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Aaron Gold

And the most popular car color is...

By October 18, 2011

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Ford Explorer in white...white.

According to paint manufacturer PPG Industries, white has surpassed silver as the most popular shade of paint for new cars.

White? Silver? Really, America? Am I the only one who likes colorful cars? I understand preserving resale value, etc., etc., but come on. (For the record, my own cars are green, blue and red with a hood that was once black but is now covered in surface rust.)

What do you think when it comes to car color: Go bright or go safe? -- Aaron Gold

Photo Ford

Comments
October 18, 2011 at 11:58 am
(1) Chris V says:

WR Blue!!!

October 18, 2011 at 12:07 pm
(2) Pichet J. - CarGuide2u says:

I like the white car and I believe that white is a good color for a car and very safe.

October 18, 2011 at 12:32 pm
(3) Jack says:

I only buy white as I feel it is a safe color. So many people forget to turn on lights when raining, etc. and white is easier to see under those conditons. I have owned 36 VWs since 1962 – most of them white.

October 19, 2011 at 2:10 pm
(4) Ron says:

White safer? Try yellow or orange or red.

October 18, 2011 at 12:37 pm
(5) Cobber says:

Since living in Arizona I’ve always been a white car guy. Stays cooler in the summer and is the easiest to keep clean. Also, I like the bold contrast of white and black.

October 18, 2011 at 12:59 pm
(6) Ross says:

Boo, but then again I said the same thing about Silver. I believe the color choices reflect on the people buying them.

Beige cars for beige people.

October 18, 2011 at 1:07 pm
(7) Steve in GA says:

My wife and I have two cars (actually, one CUV and one pickup truck) and we normally trade-in one of our vehicles for a new one each year. So, one of our concerns is that we try to never buy a car in a color that will be controversial. That is, we don’t want the color of our car to turn off potential buyers and reduce its trade-in value.

We have found that white and black have been good bets for SUV’s and CUV’s. Used car buyers for those vehicles don’t seem turned off by those colors.

We have been a little more adventurous color-wise when we owned convertibles (all Mustang GT’s), and we found that bright red works well at trade-in time.

Pickup trucks are a different story. Here, white seems the only reasonable choice, because many pickup buyers are adding trucks to their fleets, and the most popular work truck color by far is white.

The absolute worst colors we have ever dealt with at trade-in time are bright yellow and orange. If you want your car to bring lots of money when you trade, stay far away from those colors.

October 18, 2011 at 3:09 pm
(8) Steve says:

White -

1. Not as hot in the summer sun.

2. Easier to keep clean.

3. Less likely to show wax/polishing swirls.

4. Small scratches seem to be less visible. Sometimes.

I like white on most cars but there are some it just doesn’t do justice to. That said, our car is teal and our Ram 3500 is white.

October 18, 2011 at 3:10 pm
(9) Doug says:

Seems I have everything but white. With older teenagers and a college student there are 5 vehicles in black, dark green, orange, red, and dark blue.

October 18, 2011 at 3:20 pm
(10) p928sfan says:

3 reds, 2 silvers and a green here. Won’t buy a white car (and I live in AZ)

October 18, 2011 at 3:37 pm
(11) Hawaiian Don says:

I hate getting into a hot box when I’m dressed for work. The thing I hate more than that is getting into a dirty hot box. My color is white. Siver/gold is cool and low maintenance, but if you need body repair on metallic paint, it never matches.

October 18, 2011 at 7:43 pm
(12) George in Ohio says:

Right on, Don, regarding the matching of metallic silver paint. I had a fender bender on my Sonata about 2 years ago, and they redid the right rear fender. As time goes on, it looks more and more like a two tone paint job. Not happy about that!

October 18, 2011 at 3:58 pm
(13) Gary from Atlanta says:

I only drive Black cars. I have a Garage at home and work so it does not sit in the sun much, but with lightly tinted windows and a black enterior, nothing makes a car look better. My first was a VW 16v Scirroco. It had black windows before the laws changed looked great. Black jeep looked tough. Black honda accord. Black alfa spyder with tan leather was gorgeous. Looking for a Black restored FJ40 now. My wife drive an Yellow MR2 spyder. Looks ok but would look so much better in black. Worst part is being mistaken for a Georgia Tech fan when I drive it. Give me any color car as lon as its black.

October 18, 2011 at 4:03 pm
(14) TomR says:

Beauty is always in the eye of the beholder, but I agree with you, Eric: white (and black) are boring. Silver and gold are semi-boring, but OK. I appreciate the manufacturers that are bringing back some color to their line-ups. Let’s get a little diversity and personality back out on the roads!

October 18, 2011 at 4:51 pm
(15) Eric says:

I have nothing against white cars. I”ve owned a few of them, and they’ve all looked very nice. Personally, however, I tend to buy colors that I like. I don’t worry about trade in value as I tend to drive my vehicles long enough that trade in isn’t much of a factor. I’ve had dark slate gray, black, bright red, Electric Blue, silver, silver blue, dark blue, dark green, etc. I’ll have to say that for the most part, I liked each color on each individual vehicle.

October 18, 2011 at 5:30 pm
(16) George in Ohio says:

Well, I’ve never had a white car, but I always say that my next car will be white. Stays cooler, easier to keep clean than a dark car. Then I always strike a deal on something already on the lot, and it’s never white. Currently, I drive a silver Sonata and like it. It too is easy to keep clean and relatively cool. Yeah, it’s awfully common, but it still makes for an attractive car, in my view.

One other color that both my wife and I like a lot is a light mint green. I was going to get that on my Sonata, but the beige interior that came with it had black accents – black carpet, black/beige dashboard, black side pillar posts – and the stark contrasts made the interior looked pretty unliveable. So we went with the silver, because the gray/black interior was much more monochromatic and restful. Otherwise, we would have taken the mint green.

I’ve had rich colors before (red, dark blue, black). They look great when they are clean, but they look awful when they are dirty. Lighter colors disguise the dirt much better. I’d really have to love the rich color a lot to put up with the extra exterior maintenance.

October 18, 2011 at 6:48 pm
(17) DFI says:

Not a fan of white, it just seems too plain wrap for me. In terms of heat and showing dirt I really don’t think it makes much of a difference. I live in sunny So Cal and as long as you have some good tinted windows the color of the car does not make all that much of a difference in terms of UV deflection. The way I see it, life is colorful and so should be your driving experience. My vehicle color history: 1 red, 1 white (boring), 2 greens, 3 blues, 1 silver.

October 18, 2011 at 8:54 pm
(18) Gary from Toronto says:

I have been very disappointed at the lack of colour choices as evidenced by any parking lot. Starting to improve a bit. White is nice but lacks presence. Lots of glossy black cars around here but owner say they show dirt easily. I have had light blue, light gold, light green and silver metallic. Pick one that looks best on the car for you.

October 18, 2011 at 8:55 pm
(19) joel says:

Work at a university and so many of our state cars are white that i have avoided a plain white car. Wife loves dark gray so we have 2 of them now. Next one for me will be silver. Previously we have had red, blue, black and 2 silver cars.

October 19, 2011 at 5:20 am
(20) Bill says:

If I was to order a new car, it’d be white. We currently have a white RAM pickup and a dark green Buick. The truck always feels cooler when you get in, but the reflection off the hood is worse. We always buy used nowadays, so take whatever we can get and run them until they drop. We’ve had one yellow, one blue, one beige, and four green cars, plus one maroon and two blue trucks in the past. Have no idea what we’ll wind up with next.

October 19, 2011 at 8:05 am
(21) Jim says:

My Toronado was black saffire…dark metalic blue in the sunlight and black at night. When it was clean and waxed it was spectacular.

October 19, 2011 at 8:48 am
(22) ChrisF says:

Not a fan of white….both of our cars are dark grey, and most of my previous cars have been dark blue. Around here it’s winter damn near 6 months of the year, so there ARE advantages to a darker colored car during those months. :)

October 19, 2011 at 9:10 am
(23) Brian says:

We like to have a light interior, and the white cars we’ve looked at only seem to come with black interior. I’ve owned two white cars in the past. Both purchased off the dealer lot where white was the only good colour left.

Having said that, I have often wonder if they count commercial sales as well in these numbers. Look at all the commercial trucks, goverment cars, etc on the road and I would say the majority of them are white. That would skew the numbers.

October 19, 2011 at 1:12 pm
(24) Matt B says:

I would bet that they are counting commercial/fleet sales. 8 of the last 10 cars i rented were white. Just looking at the parking lot here I would say most cars are silver, gray/graphite or gold/tan. Very few are actually white.

October 19, 2011 at 9:28 am
(25) Carol says:

I didn’t realize white was such a popular color. Because I live in the Northeast, I’m concerned that I wouldn’t be seen in a snow storm. That said, I have a silver car only because that was the only one left on the lot when I bought in August 2009. It wouldn’t be my first choice. I had a red car and I loved it. However, I drove it for 13 years until I totaled the car in an accident. Because I leave it outside (no garage) the color faded somewhat. However, I like colorful cars and I wish manufacturers would give us more color choices. BTW, I drive a 2009 Hyundai Elantra SE and I love it!

October 19, 2011 at 2:08 pm
(26) HarryB says:

I laughed at the yellow comment, had a New Beetle, yellow, it was easy to sell when the time came. That said I find silver incredibly dull and I own a silver Miata, bought used. Have white car and a dark red truck. The car looks clean most of the time, the red truck looks dirty except for the once or twice a year it receives a bath. Have had black cars, when clean they look great but living in Fla they make no sense especially if, as I do, a dirt road is part of a daily drive. All that said I’m always surprised at the dearth of color choices by the car companies, four shades of silver? Red is usually the only real “color” choice. In most driving courses bright colors are said to be safer choices, yeah I’d take a red Mustang convertible, dirt be damned.

October 19, 2011 at 2:18 pm
(27) Ron says:

The only reason I have a white vehicle is that is the only color the dealer claimed he could get in stock with the features I wanted. I hate it. It’s boring, always looks dirty showings every spec of red clay and black tar, and it’s boring. Did I meantion it’s boring? I would pay a little more for an interesting color.

October 19, 2011 at 3:22 pm
(28) tom says:

I’ve had all colors, and tend to avoid the boring ones (white, black). White is NOT the easiest to keep clean, unless you don’t care how great the car looks. I had a white Z-28 (Chevy cancelled the blue color I ordered), and it was a major PITA to keep “spotless”. Sure it did look great with chrome rims, and black accents – when it was just waxed. I understand those who say white doesn’t look dirty as fast, and agree if you don’t really keep the car clean, but it does show road tar, nicks, etc. White required a LOT of waxing to keep off the spots. I would settle for white again IF it was a “common” ride, not something special.

October 19, 2011 at 4:05 pm
(29) George in Ohio says:

One other thing -to my eye, I’ve noticed that some cars seem to look much better in one color than another. Then I see that same color on another car, and it just doesn’t seem to work. I don’t have an explanation for this, nor do I know if others have observed this, or this is just my opinion. Anyone else notice this?

I do know that my oldest son just bought a new VW GTI in a dark blue metallic, and he deliberately avoided white because his wife convinced him that a white GTI looked (to her) like a “chick’s” car and wasn’t “manly” enough. Don’t know that I would agree with her about that, but I do know that the car is awesome – a fabulous drive.

October 19, 2011 at 4:06 pm
(30) George in Ohio says:

One other thing – to my eye, I’ve noticed that some cars seem to look much better in one color than another. Then I see that same color on another car, and it just doesn’t seem to work. I don’t have an explanation for this, nor do I know if others have observed this, or this is just my opinion. Anyone else notice this?

I do know that my oldest son just bought a new VW GTI in a dark blue metallic, and he was reluctant to choose white because his wife thought that a white GTI looked (to her) like a “chick’s” car. Don’t know that I would agree with her about that, but I do know that the car is awesome – a fabulous drive.

October 19, 2011 at 4:08 pm
(31) George in Ohio says:

Sorry – duplicate post.

October 19, 2011 at 6:42 pm
(32) bodiddley says:

Red Jewelcoat LaCrosse….Vista Blue Mustang GT.

White and silver……boring to the 10th power!

October 19, 2011 at 6:52 pm
(33) James says:

I’m one who has always said I wouldn’t want a white vehicle, but I might go for the white “metallic” that seems to be increasing in popularity. Much richer looking than plain-vanilla white. One color I won’t be interested in purchasing again is black, the color of my present vehicle. It looks stunning when cleaned and waxed-for about 15 minutes! Too much dust and pollen in the air where I live for a black daily driver.

October 21, 2011 at 5:45 pm
(34) Ray says:

I like red. I have a red Rogue which is kept waxed. I go over it with a spray detailer most every weekend. My wife has a Silver CR-V which she picked because it is never washed. When it is or when I wax it, it really doesn’t look much better than when it sits outside for months only washed by the rain. We also have a black Miata(93) which is kept covered. It still looks like black glass. I never buy a car off the lot unless it is exactly what I want.

October 25, 2011 at 9:55 am
(35) Don says:

I’m passionate about cars and, therefore, passionate about their colors. My first car, a 1970 Fiat 124 Sport Coupe, was red. My current daily driver, a ’02 BMW M3, is red. Most others have been red, blue or green. The worst color was beige (also a Fiat). It was popular in the ’70s as silver and white is now. IMHO, silver, white & beige lack passion; they’re suited for those who think of their vehicles as appliances and want them to look as such.

October 26, 2011 at 3:45 am
(36) pupdaddy says:

I say stay with the safe colors, but make sure it does something for the car. Not every car looks right in white. Certain reds do nothing for a car’s appearance; certain reds wouldn’t look right on a big car, smaller cars look better in a bright red, not so great in burgundy. If you plan to keep the car a long time or resale value is not a concern, then go for it.

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