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Which color car would you avoid?

Which color car would you avoid?

When purchasing a new car, the color is often one of the most important factors that buyers consider. Certain car colors tend to attract more attention from law enforcement, show dirt and scratches more easily, or even affect resale value down the road. As such, choosing the right color for your new car is an important decision.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the most notoriously undesirable car colors that buyers may want to avoid when making their selection. We’ll look at how factors like visibility, maintenance, and resale value can be impacted by your choice of car color. Read on to learn which hues made our list of colors to steer clear of when buying your next set of wheels.

Bright and Showy Colors

While a bright, flashy car color may suit your personality, there are some distinct downsides to choosing one of the more vibrant hues. Colors like red, yellow, and orange tend to attract more attention from law enforcement and potential car thieves looking for an easy target. Additionally, minor scratches and swirl marks can stand out more on brighter paints.

Research has shown that cars painted these bold colors have a higher rate of being pulled over for traffic violations. One study by a major insurance comparison website found that red cars are stopped as much as 9% more often than more muted shades. Drivers of yellow vehicles saw a 7% increase in being pulled over compared to average.

So if you’re concerned about avoiding extra scrutiny from traffic police, you may want to skip the cherry red or Sunflower yellow paint job. While you can still choose a vibrant color if it suits your style, be aware that it can increase your chances of seeing those flashing red and blue lights in your rearview mirror.


Black cars undeniably look sleek and stylish fresh off the production line. But over time, maintaining that deep black finish can become a chore. Black paint is notorious for showing even the smallest specks of dust, dirt, swirl marks, and scratches. You’ll have to commit to frequent washing and waxing to keep a black car looking its best.

Additionally, black absorbs a tremendous amount of heat from sunlight. This can make the car uncomfortably hot, especially with black leather seats. On sunny summer days, the interior of a black car can reach scorching temperatures. The dark paint also fades more quickly from UV exposure.

While black is a popular color choice and looks great when freshly detailed, be prepared to put in more elbow grease maintaining that glossy appearance over your vehicle’s lifetime. If you enjoy regular detailing and don’t mind sweltering interiors, then black is an option. But those looking for an easy-care finish may want to opt for a lighter color.


Gray has seen a surge in popularity recently as an updated take on the traditional silver or white vehicles. However, gray cars can reveal some of the same maintenance frustrations as black vehicles. They show minor imperfections easily and require frequent polishing and waxing to keep up the shine.

Additionally, the color gray inherently lacks vibrancy and personality. As consumer reports note, gray vehicles have a tendency to look dirty even when freshly washed due to their drab, monotone finish. Muddy snow or grimy roads can leave gray cars looking dingy in a way that livelier paint colors don’t.

While modern silver metallic grays avoid the dreary faded cement look, they still lack flair. Unless you love devotedly polishing your ride to a gleam on a regular basis, go for a color with more visual interest that hides dirt better.


Gold may seem like an elegant, upscale color choice for your luxury vehicle. But avoiding resale value depreciation should make you think twice about this flashy hue. Research shows that mainstream gold and other bright paint colors may hurt resale value down the road.

One study by iSeeCars analyzed over 6.5 million used car sales to rank paint colors by depreciation. Gold ranked third worst, losing up to 25.1% of its value over three years. By comparison, the top color white lost only 15.8%. This can translate into thousands of dollars lost when you go to resell your golden ride.

While automakers like Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Lexus offer sophisticated gold hues, most buyers still shy away from the brazen metallic shade at resale. If you want your car to retain its value as long as possible, conventional colors like white, gray and black tend to be safer bets.


In decades past, earthy brown hues were popularized by luxury brands looking to convey an elegant, organic aesthetic. But today, brown has fallen firmly out of favor and joined the list of colors to avoid. Car resale data shows just how drastically brown has plummeted in desirability.

According to that same large-scale used car study, brown was the single worst color for retaining value over three years. These vehicles lost a full 26% of their initial worth in that timeframe. Brown performed twice as poorly as safer picks like white or silver that only depreciated by 15% on average.

The consumer appeal of different colors can change over time. But brown’s reputation for being dated and dowdy seems set in stone. The antique look of muddy browns and their poor resale should make you think twice. If you want to capture a natural vibe, consider warmer beiges, creams or white instead.

Avoiding the Low-Demand Colors

When evaluating different car colors, there are a few key factors to consider:

– Attention – Bright, showy colors tend to attract more notice from police and car thieves. Black also gets hotter in sunlight.

– Maintenance – Black, gray and other drab colors show scuffs and scratches more easily and require frequent polishing.

– Resale value – Gold, brown and other fringe colors have poorer residual value than mainstream picks like white, black and gray.

Checking resale value charts can give you an idea of which colors will fare better long-term. Neutral shades tend to have the widest appeal at trade-in time. Vibrant hues can work if you don’t mind the attention and upkeep.

But the colors that blend into the background, like brown and taupe, or impossible-to-keep-clean black tend to disappoint. Your dream car comes in every color so you can choose one that fits your style, personality and priorities. By avoiding the most notoriously unpopular shades, you can enjoy your new vehicle for years to come.