Ask just about anyone who has vehicle insurance and they will tell you, with absolute conviction, that the colour of your car significantly affects your premiums, and that red or black cars cost the most to insure. But this is not necessarily true; it depends on your insurer.
In an article published on his company’s website, Anton Ossip, the chief executive of Discovery Insure, said that most insurers are not interested in the colour of your car. “What they look out for is information about whether the driver has had any accidents in the past, the kilometres that are driven every year, where you live, as an indicator of the risk of theft, as well as the vehicle type.
“Your premium is also partly based on the car’s retail value and the cost to repair it. So you can put your worries to rest – just because you have a red car doesn’t mean that your premiums will be higher than a white car of the same brand,” Ossip said.
But Ernst Gouws, the chief executive of Outsurance, says the colour of your car is a factor, albeit one of many.
An Outsurance client with “a more visible car” will be charged a lower premium – all other things being equal – than one with a darker car, Gouws says. However, the colour of a vehicle is but one of many factors used to calculate the premium.
“Each insurance company will have its own premium-rating structure. At Outsurance, we aim to calculate the most accurate premium for each client. We therefore use multiple rating factors based on information about the driver, as well as the car. The colour of the car will have a very small impact on the repair cost. But our statistics prove that, on a like-for-like basis, darker cars are involved in more accidents than lighter cars. This makes intuitive sense, as white – and any of the other more visible colours – is easier to see on the roads.”
On the subject of colour, Ossip says the three most popular car colours for Discovery Insure clients are white, silver and grey. “Our data also shows that drivers with green cars have the least number of harsh events [braking, cornering or accelerating] per kilometre, while those with black cars have the most.”