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Car Color Test: Are Black Cars Really Hotter in the Sun? – Video

Sleek, sophisticated, and just plain cool, black cars make us swoon. The question is, can they also make us sweat? Collective wisdom says that white and lighter-colored cars are cooler, temperature-wise, than black rides. But is that true? Are black cars really hotter than white? Check out our true hue test, in our latest video:

When we took one inky black car, and it’s a snow-white match, and let them heat up in the fiery Georgia sun. A couple of hours later, we took a gander at the temperature inside the car, and yep, the numbers don’t lie: the cabin of the black car came in at a sweltering 130 degrees, while the white car’s interior was a still hot (not skin-searing) 113 degrees.

While the cars were still warm, we flipped the question and wondered, which one cools faster than the other, when the AC is running full blast? Will a white car cool faster than a black one? We took our trusty thermometer and found that the interior of the white car dropped to 84 degrees after 10 minutes, while the black car cooled off a little, but still comes in at stifling 91 degrees.

Based on our data, we can confidently report that the color of a car definitely affects how hot it gets. If you’re still hankering for a dark-colored car, these products can help keep you chill:

  1. Tonquu Solar Powered Car Ventilator (; $33.99
  2.  Cooling Car Seat Cushion (Sharper Image); $59.99
  3.  Retractable Windshield Sun Shade by SEINECA (; $17.83
  4.  USB Fan with Clips (; $9.99
  5.  Portable Car AC System – Portable Mini Air Conditioner (Balma Home); $49.99

Doug Demuro
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. Excellent tests. Black/dark cars are much hotter if anyone has tried to stay inside in hot summer outdoor in Arizona or California. 

  2. The results of this casual experiment are to be expected, but why are so many people choosing black vehicles in an era of rising global temps?  I have been constantly astounded at the number of black vehicles, which often outnumber all other colors (combined) at intersections or in small samples of areas on the road.  Lots of black trucks but cars too.  Do guys feel its a masculine color or imputes some mystery or dark power to the owner? 
  3. Almost worthless experiment.  Why didn’t you use the same model of car?  Different models of car means that window are different, surface area is different, window tinting is different, air conditioning is different.  How stupid can you get?  I guess you were not paying attention in science class.

  4. Even I would know to do a better test than that. Sincerely, this test (or at least the information given) was just short of worthless. 

    As others have indicated, there is no indication that simple factors were controlled for such as position or beginning temperature.
    The interior color and type of materials is very important, more so than the paint color when in direct sun.  
    There is much more wrong than right with this test. 
    Others who have done tests, and controlled for at least the major factors, have found only a 6-7F difference between black and white paint because of exterior convection and interior insulation.
    Allegedly, the greatest effect on interior temperatures, aside from the ambient temperature, is based specifically on how much sun (light/heat) actually hits the interior (windows) and the types of interior colors and materials (cloth/leather/vinyl; plastic/metal etc).

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