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Have you ever heard that people driving red vehicles are more likely to be pulled over by a police officer? If so, you have also probably heard that buying a red car guarantees you will be paying more for auto insurance. It is amazing how these urban legends propagate so quickly. Like Mark Twain once said, “A lie travels around the globe while the truth is putting on its shoes.”
According to well-known myth debunking website Snopes (www.snopes.com), police across the U.S. have consistently denied any connection between vehicle color and tickets issued or the allegation that they write up the drivers of red cars more often than they do other motorists. Said Sgt. Thornnie Rouse, a trooper with the Maryland State Police for more than 20 years: “You don’t care about the car’s color, you care about the violation. If a red car and a green car drive past you, and the green car is going 30 mph over the speed limit, the driver of the green car is the one who is going to get stopped.”
What car is pulled over the most? Quality Data (now Verisk Analytics) did a study a few years back and found that he most-ticketed car on the road is the Mercedes-Benz SL-Class. Drivers of these cars are four times more likely to get a ticket than the average person. Of course at $100k per vehicle, those drivers can probably afford a speeding ticket.
No surprise at the least ticketed vehicle. 8 of the 10 least-ticketed cars are SUVs and minivans. This is likely because these vehicles are likely carrying multiple passengers – in particular younger children – and people tend to drive safer in those scenarios.
The real question is whether insurance companies charge a higher premium for red vehicles. If your red vehicle is a late model Ferrari, you will most definitely be paying a high premium, but not because of the color. Likewise if you are driving a red Prius and your friend has a white Lexus, guess who will be paying less for their insurance coverage. Premiums are based on a number of factors. Vehicle color is not one of them.
One way to keep your premiums down is to avoid getting tickets. The best way to getting tickets is to drive safely.