Do Red Cars Get Ticketed More Than Other Colors?


Everyone tells you not to buy a red car, but are they right?

When buying a new car, you've probably heard people tell you to avoid buying a red one. They will tell you that these cars are more likely to be pulled over by the police for speeding and that you will have to pay more for insurance. Many people even get get scared off from buying a red car because they assume that these people are correct. However, we are here to tell you that both of these statements are complete myths. Red cars are not more likely to be pulled over and certainly do not cost more to insure. So how can we disprove this myth?

We will tackle that speeding myth first. Why do people believe that red cars get ticketed more? Red is a bright color that sometimes get associated with sports cars. There is also a "supposed" optical illusion where red cars appear to be going faster than they really are, although we have never heard this one personally. According to Carolyn Gorman, vice president of the Insurance Information Institute and Insurance Trade Association "there is no data to support the assertion that red cars receive more traffic tickets than cars of any other color." In fact, the most ticketed color is white with 19% of all tickets. Red is second at 16%. However, you have to consider how many cars are painted in these colors.

Back in 1990 a reporter for the St. Petersburg Times recorded a test of vehicles that got pulled over in his area. His results showed that red cars got pulled over less than they should have, relative to the amount of red cars on the road. On the other hand, grey cars were pulled over more than they should relative to the number of grey cars. So we can bury the myth that red cars get pulled over more because it is simply not true. The next myth to dispel about red cars is that they cost more to insure. It's easy to see where this rumor came from, however. People think that red cars get ticketed more, so why wouldn't insurance companies charge more to insure them? Too bad this is also false.


In fact, according to Gorman, "there are no major insurance companies that consider car color when determining your rates." Insurance rates differ based on where you live, how old you are, driving record, any many other factors. However, vehicle color is not on of them. When you call your insurance company for a quote, they will not ask you about your vehicle color. As a red Miata owner, I can personally tell you that the insurance company does not care about my red car. Therefore, we can fully count the myths about red cars as false. If you want a red car, go ahead and buy one. But we will admit, they do attract some attention from people who might think you are a showoff, just not police.

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