Popular Car Colors and What They Say About You

What’s written in the stars (or at least the owner’s manual) about your personality?

popular car colors

Our cars, in many ways, are reflections of ourselves. A hybrid model, for example, tends to signal an owner who cares about the environment, while a heavy-duty truck often implies an outdoorsy type or do-it-yourselfer. And a minivan that reads “Baby on Board” almost always indicates a driver who hasn’t had the time to shop for bumper stickers lately.

But one lesser-known way we can project our personalities is through the color we choose for our cars. While most of us only consider our ride’s tint a minor aesthetic detail, studies from CNW Marketing and Churchill Motor Insurance suggest that car color is more than just Plexiglass-deep.

So if car color and personality do go hand in hand, what does your vehicle’s paint job say about you?

Least popular car color: green

Popularity: Used by 3 percent of population.

Driver indications: Extremely confident, prone to dramatic mood swings

Our take: As this happens to be the car color of this humble scribe’s ride, I can say with complete confidence that green … was the only option left at the dealership.

Horoscope outlook: If you drive a green car … the alignment of the stars suggests you’re destined to find true love — or at least an embarrassing individual who looks remarkably like me waving ecstatically at you, his car-color twin (please wave back, please?).

Sixth most popular car color: blue

Popularity: Used by 8 percent of population.

Driver indications: Cautious, quiet, loyal, confident (if dark blue), insecure (if light blue), fairly even-keeled  

Our take: If these guys are any indication, there’s no limit to what donning this shade can do for a person.

Horoscope outlook: If you drive a blue car … you’ll find yourself making cautious decisions on the road — like obeying the speed limit or choosing a cup instead of cone when you get ice cream.

Fourth most popular car color: red

Popularity: Used by 10 percent of population.

Driver indications: Anxious, fiery and impetuous, energetic, quick-thinking

Our take: Not even the “Sean Connery” GPS voice setting can best a fresh coat of red paint when it comes to making a car seem like it’s way more handsome, polished, and charming than whatever you’re stuck driving.

Horoscope outlook: If you drive a red car … you will not (repeat NOT) automatically pay more for car insurance.

That’s right. We at Esurance are happy to put that false, chromatic-based cliché to bed in our insight exposing the myth that red cars cost more to insure.

Third most popular car color: silver

Popularity: Used by 16 percent of population.

Driver indications: Self-assured, unfailing, calm, almost aloof

Our take: The silver lining to sitting through all this psychology? Your car still looks so cool

Horoscope outlook: If you drive a silver car … an amazing opportunity will soon arise, er, maybe already has (depending on how much you’re valuing the opportunity to read this right now).

Second most popular car color: black

Popularity: Used by 19 percent of population.

Driver indications: Emotionally steady, elegant

Our take: As is standing policy at Esurance, if it’s good enough for Batman, it’s aces in our book.

Horoscope outlook: If you drive a black car with vanity plates and you parked in the back lot … your lights are on.

Most popular car color: white

Popularity: Used by 21 percent of population.

Driver indications: Fairly confident, slightly moody, resilient/bordering-on-unbreakable (the sheer number of car washings alone!)

Our take: Classic and simple, hard to beat.

Horoscope outlook: If you drive a white car … someone will soon contact you (I’m sensing it will be with “wash me” on your back windshield).

Did we get it right? Let us know in the comments section!

176 Responses to “Popular Car Colors and What They Say About You”

  1. Tina
    June 12, 2013 #

    My favorite part of the article is how it goes from 'least' to 'sixth' to 'fourth'. Where the fifth one?

  2. Noelle Clark Waters
    June 16, 2013 #

    While I didn't expect a scientifically sound article with appropriate controls and such I also didn't expect the humor! Thanks for a happy Sunday read.

  3. Yakima
    June 18, 2013 #

    I currently own a reddish brown 2000 Jeep Cherokee. Before that I had a Saturn coupe that was a silvery lavender-gray color that I hated; before that I had a reddish brown Mazda pickup, and before that I had a reddish brown Mazda GLC sedan(the sporty one before it was turned into a gutless econobox), before that a silver VW Rabbit, and in between I drove assorted vehicles that were white, Toyota mustard yellow, and a beige-tan color. My first car was a 1966 Chevelle Malibu wagon with the 283 small block, and it was reddish brown.

    I like the reddish brown because it is reasonably good at hiding dirt while not being plain white. I wish I could buy a car in Pullman Brown, a color very much like the UPS truck brown; both of those colors were specifically blended in order to hide dirt.

    My husband has a white F-150 that also is very good at hiding dirt.

    It's probably pretty obvious that we spend some time on dirt and gravel roads. B^)

  4. Plexiform
    June 21, 2013 #

    Basically this was an ad for esurance. Insurance companies are the devil! Worse than any drug….they've got us hooked.

    • eric berg
      July 27, 2013 #

      I thought insurance companies were useless to until someone sideswiped my car and drove off. 3 years of premiums paid off instantly.

  5. Mauro
    June 22, 2013 #

    I live in South Florida where the dust from the mainly limestone subsoil is white. White dust on any dark coloured car shows up immediately. I own two white cars and only have to wash them every 4 to 6 weeks (except if they have been near the salty air on the beach). Our tropical downpours do enough to keep them presentable. Pure practicality.

  6. Mike
    June 22, 2013 #

    Ugh, white/silver/gray are such "blah" colors, there's a reason almost every rental is these colors: they're neutral, boring, unexciting, just like the drivers of these vehicles are often boring and unexciting. Also double-fail for the way these colored vehicles tend to "disappear" in fog or inclement weather, and their drivers almost never think to turn on the darn headlights!

    Then again, this is coming from an owner of a dark blue metallic pickup truck covered with brush guards and toolboxes. What does that say about me, besides that I may be a little bit redneck, or at least ready for the zombie apocalypse!

    Bonus: I have painting several friend's cars 1970 Chrysler "Plum Crazy Purple". Best color ever! ;-)

  7. jim
    June 24, 2013 #

    given the very limited choice of colors nowadays, no wonder these colors are listed as 1,2,3. I would much prefer a dark green, but almost no manufacturer offers it. As a young boy, I remember the 1950s when any color and combination was available.

  8. Misslabeled
    June 25, 2013 #

    That's so funny because I want a green car and cannot ever find one. I drive Hondas and they don't make the models I want in green! And I don't mean kelly green, I mean a nice olive green or light metallic wash of green. Such a pity. You'll not see me waving from my silver car.

  9. Sarah
    June 25, 2013 #

    Great article! Actually, the blue fits me to a T! Just last week I finally realized my dream of finding a blue van with a gray (silver) interior. It is my Dallas Cowboys van and I couldn't be happier!

  10. dennybob
    July 1, 2013 #

    Color is incidental to me, frequently its based on availability, like the options I want are only available on this blue car unless you want to order one. Nothing at all to do with personality. You're reachin here . . .

  11. D F Weldon
    July 4, 2013 #

    A plan to customize the paint scheme to your mood. The paint is made up of led pixiles which enables you to select the color you desire. The color has to be slow to change so as not to distract other drivers. The only draw back is this type of system would be popular for those who want a get away car for whatever puroses they might have in mind. I'm sure that law enforcement folks would not be impressed.

    • Skittles
      July 9, 2013 #

      The first problem is easy–color can only change when car is parked. Of course, this creates the other problem of trying to remember what color car you're looking for in a parking lot.

  12. Bob Daniels
    July 7, 2013 #

    I agree with Laurie… ORANGE is the best color! Not appearing in a list provided by insurance people PROVES IT! I need an ORANGE JEEP!!

    • Brandy A
      July 8, 2013 #

      Getting an orange car only gets you mistaken for a Longhorns fan. Who in their right mind would want that?

  13. Adrian
    July 8, 2013 #

    A detail missed more colors. Not mentioned dark gray, brown.
    I think we should all buy vehicles,according to the climate where we live.
    The reason for the excitement.
    Also I find the cause of the why people reject the Silver, if it is an exclusive luxury color, unique, sophisticated, dynamic, modern, reflecting the sun's rays, is perfect to avoid the heat.
    For me personally, I say that with age, changing tastes you can not say that I always liked the same.
    I can tell you all, as color expert that I am, who I was very fond of child red cars
    and now I am man of 31 years, and I do not like would not think of buying one.

  14. Donley
    July 10, 2013 #

    I do not agree with you! First your isolating color and most people purchase based on type of car and then color but the shade of color offered is also important. For example with a VW Bug most popular in 60-70's was red. Today I believe the Yellow has been most popular. Usually smaller cars are designed with brighter shades. An SUV In the '80 or 90's the popular color was a hunter green with tan accents. Today crossover Vehicles are promoted in cream colors or something like a orange burst. Now Lincoln promotes classics Black and so does Cadillac. the body style, color shades offered, and promoted colors all work into personality traits.

  15. Etoria
    July 18, 2013 #

    While it makes for a fun read I don't think anyone should draw large generalizations about people driving a certain car with a certain color. But overall, very amusing piece.

  16. Adrian
    July 20, 2013 #

    Mr. Donley , let me explain.! We live now in the year 2013, we are not live in the years 60, 80s. Currently the neutral tones happen to have a image of power, luxury, balance, innovation. Respect everyone's opinion on a matter of selecting the color for your car.
    You should know that is a lot of money studies on this subject, too often companies request.
    I can tell you that the issue of color is important, just to give an image a model for attention.
    What you say is not consistent. Who would buy a VW Jetta or a BMW 5 Series yellow? Ask him insurance to their acquaintances and will tell you Black, White, Grey, Blue, red maybe, but hardly anyone will tell yellow, that's the reality. I have recommended major brands, I have recognized them to me.
    In United States have always had black colored cars . I will tell one more reason car neutral tones, depreciate less after sale dealer, that green.
    Check Kelly Blue Book and you will realize the truth.
    I send a greeting and buy the car color of your liking!

  17. Great White Northerner
    July 23, 2013 #

    Living up in snow country, the LAST color we buy is WHITE. That is because the plow trucks mistake you for a snow drift and push your car into ditches!! White is actually the cheapest car you can buy up HERE, usually given away in raffles and carnivals….

  18. cris renee
    July 27, 2013 #

    I would like a clear… no color…transparent car…yah….

  19. Jeeper
    July 29, 2013 #

    What about orange?

  20. DrBizarre
    July 31, 2013 #

    On the whole, I like the article, but… where is #5?

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