Automotive / Insurance. Does a brightly colored car cost more to insure?

To find out, let’s start with the colors of the vehicles we meet on the road.

A few years ago, the trend was black, matte or shiny; recently, white (yet synonymous with utility) is well in court, as evidenced by the SUVs of Audi or other premium brands; it is even the first color in the world.

New gray shades are in vogue, but not really bright yellow or red, which are disappearing from the color charts of generalist or top-of-the-range manufacturers, except perhaps for prestigious Italian brands.


The 2008 crisis got the better of shimmering colours, manufacturers removed them from the catalogue. Audi picture

A matter of statistics

In the 1970s, in Japan, cars were dazzling in colour, but around thirty years ago in France, the insurer asked for the color of the vehicle when taking out the contract.

It was better for the color not to be red because, statistically, owners of red cars had more accidents; some psychologists claimed that owners of red vehicles were more willing to take risks and therefore more prone to having accidents.

In the 1970s, it was not uncommon to come across vehicles painted in bright colors.  Photo B. Jouvin

In the 1970s, it was not uncommon to come across vehicles painted in bright colors. Photo B. Jouvin

No longer the same criteria at the insurer

If, in the 1990s, car insurance companies applied a certain number of so-called behavioral criteria to vehicles in order to calculate the premium (bright paint, convertible, etc.), today the insurer will take into account the power of the car, the options, the driver’s background, the place of residence, the guarantees requested to establish its pricing. No more question of color.

Moreover, an Australian study from 2004 points to the lack of contrast between the car and its external environment as the main accident risk. Thus, users would have an additional 12% chance of being involved in an accident driving a black car rather than driving a white car, and 7% for a red car, on a par with blue cars.

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