If you look at the stories on car colors and the popular shades available in the color spectrum, you’ll see that white, followed by silver and black, has been a persistent choice for new car buyers. Of all cars sold in America, almost a quarter are white. In Asia, it seems that silver is more predominant while in Europe, somber black is more popular. This trend, specially the preference for white, has been popular only since the 90s. Before that, there was a more colorful array of cars, with red, green and orange vehicles common on U.S. roads.
It would take a sociologist or some other specialist to accurately speculate about color trends. Evidently though, external factors make people prefer some colors to others. For example, some colors, like gray, have become known to be less visible during dusk. This is a time when drivers have not yet turned on their headlights and daylight has become twilight. Maroon also seems to disappear as night falls, and anecdotal reports of dark or dull cars being more accident-prone may have become a reason why colors like these aren’t so popular in cars nowadays.
You’ll find some sites with table correlating some value or characteristic to particular colors. For example, red is supposed to be for dynamic, high-energy people, while yellow is for intelligent and comfort loving folk. Black would be for empowered, elegant business types while silver are for future-looking dudes. We can’t say that there isn’t any grain of truth to these classifications, but with white being a perennial favorite for several years, should we say that a majority of motoring enthusiasts are fastidious people? Because that’s what a lot of racing cars are painted with. White. There is a more practical reason to that though. White makes a terrific background for all those sponsorship decals and inspection of car parts for leaks or damage is easier if a car’s engine compartment or underchassis is white.
Dupont and PPG, both major paint suppliers to automotive manufacturers, have been keeping meticulous records on what colors sold most in years and decades past. Their data shows that people buyers are quite exacting in their color choices, although some consumer surveys indicate that a wider range of colors would be welcome too. Maybe the somber mood borne by not-so-optimistic economic news is affecting color choices too, which is why neutral tones are prevalent. But then, with more car owners opting to keep their cars longer, safe color choices will not look dated after just a few years.