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Does car colour affect insurance quotes?

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When you go out looking for a shiny new motor, you have lots of things to think about - fuel economy, practicality, equipment, added extras and of course price. One thing that usually only gets a slight consideration is colour. According to TheAA only 3% of women and just about 1% of men think that colour is an important factor when buying a car.

Even if you are the type of person who would spend time considering the exterior colour, it is purely a matter of taste. Which is you favourite car colour? Should it be matt or metallic, should it be two-tone?

What people never consider is some colours are more dangerous to drive than others, some colours are involved in more accidents than others and some colours are not popular with insurance companies so they will cost you more to insure.

That little box on the insurance form that asks the colour of the vehicle is there for a reason, insurance companies know that there are more accidents, deaths and injuries in certain coloured cars above others.

Insurers have always had a dislike for sports cars that are red, the main reason for this is that they are the most popular combination for boy racers; sports cars look good for attracting girls and feeling like a macho race driver. And red psychologically is an exciting colour that says 'speed' to younger male drivers, that's why insurance companies don't like them.

There is a pecking order in terms of accidents for regular car drivers when it comes to colour and accidents. Monash University Accident Research Centre performed an accident statistic study and discovered that white is the safest colour on the road.

Blue or red vehicles were involved in 7% more accidents than white cars, silver were more accident prone at 10%, grey are a little worse at 11% and with 12% more accidents than white cars, black was the worst offending colour.

Of more concern to insurers is that although silver is in the middle of the pack, it is fast becoming the colour of choice for new car buyers, with some companies offering four or five different silver variants, meaning that as many as 30% of new cars are silver.

White is not particularly popular, because although it is the safest colour it also has the worst re-sale value because of its tendency to show dirt easily as well as marks and scratches.

Just to muddy the waters a little more, another study also found the link between car colour and accident rates. However it found that although silver cars were involved in fewer accidents than white cars, they were more likely to be involved in serious and fatal accidents.

The reason white or silver is better than black or other dark colours such as green (which appears black at night) is that they are harder to see, especially in dark or poor visibility situations, leading to more accidents for those colours over white and light coloured cars.

So the next time you're buying a car, make sure you give some thought about the colour because not only can it reduce your car insurance quotes but it can also mean you're less likely to be involved in an accident. And who doesn't want to be safe on the roads, eh?

gices Published 01 Sep 2008
I'm a Software Developer and the founder of Clever Dodo. I encourage people to practice MAM (Movement/Arts/Meditation) for a well-balanced and happy life. Born in Mauritius and now living in the UK, I usually blog about fitness, music, spirituality and driving topics to pass on my knowledge.

Driver SOS (UK)

Helping with car insurance, driving bans, learning to drive and other motoring issues

Driver SOS (UK)

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2897 members . 1217 topics . 2221 posts