What you choose to paint your car says more about you than just a style preference. Different hues can reveal your personality, experiences, and values, making the selection of car paint colors an important aspect of personal expression and identity.
Whether you’re shopping for a new car or ready to sell your current one, choosing the right color could increase its resale value. Here are some timeless car paint colors to consider:
Black and yellow
In contrast to black, yellow is another classic car color that never goes out of style. This vibrant, canary-inspired, sporty car is perfect for drivers who want to stand out. It pairs well with black trim. The Volkswagen Golf GTI is among the rare cars with a yellow paint choice, making it easily noticeable on the road. The Mercedes-Benz CLA Coupe also comes in a fun yellow shade named Sun Yellow, which complements the black roof and wheels.
Historically, yellow was a popular choice for luxury sports cars and performance vehicles, as it represented wealth and status. The BMW M3 Sedan and M4 Coupé both offer a yellow paint option that’s almost green in some lights, and it looks amazing when paired with the racy M-Performance package. The Chevrolet Corvette is another popular choice for yellow, and it’s even available in a one-of-a-kind shade named Accelerate Yellow.
Yellow is a bold choice, but it’s not for everyone, and it can be difficult to match with other exterior colors. For this reason, it’s often best reserved for unique cars that can stand out on their own. Suppose you’re thinking about buying a new yellow car. In that case, it might be worth checking out Porsche’s configurator tool to see how your chosen model would look with some different personalization options.
Historically, cars were vibrant until around 1930 due to a market crash. During the Depression, colors turned dimmer and fenders often went black, both for practicality and aesthetics. Nowadays, unique car paint colors are regaining popularity. While white, gray, and black remain popular, vibrant options like red, orange, and purple are coming back. These colors may not retain resale value as well as neutrals, but they add personality to your ride.
The car industry has its share of trends, but some color choices are timeless classics. White is the most popular car paint color choice among minivans, trucks, SUVs, sedans, and luxury cars. According to Kelly Blue Book, it accounts for between 25 and 35 percent of these vehicle purchases.
Silver and gray, popular vehicle colors, are low-maintenance, as they conceal dirt and grime, maintaining a fresh appearance post-wash. This is especially advantageous for busy commuters and families who lack time for frequent cleaning. Red cars are eye-catching and appealing to attention-seekers, yet they highlight stains, making them less suitable for families with kids. Additionally, red cars absorb heat quickly, risking overheating on hot days. Green cars suit nature enthusiasts but can be less visible amidst foliage on tree-lined roads. Opt for darker shades like dark green or maroon if you anticipate rural driving, as they stand out better under challenging conditions.
In the 1980s, bright colors started to fade from popularity as car buyers gravitated toward more muted hues. Grey cars, in particular, went from 3% of all vehicle sales to nearly 20% during this period. The 1990s also marked a shift from vibrant paint colors to matte finishes.
In 2021, a number of neutral hues are emerging as trendy but timeless car colors. These subtle shades add depth and class to a vehicle, and they’re more likely to retain value for resale into the future than brighter hues like canary yellow. These neutrals have a more mature, subtle vibe than the flamboyant shades of the past and appeal to people who want a versatile and stylish ride. They also tend to be less expensive than brightly colored vehicles.
In terms of car paint colors, silver is a timeless choice. This metallic hue provides an elegant and stylish appearance to your vehicle and is also a popular option for luxury vehicles. In fact, it recently surpassed white as the most preferred color on luxury cars sold in North America. It’s followed by black, blue, light brown, and red.
Its popularity is likely due to the fact that it evokes an image of technological advancement and modernity. Additionally, it’s considered a safe and secure investment, making it the perfect color to choose for your next automobile.
Although silver is considered a classic, many buyers are choosing to add a twist to their vehicle’s look by adding a bit of color. This is why some of the most popular newer shade options include Matador Red, Nightfall Blue, and Obsidian Black. These unique colors offer a touch of luxury and allow you to stand out from the crowd on the road.
Interestingly, these more vibrant colors are also seen on a number of luxury sports cars. These more exotic hues often have a higher resale value than their more neutral counterparts, but they may appeal to a smaller pool of potential buyers.
It’s important to consider resale value when deciding on your car’s color because this can significantly impact its price. However, it’s also important to remember that the most popular car paint colors are not necessarily the best for long-term durability and maintenance.
For example, shiny and metallic paint can easily scratch or chip if not properly maintained. This can affect your vehicle’s overall look and may cause it to lose value over time. In addition, darker shades may fade more quickly in direct sunlight than lighter hues.
Gray is a neutral that can work perfectly for either modern or classic car styles. This color is a great choice for those who want to avoid bright colors that may look outdated in a few years. It is also very easy to maintain and repair if it becomes scratched or dented. Additionally, it is a good choice for those concerned about their vehicle’s environmental impact.
A portmanteau of gray and beige, greige is another neutral shade that is often seen in contemporary homes. Commencing as a chic shade, it has cemented its status as a perpetual icon. Harmonizing flawlessly with warm and cool tones, it lends elegance and grace to vehicles. A refreshing choice distinct from typical neutrals like beige, it captures attention on the road without excess flashiness.
Interestingly, despite the popularity of vibrant colors in the past, more people are choosing to buy neutral vehicles today. Black, white, and gray cars are consistently popular and highly resale. Additionally, these colors are easier to maintain than more vibrant options, which can easily become damaged or scratched.
The color trend from the 90s extends into the 2020s, with gray cars leading at 35% of sales. White and black cars also gained popularity, while brown and yellow had limited impact. Green, less popular but eco-friendly, suits environmentally conscious buyers. It blends well in rural areas but can reflect light excessively in snowy or rainy locales, potentially blinding others.
Beyond the common white, black, and silver, numerous timeless colors exist. When choosing a new car, explore inventory across these shades to find your preference.