Does your car colour affect your insurance premium price?

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Colour and price
Should you change your car colour
Telling your insurer
Telling the DVLA
Car modifications and insurance group

The colour of your car doesn't directly affect how much you pay for car insurance, but your price can go up if you change the colour.

Here, we explain everything you need to know about how the colour of your motor could affect your car insurance (the answer isn't so black and white!)

Does car colour affect your car insurance?

Yes and no. You'll often hear people say that certain car colours are more expensive to insure than others.

Red and yellow cars, for instance, are often labelled as "risky" and therefore attract a higher premium.

But that's actually a myth about how car insurance works.

The colour of the car you buy from a dealer isn't factored into the price you pay for insurance.

So choosing a red Toyota Corolla Hatchback over a grey one, for example, won't increase your premium. 🚗

If you change the colour of the car after you've bought it, however, your insurer may charge you more for a policy.

Changing a car's colour can make your insurance more expensive

Most insurers class changing your car colour as a modification.

Car modifications are any changes that make your vehicle look or perform differently from the manufacturer's standard.

These include cosmetic changes such as:

  • colour wrapping
  • custom paint work
  • adding stickers and decals

Or performance alterations like changes to your engine, brakes or exhaust.

Modifying your car is likely to increase your car insurance price.

This is because the changes affect the value of your car, which is one of the things insurance companies look at when figuring out your price.

Getting your car painted a new colour, for example, could make it more attractive to thieves and increase the risk of it being stolen.

A red car won't necessarily cost more to insure than another coloured car
A red car won't necessarily cost more to insure than another coloured car
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Should you change your car colour?

Car modifications add another layer of risk which will drive up the cost of a car policy, so it's worth thinking twice.

This could result in massive prices, especially for younger drivers.

Young drivers under 25 already pay the most for car insurance because they tend to have more accidents and make more claims.

So if you're a younger driver or already have an expensive car premium, avoiding cosmetic or performance car modifications can help you pay less for insurance.

If your heart is set on changing your car colour, it's worth speaking to your insurer before spending any money.

They'll be able to tell you how any car modifications may affect your insurance price.

Insurance group and personal details are what impacts premium prices
Insurance group and personal details are what impacts premium prices

Do you need to tell your insurer if your car colour changes?

If you decide to change your car colour (or make any other modifications), let your insurer know as soon as possible.

They'll need to change your car insurance details to keep your policy up-to-date.

Always be honest about any changes made to your car. If you don't, your policy might be invalidated. 🚫

This means that you may not be covered if you need to make a claim on your car insurance.

Do you need to tell the DVLA about car modifications?

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) needs accurate records of your car's details for tax and road safety purposes.

Insurance companies and the police use DVLA records to get information about your car, including the colour, model and engine size.

You can look at that data for free using our car checker tool.

You'll also need to contact the DVLA to update your vehicle details if you make certain modifications to your car.

This includes changing the:

  • Colour
  • Engine
  • Cylinder capacity (cc)
  • Fuel type
  • Chassis or bodyshell (replaced or modified)
  • Seating capacity
  • Weight of a large vehicle, for example goods vehicle or campervan

To make any changes, you'll need to update something called a V5C (also known as a "log book").

This is the paperwork you get from the DVLA to prove that you're the registered keeper of a car.

All you have to do is complete section 7 of the V5C and send it off to DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1BA.

You should get a new V5C should be sent to you within two to four weeks.

Do car modifications affect your insurance group?

Every car in the UK is put into one of 50 insurance groups.

Insurers use these groups, along with a few other things, to calculate how much you pay for a policy.

As a general rule, the higher your insurance group, the more it adds to the cost of your car insurance.

Insurance grouping is decided by a special panel that takes lots of things into consideration.

These include how much a new car is worth, the cost of repairs and the availability of parts.

Changing the specifications of your car could mean it goes in a more expensive insurance group.

You can check your car's insurance group for free using our new tool!

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Updated on 30th March 2023