Skip to Content

Which car color is most attractive?

Which car color is most attractive?

When purchasing a new car, one of the many decisions buyers face is choosing the color. For most, car color is an important factor that can influence their final selection. But when considering the array of options on the market, how do buyers know which car color is the most attractive?

Recent studies have attempted to determine which car colors are perceived as the most and least attractive. Factors like resale value, visibility, and aesthetic appeal may inform someone’s choice. By looking at the research and consumer preferences, we can get a better sense of which car colors win when it comes to attractiveness.

Factors That Contribute to Car Color Attractiveness

There are a few key factors that determine how attractive a car’s color is perceived to be:

Aesthetic Appeal – Some colors are seen as inherently more pleasing to look at. Colors that complement the car’s body lines and design often rate as most attractive.

Popularity – Car colors that are trending or that have broad appeal may be viewed as more attractive options. Their popularity influences perceived desirability.

Resale Value – Colors that help cars maintain their value are preferred, as buyers want their investment to pay off when re-selling. Neutral colors often fare best.

Visibility – Bright, vibrant colors rate well for attractiveness as they increase visibility on the road. This also relates to safety.

Personality Expression – Car colors allow drivers to express their style and personality. Unique, bold color choices may appeal based on self-expression.

So in sum, attractive car colors excel in terms of aesthetic appeal, popular opinion, resale potential, visibility, and ability for personal expression. But do certain colors consistently outperform others on these fronts?

Most Attractive Car Colors

When considering both scientific research and consumer opinion, three car colors stand out as the most attractive:

1. Black

Black cars are considered mysterious, elegant, and luxurious. The color is sleek and sophisticated. Research shows black cars depreciate the slowest, retaining up to 5% more value than other colors after 5 years. Black also does well at hiding dirt and scratches, helping maintain a like-new appearance. For these reasons, black reigns supreme as the overall most attractive car color.

Pros Cons
Sleek, elegant appearance Can show scratches and swirls
Highest resale value Absorbs heat from sunlight
Hides imperfections well Less visibility for safety

2. White

Crisp and timeless, white is another top choice. White cars look clean and streamlined. The color exhibits new car appeal well into ownership. White paint gleams in the sunlight. And white is easier to match with aftermarket accessories. For these reasons, white maintains strong attractive ratings.

Pros Cons
Clean, fresh appearance Dirt and swirls show easily
Easy to accessorize Requires frequent washing
Bright and visible Dings and scratches visible

3. Red

Red conveys energy, passion, and excitement. The bold color makes a statement. Red cars are seen as sporty and youthful. The vibrancy draws attention on the road. And red holds its value relatively well. For these emotional and practical reasons, red scores high on attractive ratings.

Pros Cons
Energetic, exciting color Police profiling risk
Youthful, sporty appeal Higher insurance rates
Better resale than other brights Show swirls and scratches

While personal tastes vary, black, white, and red consistently top studies and surveys as the most attractive car colors based on aesthetics, value, visibility, and expression.

Least Attractive Car Colors

On the other end of the spectrum, three colors consistently rank as the least attractive:

1. Gold

Gold was very popular in the 1990s but has since fallen out of favor. The color is now seen as dated and less prestigious than silver or black. Gold shows imperfections readily. And gold cars suffer some of the highest depreciation rates, shedding value quickly after purchase. For these reasons, gold is today considered one of the least desirable colors.

Pros Cons
Distinctive for some buyers Dated color trend
Readily shows imperfections Highest depreciation rate

2. Brown

Brown has a stodgy, outdated image that limits its appeal. The earthy tone does not convey excitement or modernity. Resale value tends to be low as a result. And brown is susceptible to showing dirt, dead insects, and other discolorations. Consequently, brown sits near the bottom for attractive rankings.

Pros Cons
Earthy, natural aesthetic Dated, boring reputation
Uncommon color option Low resale value
Shows dirt readily

3. Gray

Gray cars have proliferated in recent years, hurting the color’s appeal. The abundant gray fleet makes the tone seem bland and commonplace. Gray shows flaws easily without the sparkle of silver. And the color lacks the sophisticated image of black. With high supply and weaker aesthetics, gray ranks as a less attractive option.

Pros Cons
Neutral, inoffensive color Bland, ubiquitous appearance
Okay resale value Readily shows swirls and scratches

Together, gold, brown, and gray earn the lowest attractive ratings due to dated images, poorer resale outlooks, weaker aesthetics, and propensity to show flaws.

How Color Impacts Car Appeal and Value

Car color has a demonstrated influence on a vehicle’s perceived desirability and value:

– A recent survey showed 74% of car buyers believe color to be a pivotal factor when purchasing a car. Only 15% felt color didn’t matter.

– 48% of buyers said they would probably not buy the car they wanted if it was only offered in a color they disliked.

– Total depreciation over 5 years can vary dramatically based on color, with high-value colors shedding 50% less than low-value hues.

– Black cars were found to depreciate the least, losing only 45% over 5 years compared to an average of 50% for other colors.

– Red, blue, silver, and green round out colors with better than average resale value retention.

– Gold, yellow, purple, orange, and brown lost the most value over 5 years, shedding 55% or more.

So color plays a significant role in both perceived desirability and actual resale value. Popular colors stay in higher demand, while unpopular tones see worse depreciation.

How Visibility Impacts Safety and Appeal

Beyond aesthetics and value, a car’s visibility on the road also impacts its appeal:

– Brighter, more vibrant colors are naturally more visible than darker, more muted tones.

– High visibility is believed to improve road safety. A study showed white cars had a 12% lower accident rate than black vehicles.

– Safety associations may positively influence perceptions of brighter colors like yellow or orange.

– Black cars ranked worst for visibility in one study, taking an extra 8 meters to spot compared to white vehicles.

– However, black cars topped aesthetic and value ratings, indicating buyers prioritize those factors over visibility.

So while visibility does relate to safety and subsequent appeal, it does not supersede desirability influences like styling and prestige.

Color Visibility Rating
White Excellent
Yellow Excellent
Orange Excellent
Red Good
Blue Good
Silver Good
Black Poor

How Gender Influences Color Appeal

Interestingly, studies show car color preferences differ between genders:

– Men favor bright, bold colors including red, blue, black, white and gray.

– Women lean toward softer, more muted tones like silver, gold, purple, beige and brown.

– In one poll, red and black topped men’s list while silver and blue led for women.

– Masculine colors are thought to convey strength, confidence and timelessness.

– Feminine tones align more with elegance, modernity and sophistication.

So while the most attractive colors overall are fairly universal, men tend to prefer stronger, bolder hues while women are drawn to more delicate, refined palettes. This likely relates to broader gender norms and expressions.

Male Preferred Female Preferred
Red Silver
Black Gold
Blue Purple
White Beige
Gray Brown

Regional Differences in Color Popularity

Car color preferences also demonstrate geographical trends:

– Black is the ubiquitous favorite across all regions.

– White follows as the second most popular nationally.

– Silver and gray round out the top choices in most areas.

– Northeastern states opt for more black and white.

– Southern states choose the most red vehicles.

– Western states like orange and yellow more than other regions.

– Midwestern states favor blue and green greater than the nation overall.

So while the most attractive colors hold fairly steady across regions, some subtle geographic differences do emerge.

Region Most Popular Colors
Northeast Black, White, Gray
South Black, White, Red, Silver
Midwest Black, White, Blue, Silver
West Black, White, Orange, Yellow

How Car Type Influences Color Appeal

Vehicle segments demonstrate distinct color preferences as well:

– Black and white own the top two spots across all body types.

– Sports cars gravitate toward bold reds, blues, yellows and oranges.

– SUVs favor tamer silvers, grays and greens.

– Luxury cars opt for prestigious blacks and silvers.

– Mainstream sedans and hatchbacks choose high visibility whites.

– Trucks balance popularity with ruggedness in silvers, grays and browns.

So while neutral tones maintain appeal across all segments, bolder versus muted palettes emerge based on vehicle type and use case.

Vehicle Type Most Popular Colors
Sports Cars Black, White, Red, Blue
SUVs Black, White, Silver, Gray
Luxury Vehicles Black, White, Silver, Gray
Sedans and Hatchbacks Black, White, Gray, Blue
Trucks Black, White, Silver, Brown


In summary, while personal tastes vary, the research shows certain colors consistently rate as most attractive across demographics. Black, white, and red outperform other hues due to aesthetics, value retention, and expression. Buyer gender, geography, and vehicle type do influence secondary preferences, but neutral and bold tones remain broadly appealing. So while the mantra claims it doesn’t matter if “it’s black or white,” the data suggests these two classic shades are still hard to beat when it comes to attractive car color.