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Money Jun 3, 2013

Don't buy a white car. Here's why

By Bindisha Sarang

When you buy a car there are many parameters you consider. Initially, they are whether to buy petrol or diesel model, a hatchback or a sedan, an India make or foreign, etc. Once all such important aspects are decided, you narrow down to the colour. Here you have many choices, right from simple white to that of jet black to sporty red to the boring grey.

But, if you are an owner of white car or if you plan to buy a white car, you better be careful.

According to a report published in The Times of India today, "The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) has found that 90 percent stolen cars were white."

Reuters

Reuters

In fact, the bureau's annual statistics revealed that Delhi topped with 72,215 thefts (motorcycles, cars/jeeps, buses, trucks/tempos and other vehicles) registered, followed by Bangalore (33,682). While Mumbai stood third with 25,748 and Jaipur fourth (25,394). Pune and Ahmedabad follow with 17,841 and 17,693, respectively. And the overall thefts in Maharashtra were 1,06,596 from 2007 to 2012.

And 90 percent of these stolen cars were white in colour. Looks like that buying a white car is as good as sending a car thief an open invitation to steal. There could be a number of reasons as to why more white car are being stolen, probably it's easy to repaint them into another colour. Or, may be since white is the most popular colour, they get stolen more.

Now considering that white cars hold a higher risk to be stolen, would you pay a higher auto insurance premium?

Though there is no data in the public domain to prove this (many say it's a myth), an insurer we recently spoke to told us, "In developed countries, the colour of the car is also a parameter when it comes to deciding premiums on the car. Red cars are charged slightly more premiums, since they are more prone to accidents, since maximum number of red cars are sports cars."

So, will you have to pay a higher premium for white cars in India, since they are most likely to be stolen? We spoke to an expert from the insurance industry. "What happens in global insurance industry, is eventually replicated in India. So, may be in the future, the colour of the car would play a role in the premium amounts. For instance, like western countries, now drivers monitoring device is being installed by a few auto insurance companies in India." he said.

Though it's a little premature to say that white cars will be charged a higher premium in the future, based on data that car thieves love stealing them over other cars, we suggest, if you own a white car, do install an anti-theft device on you are. Not only will your car be safer (against possible theft) with such a device, installing an anti-theft device (approved by the Automotive Research Association of India) reduces your premiums by a small amount.

To choose a white car or not is entirely your call. But the statistics show that white is the colour of choice for the car thieves.

To know more about a few sure shot ways to reduce your car insurance premiums read this.

by Bindisha Sarang

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