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!

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

  1. Mr.G
    August 18, 2013 #

    Well…well…Car colors lovers: When I was in college, I had a 1956 Black Ford Convertible with red interior and white top. Beautiful,but then I went to Nam and had to sell it. When I came back I bought a black 1959 220S Mercedes Sedan with a removable canvas top. Then, I had several Triumphs…White, Red and British Racing Green. Now, I have a 1996 White Tacoma Truck, a 1992 Silver Toyota Corolla (220 K miles) and still perfect and a Classic 560SL (Teal with tan leather interior and only 36K miles). All my ladies friends are blond green or blue eyes and enjoy going out with me in my Mercedes around the Beautiful Rocky Mountains.

    • trix
      September 2, 2013 #

      May your life someday be as wonderful and mystical as you present it on Facebook.

      • another car guy
        September 12, 2013 #

        I've owned just about every "regular" color car there is. Red, blue, green, white, black, grey, not to mention different shades of some. So what is thought about me changes with each car? Hmmmmm.

      • Marguerite Clem
        September 16, 2013 #

        May I borrow this sentence and post it to my FB page ? Please

      • kathy
        February 8, 2014 #

        Mr. G did sound nostalgic, didn't he Trix? my first car was a '64 brand new VW bug with an aluminum luggage rack! totaled it driving on a trip that next year. all's well though. next car was a maroon '67 Nova which my future husband and I drove for many years 'til he got his first brand new '72 Malibu! zowie, with 5-speed on the floor. (that replaced his white '57 Ford (with actual holes worn thru the floorboard on the passenger side). During our married life we went through several cars (all used) and finally in '98 a new litle forest green JEEP! from then on I was an official JEEPSTER! such a fun car. My favorite was a '2004 YELLOW Jeep with stick shift and a black canvas top. Today, I drive a mini-van (easier to travel in), champagne in color….wonderfully comfortable car for my 70-year-old bod.

    • Caroline Jenkins
      October 17, 2013 #

      Well, aren't you special? And I mean that in a nice way. You have run the board!

  2. Lady G.T.
    August 19, 2013 #

    I think black should be the most popular car color, because it's mysterious, elegant, stylish and simply beautiful, depending on what type of car you have. I have a black IS 250, and it's chromed out with 20inch wheels. It is so sleek, stylish, and simply beautiful….

    • Edgar Skinner
      December 7, 2013 #

      I spent 17 years in the Funeral Business because I wanted to drive a big black car and not have to pay for the gas.

      • Tina
        February 9, 2014 #

        Forward Thinking.

  3. A.F.
    August 20, 2013 #

    What about deep yellow, Brown, pink, purple, etc?

  4. Bob
    August 21, 2013 #

    I've enjoyed all the discussion… And I'm stickin' with ORANGE!!!

    • Julie
      November 4, 2013 #

      I'm with you Bob ….. Orange! We like to stand out, an individual,not following in everyone else's casual choices!

  5. Sue
    August 27, 2013 #

    What about a burgundy color? Or perhaps the make. Mine being a burgundy Saturn :)

  6. John Walters
    August 27, 2013 #

    Silver for me, but then again I have graying hair. M3 convertible with a black interior. Did not buy it for looks, but it looks pretty good. It has to have a good looking ass because that's all you're going to see, getting smaller, oh wait it's gone.

  7. KET
    August 28, 2013 #

    Ridiculous – the most popular car colors are (in varying order depending on demographic) Black, White, Silver, Gold (Beige), and Dark Grey. Dark Grey is a huge segment with various tints of blue, brown or green added. Black is far more difficult to keep looking clean than White so why all the comments about washing White cars? The significance of automobile color also varies widely depending on where one lives as well as the type of car. A Black minivan in Arizona makes a different statement than a Black Mustang in Vermont. On the plus side for the piece, the author's self-deprecating jokes were cute.

    • meebers
      August 29, 2013 #

      I thought the exact same thing about black vs white vehicles and keeping them clean. Everyone knows if you want to not ever have to wash, get a white or silver car, if you like washing after every little thing, then get black. I'm not sure the author has ever driven white or black, it's not like clothing which is more of what he's referring to.

    • Yolanda
      August 31, 2013 #

      How was that study conducted? If it depended on sales where colors offered are limited. Those results are not reliable. I was forced to lease a silver car because it was the only light color other than white available. This time the dealer located a light blue car but it is 300 miles away. It is the only one on that lot. I refuse to lease another drab silver car. When it comes to cars, 50 shades of grey is not exciting.

  8. Steve
    August 29, 2013 #

    What happened to the other 23% of the car colors?

  9. Sonya
    August 30, 2013 #

    Most of my cars have been white. My next one will be too. Shows dirt less than others.
    "Fairly confident, slightly moody, resilient/bordering-on-unbreakable" is pretty much correct!

  10. Yolanda
    August 31, 2013 #

    My lease is up soon so I went car shopping last last week. 95% of the cars on the lot were black, white, grey or silver. Most of those were grey and silver. It reminded me of Communist China when the entire population wore the same grey jacket. It was depressing and boring. We have become a nation forced to drive around in drab looking cars because little else is offered. Next time you're at a stop light. Notice the many grey or silver cars around you. Are they really that beautiful or just dull and lifeless. They blend in with the asphalt making them look drab on the road. Black cars are nice but attract too much heat in sunny South Florida and white requires constant cleaning. Want something different then you have to wait weeks for it. Why? What is wrong with a little color? I'm not talking about bright bold colors. I'm talking about subtle elegant colors. Look at Volkswagen. They know how to do color. AS for myself I'd rather have a powder blue car with a light beige interior. I think that combination is both elegant and sexy.

    and don't get me started on black interiors……

    • Chris
      September 12, 2013 #

      I agree!! I despise grey & silver cars…SO BORING.

      • 350GT
        January 11, 2014 #

        meh

  11. Spurious
    September 2, 2013 #

    Also depends on the shade of the color that the fashion industry chooses to make available each year. My most favorite car color of all time is British racing green, but the only car I've ever found with a reasonable facsimile was my 1998 Subaru Forester. Otherwise I usually wind up with white cars, though a white one wasn't available when I bought my Subaru XV so I wound up with 'desert khaki'. Wonder what that says about you?

  12. Portia McClennon
    September 2, 2013 #

    NEGTIVE ON THE WHITE CAR…….. IM VERY STRONG WELL NO WERE NEAR SHY. VERY OUTGOING. CLASSIC AND CLASSY THE SHEAR OCD IN ME ALONE WOULD NEVER LET MY WHITE GET DIRTY ANYWAY.

    BORING NEVER TO CLEVER TO BE ANYTHING LESS THEN THE LIFE OF THE ROOM. I GUESS IM THE OTHER 79%.

    • Rich. M
      January 6, 2014 #

      U sound exactly like my lady of 10 year's. N u guessed it white Cadillac. Is ur name Julie as well??? Just curious…

  13. nancy rodriguez
    September 2, 2013 #

    what about the fifth most color i am a red car or any close colors burgundy etc i wonder about small cars big cars i stick with big cars more safe i like purple but where do u get purple or orange yellow is a good color also

    • Jane smith
      September 23, 2013 #

      "Where do u get purple or orange"

      Funny u should ask. Dodge does both. Check out the Charger and Challenger…

      This article says absolutely nothing about the thousands of people who buy used cars! Sometimes in order to get a quality car with low mileage that's not a lemon u have to forgo choosing color! Especially if it's a car in high demand…such as one that gets 40mpg that's not a hybrid.

    • Laeunice
      December 4, 2013 #

      I have a red impala nice car
      It was the only cae available at that timr. Glad I brought it. Would have gottrn a blue one, but decided to be more exciting than getting blue or white. Next car maybe yellow.

  14. David Ecale
    September 5, 2013 #

    Pretty much malarkey. We have 3 vehicles: one silver, one white, & one copper. The white one was inherited. The silver & copper ones were the colors available on the used car lot for the cars with the features that we wanted when we needed a replacement car.

    My personal ownership patterns have been: orange; crappy green; blue; white; blue & white; white; maroon; silver; and inherited white. What ever was available at the time.

    PS. The white car will go to storage in November & come out in March. It's nothing fancy, but we're preserving it to have a 2nd vehicle (without purchasing another one) when one of the other two dies & is dragged off to the scrap heap. It's 14 years old & has no rust (in Minnesota)! And, I intend to keep it that way for a few more years.

    • John byler
      September 28, 2013 #

      I had a Plymouth duster "Plum Crazy Purple " 340 4 speed great car bad paint job .i took it to a car wash and the spray blue off the paint down to the primer .

      • debb
        October 1, 2013 #

        My brother had a Challenger R/T… also "Plum Crazy Purple" Thinking back, lol, he may have taken it to that very same carwash! ((=

  15. Mike
    September 5, 2013 #

    I'm surprised that anyone would just go with "What ever was available at the time". This is your car, it says a huge amount about your personal style. I love sitting outside on the tailgate of my pickup, listening to music or chatting with friends, or getting ready for an outdoor roller derby event, or going off-roading… But then again, I guess some people just don't care about those sort of things. Go on then, continue in your boring-ass lives! :-p

  16. Arzuk
    September 16, 2013 #

    why all the commotion, car color is just 1 obstacle, how about enjoy what is around you? yea, maybe that is a thought…i drive silver to grey and love it every day! my line dont take it!

  17. Glenn
    September 20, 2013 #

    Your percentages only add up to 77, so the most popular color (23%) must be "invisible." I haven't bought a car in 9 years, but at that time a silver car meant you agreed to take the only color that was available for the next six weeks. There is a difference between "Red" (meh) and "Salsa Red" (interesting, but not unstable). Also, "green" means "more meh," whereas "Dark Green" means "I fantasize myself on the British Racing Team."

  18. Melvin P. Arbuckle
    September 22, 2013 #

    A car's color says nothing about the personality of the driver unless the driver purchased it for the color or ordered it that way. Most folks in today's economy purchase cars they can afford looking at attributes such as reliability, economy, utility…

    Oh, never mind… this is a blog, not a journal or news site.

  19. winkie
    September 22, 2013 #

    I am very practical – I buy whatever car is on the lot that meets my requirements and price. It is usually last year's leftovers and when it comes to color, beggars aren't choosers. Like they say about how a good horse is never a bad color, I don't give a hoot what the color is as long as it runs and gets me where I want to go.

    • mikey klein
      November 4, 2013 #

      I' m with you winkie…I buy new cars in the spring, and ask what they have on the lot in the last year's model. I've done this 3 times now, and all three times got the luxury model for less than the base model was the year it came out. And I never had to choose from only one…once a dealer made a couple calls and had the car in the color I preferred in a week. All the dealerships were more than happy to get those "old" new cars off their hands.

    • Kurt Spindler (@kasxyz)
      November 29, 2013 #

      I don't.agree with you at all. Choosing the color of your car is very important, if you are at all interested in cars, and look at them as more than just transportation. Even if you don't, I can't see being so uncaring about it's color

  20. hattrickassociates
    September 22, 2013 #

    Yellow is prominently featured in the article photo…yet not mentioned here.

  21. Andi
    September 22, 2013 #

    My two favorite cars I have had were both green. I had to settle for silver with my latest vehicle. :-( Green is almost impossible to find and few manufacturers even offer it as an option anymore. My favorite car was my Fresco Green 2000 VW Passat and would have kept it if I could have managed the repair bills just due to its age better. It was going to need a clutch replacement (yes, I love manual transmission even in the US) and the turbo was acting up so I traded it in for a silver car…it is nice – but it lacks the personality of my last vehicle.

    • Andi
      September 22, 2013 #

      I forgot to say that when I take my Mom places and we are walking to the car, she is *still* looking for the green car…it just matched my personality better.

  22. Ava
    October 3, 2013 #

    What happened to the fifth favorite car color

  23. M.A.
    October 5, 2013 #

    Paying more for color is probably why many choose the silver, black or white. I like my blue cars because I can find them in a sea of bland non-color. In our parking lots, it's like the Wizard of Oz when they are in Kansas before they hit up Oz.

  24. Ted
    October 5, 2013 #

    I just know to be cautious around white SUVs. They are universally driven by dangerous drivers. I have no idea why, but they are hazardous to a one.

  25. jc
    October 11, 2013 #

    I hate black and white cars

  26. A Ellison
    October 12, 2013 #

    This is completely crazy. I have not purchased a new Mazda BECAUSE the coppery red color which I have now is one of only about 6 choices. The same choices that the other car companies offer. It's cheaper to offer a very few colors. It is also boring, boring, boring. One can't find one's own car in a parking lot. They are all the same. Variations of black and white…then blue or red. BLAH!

  27. Monroe
    October 12, 2013 #

    Blue (usually with white racing stripes) is the preferred color of high performance sports cars now, unless you're driving a European supercar like a Ferrari or an American supercar like a Corvette, then the preferred color is red. Shelby blue with white Shelby racing stripes says "I'll still win the prize, even if I don't win the race!" Mattel uses the same color scheme for their Hot Wheels Racing Team line of toy cars, so it's also known as Hot Wheels blue. Unless you're British, this is the defacto color of winning. Otherwise, it's British racing green.

  28. Laughingstock of the Parking Lot
    October 13, 2013 #

    I myself prefer a dark, dark green that shines. The comments on silver match my style more, though. I personally believe that very few of these actually work, just like regular horoscopes! I wouldn't mind a dark, yet metallic yellow convertible, though. My ride of choice is still a van; more carpooling, more friends.

  29. Shari
    October 15, 2013 #

    I love my car color….light metallic sage green. Subaru Forester.

  30. ven
    October 19, 2013 #

    maybe white is popular because they dont have a premium or extra fee like other colors,therefore cheaper. most of the characteristics attributed to everything else is too simplistic. as frued, once said,sometime
    a cigar is just a cigar.

  31. Tom
    October 20, 2013 #

    Let us not forget that most fleet vehicles sold are white. This would mean tht all police cars and rental cars skew this number

  32. me
    October 22, 2013 #

    who doesnt love a mini? Regardless of color!

  33. JoAnne
    October 22, 2013 #

    I loved my 1999 Audi A4. It was a beautiful emerald green. Everywhere I went people commented on it. Surprisingly it very seldom got dirty. Now I drive a hybrid with ok mileage. It is candy apple red(remember high school in 1950s). It's pretty, I can find it easily, but all things equal I'd go back and put a bunch into that wonderful green (irreplaceable) car.

  34. johnrealestatebrokerjohn
    November 5, 2013 #

    Au contraire! White is EASY to keep clean. You obviously have not owned a white car.

  35. daniel
    November 11, 2013 #

    green and blue, my two favorite car colors, although green really is tough to find the right shade. personality doesn't fit the statements at all, especially the mood swings part. I believe green is rarely seen on a car because most manufacturers don't offer the color, and again there's too many variations to please green lovers.

  36. wordwit1948
    November 12, 2013 #

    The colors I liked best were yellow and black, but perhaps because they were on my uncle's 1966 GTO!

  37. sheshe
    November 13, 2013 #

    Yea, you obviously have never owned either a black or a white car. White is easiest to keep clean while black is most difficult to keep clean.

  38. Pat Westerdale
    November 17, 2013 #

    Volvo (from Sweden) blue with yellow Swede flag on top. The cops seem to see me coming.

    • MRPGAA
      December 10, 2013 #

      Are there Volvos from some country other than Sweden?

  39. Kayla
    November 18, 2013 #

    People are taking this way too seriously. He was being funny. Just read and enjoy!

    Besides, he said he's a Minnesota sports fan-so give him a break. :)

  40. Dorothy Williams
    November 20, 2013 #

    Loving my Black sleek Caddy 2013 ATS with 19 inch polished rims and my vanity license plates. You got it right

  41. Eric Anderson
    November 21, 2013 #

    My 1999 New Beetle was yellow. VW because it had a diesel. Yellow New Beetle because I let my 3 year old son choose a car. "Diesel" was the only requirement.

    Silver 2007 Honda Accord because it was late, I needed a good, reliable car, and I didn't care about anything except my hatred of car shopping. The salesman introduced himself as I happened to be walking past a silver one. "This one", I said, "and an extra $100 if you can get me out of here within a half hour." 160,000 miles later I'm still driving it, and I'll drive it until one of us is dead.

    Both true stories.

  42. LaurenAshleyy
    November 23, 2013 #

    I drive a black car, with vanity plates, and always ALWAYS park the back row :) a show winning 2000 trans am. Looks like you nailed that one!

  43. Bill
    November 26, 2013 #

    Nonsense. Certain models are just made in certain colors in large quantities. My Ford Fusion is gray, just like 90% of all the other Fusions on the road. We had a Honda Accord, and it was silver, just like 90% of all the Accords. We have a Town & Country van, and it's red, because I REALLY wanted a red one. When I've had the opportunity to get the color I want, it's red. Not because I'm a reckless driver, but for safety and visibility – the same reason fire engines are red.

  44. Kurt Spindler (@kasxyz)
    November 29, 2013 #

    I like to change up my car colors each time I get a car. It has been mostly shades of blue and red, with one sort of bronze colored also. I would also consider shades of brown, and possiblyb green. I am not likely to get a white, silver, gray, or black car. I don't really consider those to even be colors, and find them somewhat boring. I don't understand how they are the most popular. Of these, I think only black could even be considered by me, if I wanted my car to have a limousine look to it.

  45. cputman
    December 2, 2013 #

    White cars actually look clean even when they aren't. I've had red, blue, and two white cars. I have had to wash the white ones much less often and they are much cooler in warm climates.

  46. James
    December 8, 2013 #

    Us working people don't give D about color we just want something that runs, & we are the 99 percent?

  47. MRPGAA
    December 10, 2013 #

    I'm sticking with charcoal blue. Nice executive tone. White says, "Fleet car here." No thanks.

  48. Kim
    December 18, 2013 #

    I wish they'd bring back the bright cheerful and interesting colors of the 1950s!!! They had some awesome combos then!

  49. Bil
    January 8, 2014 #

    They should study the comments about the color complainers. They'll find most of the shoppers are impatient, cheap year end model whiners who want a certain color not on the lot but it's 500 miles away so you'll take it. HA. You CAN STILL place an order for your car at dealerships! I like the comments from some that sound like they're shopping for a piece of clothing. "Whatever was left on the rack" so I had to pick it. Instead of comparing the US Car Industry to Communist China, think about how the US population is becoming so lazy that it wants to buy the car NOW. You're spending tens of thousands, not $40 bucks. Financing is another subject. Simply put, you can order whatever color car the manufacturer makes while they are producing that model year. You won't get the attractive rebates that many wait for. They offer those because they want the "old", cars, meaning last years models, to get sold and off the dealer lots. Most manufacturers quit making the model year in August and start a new year in September. So if you're shopping in September 2014 don't complain that the only 2014 cars left on the lot are green or black or none left. Skip the $3,000 rebate and buy the new 2015 model year and order whatever color you want!

    • Marina
      April 16, 2014 #

      Most of us will rather have the car we want and the $3000 discount than wait 3 weeks and get the same car in a different colour and pay full price.
      Get over it. Most Americans don't live for driving a car in a specific colour; they drive something to be able to go on with their lives. We're kind of sane that way.

  50. Paul
    February 7, 2014 #

    It would be great that we can select that custom color. Reality is not.
    I loved those colors that offered in previous years VW GOLF R32 in Deep Blue Pearl, Passat Cobalt Blue , Jetta Laser Blue and GTI in Jazz Blue are wonderful gave a lot to the brand image and the cars showed their freshness.
    In areas where I live is very hot and those blue tones really help reflect the high temperatures in the cabin of the car.

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