster than others. They’re often seen as a little more reckless. They’re passionate drivers. While white, on the other hand, may indicate a higher level of risk aversion. It may come as a surprise then, to many South African motorists who brave the chaotic highways every day, that white is the most popular colour among cars in the country. 

According to Lightstone Auto, around 42.5% of the cars sold in South Africa are white. Silver and grey come in 2nd and 3rd place, with 20.2% and 10.4% of sales, respectively. 

Black, surprisingly, seemed to be one of the least favourites. Only 1.0%. 

Only psychopaths buy pink or purple cars.  

Fact Or Fiction?

Many insurance companies, such as Discovery or Santam, have gone on record in the past to say that the colour of the car is not a factor. These insurers prefer to look at the likelihood of you claiming, and should you claim, how much will the reparation cost? So, the main thing these insurers will look at is your driving behaviour. What you do behind the wheel, how you drive, is what really determines your level of risk. Of course, insurers have no way of knowing how you drive before they insure you. So a number of other factors are taken into account as well. Such as:

  • Your age;
  • Past claims experience;
  • How many traffic offences you’ve committed;
  • If you’re married or have any children;
  • The distance you drive every day;
  • The crime rate of the area you live in;
  • The actual model, age and value of your vehicle.

The greatest factor here, colour wise, is the type of paint used. Metallic paint, for instance, is far more expensive. Flat colours, such as white, are the cheapest to replace. This is the only factor which could influence your premium. 

So, we can safely say that this myth is busted. The colour of your car does not influence your insurance premium. 

It’s also safe to assume that this myth started for the simple reason that sports cars are driven faster than others, are therefore at a higher risk of crashing, and most people tend to want them in that gorgeous, blistering candy apple red.  

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