What's The Most Popular Car Color? You Might Be Surprised!

3 years ago

Just because you might want to match your car color to your favorite nail polish, doesn't mean you’re the typical consumer. A recent study has found that for much of the last decade, silver was the most popular color choice for cars; however, if you’ve purchased a vehicle in the last three years, odds are better that it was white.

Not only has white been the most popular car color choice, its popularity has increased by three percent since 2012. PPG Industries, the leading supplier of automotive paints and the provider of the data used in the study states that a quarter of the vehicles for which they supplied paint were white.

The Benefits of White Vehicles
One of the explanations for these numbers may be the fact that they included fleet vehicles (which are often painted white) in the study, but there are a few practical reasons that car buyers like the color.

  • Availability. Whereas some other colors may not be available on a particular model, white is usually available on vehicles from all segments. It also looks good on most of them.
  • Stays Relatively Cool. In warmer climates, a white vehicle will reflect heat and not absorb it the way that vehicles with darker finishes will.
  • Neutrality. White is neutral, which means that when the time comes to resell the car, it may be easier to find a buyer than it would be with a brighter or odd color.

Possible Reasons for White's Popularity

Marcie Cooperman is a professor of color theory at Parsons The New School for Design. She says that white is identified with both elegance and purity in the minds of some buyers. Those qualities may enhance its appeal.

Additionally, it is thought that both white and silver are popular because of those colors' connections with modern technology. For example, both white and silver are prominent in popular products from Apple, like the iPad. Another possible reason is the fact that there are various “whites” available to car buyers, giving them options beyond just plain white.

The Most Popular Colors for Vehicles

According to the study, the top three colors for vehicles are white, black and silver.

Black and silver are actually tied for second place. White is particularly popular in the SUV and light truck class. This category accounts for more than half of the market for new vehicles. White does not dominate in all areas, however. It was found that minivans are more likely to be gold or beige. The color blue (especially powder blue) has been largely given to hybrids and electric vehicles. It is thought that this is because of its association with blue sky and water and that connection to environmental consciousness. 

These numbers however, are based on the color of the vehicle at the time of sale. It is important to note that many car owners opt for a vinyl wrap in their favorite color to protect the original paint coating, which allows them to have the color they want while making it easy to revert to their original color when it comes time to resell the vehicle. Others wait until their paint starts to fade before redoing it in a new color rather than splurging on a new vehicle altogether. Do you love the look of the new matte paint finishes, but don’t want to buy a new car just to get it? Wrap your ride in a matte paint protection film. Let the original color shine through, with that cool matte look.

The Importance of Vehicle Color
Along with its study, PPG also conducted an online survey to get consumer opinion on paint color. The survey found that almost half of all vehicle buyers made their decisions because of their chosen vehicle's color. Additionally, a third of those surveyed were willing to pay more for a vehicle that expressed their personality via color.

Despite white's present popularity, it is already evident that other colors are growing on American drivers. It is expected that red and blue will be rising in 2014, especially on sportier vehicles. Additionally, you may have more color options if you purchase a vehicle in 2014. Auto manufacturers are developing variations on the three most popular colors that will be tied to their brands and that will suit their vehicles. You’ll also see new colors that have ingredients like micas and glass flakes to give them distinctive qualities.

And if you really want your nail polish to match your car, consider this gift pack from Mercedes-Benz, which offers three bottles of nail polish in genuine Mercedes-Benz colours (jupiter red, monolith grey metallic, south sea blue metallic). Want a larger selection of choices? Then consider the limited-edition nail lacquer collection inspired by the popular Ford Mustang. The OPI Ford Mustang nail polish collection features six Mustang-inspired shades that are set to hit U.S. stores in July.



Jody DeVere
AskPatty.com, Inc.


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