When buying a new car, half the fun is choosing the color. If you shop used, you may not have as big a selection as shopping new, but you still have the power to wait for something you like to pop up.
A lot of people worry about the exterior color of their car. Whether they just like the aesthetics of a specific color or they think others might draw too much attention, they put a lot of thought into the decision.
From everyday drivers to dream cars, we all have an idea of what color we would like best. The million dollar question still stands: do certain car colors make them safer, affect their resale value, make them harder to maintain, or draw more unwanted attention?
People have debated for decades which car colors provide the most safety. Folktales will tell you that lighter, brighter colors make you more visible. People can see you better, especially in the dark. At least that’s the idea.
Safety and its corresponding car colors can be complicated. Not only are there many studies on the subject, but the relationship between safety and car colors is more than just which colors are safer. You have to consider background colors comprised of trees or buildings, weather conditions, and light.
While white is more visible at night, it’s not the best choice for snowy landscapes and cloudy skies. Gray cars blend in on foggy mornings. Red seems like it might be bright, but studies show that because they’re the same color as fire trucks, they tend to go relatively unnoticed.
The bottom line is that no single color is the safest, and there’s no scientific evidence to suggest that any color is the best choice for safety.
Resale Value and Insurance
Where car color does matter is at the point you want to ensure it or resell it. Stick to colors that are neutral, because they’re the most popular and appeal to many different tastes. White, silver, gray, and black are the best options. Blue is also good.
You should stay away from flashy colors like red or yellow because they’re less desirable. Trading in or selling your car is much easier if it’s neutral because it will appeal to more people. Dealerships know what sells, so they’re more inclined to purchase your vehicle if it aligns with what their customers want.
The urban myth claiming that flashier colors are more expensive to insure is false. Insurance is one area where you shouldn’t worry about the color of your car at all. What matters is your driving record, the make and model, and how easy it is to repair.
When it comes to stealing cards, thieves also know what sells. Unfortunately, they’re looking for the exact colors you should be. Because popular colors like black, white, silver, and gray have great resale value, these are typically the colors that get stolen the most.
However, that shouldn’t deter you from buying one of these colors. It’s just something to think about unless you want a pink Corvette or a purple Mustang.
Dark colors show scratches easier and are harder to maintain. It takes longer to polish and make it look good. If you’re not interested in spending a lot of time or money keeping your paint looking nice, black, dark blue, or darker shades of gray may not be the color for you.
Silver, white, and light gray handle wear and tear better, and you can stand to neglect them for longer before they start to look old. If you care about the way your car looks or maintaining its newness but you don’t want to put forth the effort, stick with a lighter color that doesn’t show scratches.
To be honest, where car color matters most is in what you want. Your car says a lot about you. You may want a flashy color to stand out, or you may not care at all. Crazy colors like orange, lime, gold, or plum matter because the people who buy them know what they like.
These types of colors are more common in exotic cars, and at that point, resale value and the cost of maintenance are irrelevant.