Car Colour Preferences

By Angela Monroe - August 12, 2020

Car Colour Preferences

You’d think it would be easy for manufacturers to choose a car colour. Look at what colours sell the most and spray new cars in those colours – done. In reality, it’s nowhere near that simple.

Did you know that Australia’s most popular colour (in general) is blue – but only around 11% of cars are blue?

In this article, we look at car colour preferences and what they mean.

How do Car Manufacturers Choose Colours?

computer generated car

It all starts with paint companies showcasing their new or improved colours to automotive designers. At these ‘colour shows’ car designers attempt to predict trends into the future as colours remain on model selections for around 4 years. Brochures and other advertising material has to match in countries where the vehicle is offered. 

According to leading auto paint manufacturer, Axalta’s Colour Popularity Report, white is the most popular car colour choice.

Matching the right colours makes a huge difference to sales.

Different colours match to certain models and demographics. For example smaller or sporty city cars aimed at a younger demographic often come in brighter colour options that ‘pop’ more so than four-door sedans which often come in ‘earthy’ colours like silver or white. Taking a look at classic or iconic cars over past decades can give you an idea of past colour choices.

What Car Colours Say About Drivers:

cars from above

As automakers know, colour choice can say a lot about the personality and subconscious thoughts of drivers. Here’s the rundown on some of the most popular car colours…


white car

The most popular choice for new cars sold in Australia and has been for 9 years running. According to experts, white gives a clean, fresh feel and modern, sleek look. It gained significant popularity with white Apple products in 2011 and 2012. 


silver Mercedes

According to experts, silver gives a modern / business look. Silver goes hand-in-hand with stainless steel appliances and modern city living. Silver and grey are also the easiest colours to keep clean.


black bmws

Hot in Aussie summers but still a popular choice for Australians. Black gives a classy or up-market feel according to auto paint experts. It signifies sophistication and control. More popular on high end luxury cars – Mercedes, Land Rover and BMW for example.


red gtr

Drivers of red cars love attention and energy experts say. The colour shows possible aggression and ambition. Note that there’s no data showing red cars are faster or drive faster or get more speeding fines. 


blue sports car

In general, blue is the most popular colour in the world. Regarding cars, the lighter the blue, the more ‘friendly’ the driver is perceived and the darker the shade, the more confident they are. A metallic blue is also becoming a common association to high-tech electric cars

The Colour Of Safety:

hi-vis police bike

The higher the visibility, the safer the vehicle. So why aren’t all cars hi-vis? Bright yellows and oranges don’t appeal to most drivers. According to data, white cars are 12% less likely to be involved in an accident than black cars in all weather conditions. Blue and silver / grey cars come in second-likely to be involved in an accident. 

The Colour Of Money – Resale Value:

woman using laptop

When you buy a car, make sure you consider what’s popular. Colours influence price and popularity with potential buyers, especially when selling online where photos are super important. Neutral colours are easier to sell on most vehicles – white, black and silver / grey for example. Keep in mind that sports and performance cars often attract more standout colours.

Colours in Numbers…

coloured dice in hand

  • 34.5% of males prefer white compared to 26.5% of females
  • Drivers born before 1950 prefer gold or champagne colours
  • Purple is the least popular colour, coating 0.1% of cars
  • Black is the most popular car colour for those born between 1980-1990
  • Red cars may stand out but they only make up around 6% of cars

The Colour Of Choice

child with painted hands

Make sure you know the basics of car maintenance as paint care is extremely important. Having said that, beauty is in the eye of the money-holder – as the primary driver and presumably the registered owner, when you buy your next car, make sure you like the colour. Owning a car you like will make a big difference to your enthusiasm when caring for it.

Angela Monroe
Angela Monroe is the Community Manager at The Positive Group, specialising in giving people the information that they need when they need it, and putting you on the path to a fair financial future. She has 8 years of experience in helping Australians find the right finance solutions, and regularly contributes articles to empower Australians with the knowledge they need to become financially healthy.


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