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Why Car Colors Mean More Than You Think


If you’re interested in buying a new car, you might be too focused on trim levels, option packages, safety features or financing to think about your next vehicle’s color. Car colors mean more than you think, and we’re here to explain why.

Resale Value

Resale value is the primary reason to spend time thinking about car color when choosing your next vehicle. Color can easily affect your vehicle’s resale value “by hundreds or even thousands of dollars,” according to Denver, Colorado, Kia dealer i25 Kia.

Popular colors are more valuable on the used-car marketplace than unpopular colors. A driver who may be happy with a silver or black Kia Sorento, for instance, might not want a yellow one. The yellow Sorento may have to be offered at a discount in order to sell it. For proof, i25 Kia cited a recent study by Yankelovich Partners that found an impressive 39 percent of consumers were likely to change car brands if they couldn’t have the color they wanted.

What colors are safe? Online automotive marketplace Autotrader recently looked for the Car Color of the Year based on vehicle searches from January through June 2015 and discovered that the most popular car color during that time is Metallic Black. Autotrader also found that drivers tend to prefer muted tones, such as gray, silver or white, to bright colors. While Autotrader found many drivers say they like to see brightly colored cars on the road, a large number of drivers admit they’d rather not own a brightly colored car.

Safety and Theft

Here’s another interesting reason why car colors matter more than you might think: Color can affect safety and theft statistics. According to i25 Kia, brightly colored cars are more frequently stolen than cars painted in a muted color. Meanwhile, white cars are about 10 percent less likely to be involved in a crash during daylight hours than a vehicle painted in a less visible color, such as gray, black, blue, red or silver.

Our Take

It’s important to remember color should play at least some role in choosing your next vehicle. Safety and theft risk are certainly two important reasons, and resale value is especially crucial because it can directly affect your financial situation and the amount you’ll be able to spend on your next vehicle.

While we don’t necessarily believe a driver obsessed with yellow should choose a silver car to make a smart financial move, we do think it’s important to spend some time considering the color choice for your next vehicle before signing the papers.

Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a... Read More about Doug Demuro

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1 COMMENT

  1. This may apply to Kia, but to say it is true of all brands is absurd. Buying a sports car in grey is a waste of money. A red, porsche or mustang or corvette, will sell faster than a grey one.

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