New Cars in Various Colors in a Production Line

It’s time to buy a new (or new-to-you) car. You’ve already decided on the make and model. You’ve chosen extra features and upgrades. Now, comes the fun part. It is time to decide what color car is right for you.

Car Color: Myths v. Reality

You should certainly consider your favorite color, but before you make any decisions, we encourage you to think about all of the possible consequences of your decision and to base your decision on both color preference and facts.

Car Color Impacts Safety—Likely a Myth

It may seem logical that a brightly colored car is easier to see and, therefore, easier to avoid on the road. However, there is little data to support this claim and what evidence there is does not show a definitive link between car color and safety. Therefore, a spokesperson for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has said that any impact car color has on avoiding safety is likely smaller than three to five percent and is not a significant concern for car buyers.

Car Color Impacts Insurance Rates—Myth

You’ve probably heard that a red car costs more to insure than a neutral color car. The truth is that in the United States car color is not a factor in determining car insurance rates. Many other decisions that you make during the car buying process will influence your rates. For example, insurance companies care about the year, make, model, and safety features of your car.

Car Color Impacts the Cost of Your Car—Reality

Car makers charge different prices for the same make and model depending on the color of the vehicle. The price may fluctuate based on consumer demand or the price of the paint, for example. Accordingly, it is important to get an exact price from your car dealer before you agree to purchase a vehicle.

Car Color Impacts Your Car Resale Value—Reality

Color trends come and go in many industries, including the automotive industry. It may be difficult to predict what colors will be popular five or seven years from now when you go to sell your car. If getting top dollar for your car is important to you, then you might consider going with a classic color that is often in demand. This includes colors like white and silver. White and silver also have the added benefit of aging well and not showing every imperfection.

Car Color Impacts Maintenance Costs—Reality

If your car costs more because of a special paint color, tint, or finish, then it may cost more to maintain the paint finish or to repair your vehicle after a crash. For example, you may need special products to clean your car and you may be unable to use traditional commercial car washes.

Car Color Impacts Theft—Reality

A 2010 study found that vehicles painted in popular car colors are more likely to be stolen than cars painted with unusual colors. The study, conducted in the Netherlands, found that two common colors of Dutch cars, blue and silver-gray, are stolen about 40 percent more often than less popular car colors. Bright colors may be even less likely to be stolen because they would be easily noticed on the road.

How Much Does Car Color Matter?

Color is just one factor to consider when buying a car, and it is definitely not the most important factor in avoiding a future car crash.

According to a February 2019 Carmax report, the most popular car colors in the United States were black (22.25% of car sales), white (19.34% of car sales), gray (17.63% of car sales), and silver (14.64% of car sales). Whether you choose to purchase a popular car color or a car that is your favorite color, a car crash could still happen.

If you’ve been hurt in a Wisconsin, Illinois, or Iowa car crash—in a car of any color—please contact our experienced car accident lawyers today for a free consultation about your rights and potential recovery.

Jason F. Abraham
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Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham