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What color car sells more?

What color car sells more?

When buying a new car, one of the most important decisions is choosing the color. The color of a car can influence its appeal, resale value, and even safety. So what color should you choose to get the most out of your new car purchase? Here we analyze new car sales data to determine what color cars sell the most.

New Car Sales By Color

According to data from DuPont Automotive Color Popularity Report, the most popular car colors in North America are:

Color Market Share
White 25%
Black 19%
Gray 17%
Silver 15%
Red 10%
Blue 9%
Brown/Beige 2%
Green 1%
Yellow/Gold 1%
Other 1%

As you can see, white is by far the most popular car color, accounting for 1 out of every 4 new cars sold. Black and gray follow behind as the second and third most popular. Silver and red round out the top five.

Popularity of White Cars

The dominance of white car sales has been growing steadily over the past decade. Back in 2003, white was actually the third most popular color behind silver and black. But white took over the top spot in 2011 and has remained number one ever since.

So what accounts for the surging popularity of white cars? There are a few likely factors:

  • White is considered a “safe” color choice that appeals to a broad range of buyers. Other bold or niche colors may turn off some customers or limit resale value.
  • White cars showcase a sleek, modern, and luxurious look, especially on newer model cars with smooth body lines.
  • White paint is easier to match with exterior trim and accessories compared to bolder colors.
  • White cars reflect more light and may help with visibility and safety.
  • White paint hides dirt and wear better compared to black or darker colors.

For all these reasons, white has grown into the go-to color choice for many new car buyers looking for a popular, stylish, and practical option.

Popularity of Black Cars

Black cars are a perennial favorite, ranking either first or second in color popularity over the past 20 years. About 1 in 5 new cars sold are black.

Here are some likely factors in the enduring popularity of black cars:

  • Black is seen as stylish and elegant and conveys a sense of luxury.
  • Black paint makes cars look sleeker and hides contours well.
  • Black is easier to match with different interior upholstery colors.
  • Black cars convey a sporty, high-performance image.

While black cars certainly look great when clean, the color does show dirt, swirl marks, and scratches more easily. This minor drawback does not seem to be curbing buyer enthusiasm for this classic car color.

Gray Car Popularity

Gray has emerged as a popular neutral car color over the past decade, joining counterparts like silver, beige, and white. About 17% of new cars sold are gray, making it the third most common color.

Here are some of the factors behind the rise in popularity of gray cars:

  • Gray is sophisticated and understated for buyers who want a sleek but not flashy look.
  • The color provides flexibility to match with different interior colors and exterior accents.
  • Metallic gray paints create a modern, high-tech look.
  • Gray hides dirt and wear reasonably well compared to black or lighter colors.
  • Gray is a safe color choice for buyers concerned about resale value.

Gray cars offer much of the practicality of white without sacrificing style. Expect gray to remain a fixture among the most popular car colors.

Silver and Red Car Sales

Silver and red round out the top five most popular car colors, accounting for 15% and 10% of the market respectively.

Silver cars surged in popularity in the early 2000s, even claiming the top sales spot from 2003 to 2010. Silver remains prevalent today as a widely appealing metallic color. Red cars consistently rank among the leaders in color popularity as well. The vibrant color conveys excitement and energy for many buyers.

Less Common Car Colors

While white, black, gray, silver, and red account for over 85% of new car sales, other colors occupy niche roles in the market. Blue and brown/beige cars each account for about 2% market share. Green, yellow/gold, and other colors trail with only 1% each.

Some of the factors limiting the popularity of these colors include:

  • Bold colors like yellow and green have more limited appeal.
  • Light colors like yellow and green tend to accentuate flaws in the exterior.
  • Blues and greens can clash with some exterior accents and interiors.
  • Resale value may be lower for niche colors.

Still, adventurous buyers do opt for these colors to stand out from the crowd. Car manufacturers will continue to offer a spectrum of colors to provide options for every taste.

Color Trends to Watch

While white, black, gray, silver, and red are likely to remain the top-selling car colors for the foreseeable future, there are some burgeoning color trends to look out for as well:

  • Blue popularity is rising, particularly darker navy hues. Expect blue cars to continue gaining market share.
  • Orange is making a comeback, last popular in the 1970s. Vibrant orange cars are appealing to nostalgic buyers.
  • Matte paint finishes are in demand for their understated, elegant look.
  • Two-tone paint jobs with different colored roofs or body panels are gaining prevalence.

Car buyers today have more options than ever before when selecting a color. Along with long-standing favorites like white, black, and silver, expect to see more splashes of color on the road as new trends emerge.

Color and Resale Value

Does car color impact resale value? Short answer – yes. Studies have found that car color can influence resale price years down the road when selling or trading in your car. According to data analysis:

  • Yellow and gold cars depreciate the most, losing 56% of value over 3 years.
  • Purple cars lost 50% of value, making it the second worst color for depreciation.
  • Orange, green, and brown cars also depreciate faster than average.
  • White, silver, gray, and black cars hold value the best over the first 3 years of ownership.

The top colors also happen to be the most popular colors among new car buyers. So sticking to the mainstream favorites is a sound strategy for getting a higher resale price down the road.

Safety Impact of Car Color

Beyond aesthetics and resale value, can car color impact safety? Some studies suggest the answer is yes.

According to research by Monash University Accident Research Center, there are clear differences in crash rates among car colors:

  • Black cars were about 12% more likely to be involved in a collision compared to white cars.
  • Gray cars were about 10% less likely to be involved in a crash than white vehicles.
  • Red cars also fared slightly better than white when it comes to crash rates.

The likely reasons for this discrepancy come down to visibility. Black cars can be harder for other drivers to see in low light conditions. On the other hand, lighter colors like silver, gray and white reflect more light and may be easier to see.

Color visibility and perception may also influence pedestrian collisions. A study by the University of California found pedestrians had the hardest time spotting black cars against visually complex backgrounds like trees or buildings. Lighter colors again stood out best.

So along with factors like cost and appeal, safety impact may also warrant consideration when choosing your next car color.


When choosing the color of your next new car, it pays to consider the most popular colors on the market. Sticking to the mainstream with white, black, gray, or silver provides appeal for future resale and may offer safety advantages too. But don’t be afraid to opt for a splash of color like blue or red if it suits your style. Just be wary of niche colors that may negatively impact resale value. For the widest appeal and benefits, the data shows your best color choice is white – the most popular car color with buyers today.