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Should I Get a Black or White Car?

Should I Get a Black or White Car

If you’re in the middle of a car buying decision, one of the questions you’re probably asking is: Should I get a black or white car?

Choosing the color is one of the most personal choices you’ll make in a long line of decision to personalize your vehicle.

Can you see yourself behind the wheel of a sleek black Mustang? What about a premium white Benz?

Next to white, black is the second most popular vehicle color in the world. The ultimate choice comes down to what you want the color of your car to say about you.

To help you make that decision, below are some considerations worth thinking about when it comes to black vs. white cars.

Legacy Colors

Legacy Colors

According to an iSeeCars study, white, black and gray are the most popular colors for automobiles in America with white representing about 25% of all car colors sold, followed by black at a not too distant 22% and gray at 18%.

Why are these the most popular colors?

Like fashion trends, the most popular color for cars represents the times.

For example, during World War II, the drab colors of cars represented the somber mood of the time.

Then in the 1950’s bright candy-colors broke out to reflect the prosperity of the time.

Today, grayscale colors: white, black and gray represent 78% of all vehicles on the road in the U.S.

Much of the reason why these are the most popular car colors seems to point to the fact that white, black and gray reflect today’s technology like smartphones, tablets and laptops.

What Car Color Says About You

Research shows that buyers choose black to appear confident and sophisticated. It’s hard to resist how the color black makes a car look stylish.

It’s a color that emphasizes the curves and contours of the car you choose. Even if you’re driving a less expensive car like my wife’s and my Ford Fiesta, the color black makes you appear more upscale.

But that doesn’t take away from how modern and elegant the color white can make a car look also. Like black, white is a color that seems to suit vehicles from many categories.

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Research shows that drivers that choose white cars are often hardworking go-getters. They also tend to be dependable and family oriented.

As such white is the number one most chosen car color in the world outpacing all other colors.

Resale Value

The color of your car also plays a part on how much you can expect to get back when it comes to sell it.

The difference can be as much as hundreds or thousands of dollars.

While choosing a bright color that turns heads is fun. When it comes to resale, either a black or white car will get you more coin.

Black vehicles tend to retain their value in the used car market. Of all other car colors, black cars tend to command near the same price as when the vehicle was purchased new.

White is an inconspicuous color with a wide range of appeal – You won’t have any trouble getting a dealership to take a white car off your hands.

Like black, white will fetch you top dollar when it’s time to sell.

Keeping Clean

Keeping Clean

Most everyone wants to keep their car as clean as the day it came home from the dealership.

But as time passes it becomes increasingly challenging to maintain the paints luster:

Keeping both black and white cars clean is a challenge.


Black cars look amazing when they’re clean. But keeping them that way is tough. Black cars tend to be more difficult to keep clean than any other color.

My wife and I can tell you from experience that black tends to pick up dirt like a magnet. Even a rainstorm will leave little imperfections on the paint.

In this way, black cars tend to be higher maintenance to keep clean.


Like black cars, white cars can also be difficult to keep clean. White cars pick up dirt just as easily as black vehicles.

And like black cars if you don’t keep up with the appearance, your car will start looking grimy fast.

But of the two, black cars require more attention to maintain the appearance compared to white cars.

Any spec of dirt is easily noticeable against a black background. Bird dropping and water marks are more noticeable on a black car than a white car.

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Environment and Car Color

When deciding between a black or white color car, it’s important to consider the climate in which you live.

For instance, you might consider a white car in hot climates as the color black tends to trap heat inside a car making the interior toasty fast.

Again, from experience this makes sitting inside the car unbearable until the air-conditioning has had time to do its thing.

On the other hand, a black car might be better in climates that snow a lot. A white car will tend to blend into a snow-covered background more easily than a black car.

In that same line of thinking, the degree of stealth that the color black lends a vehicle makes it easier for a black car to blend into the background at night.

Both instances can result in accidents from motorists that aren’t able to see you as clearly.

There Are Lots of White Cars

White is a common car color. One reason is because this is a color most automakers give away as a free color option.

That means anywhere you go as you run errands on any given Saturday, you’ll likely see your car starring back at you in the parking lot.

I remember once when I was a kid my dad had trouble finding his car amongst a sea of cars at a parking lot. We came to a car that looked like ours but couldn’t unlock the door.

A few spaces over was a gentleman experiencing the same difficulty getting into his silver car. After the two men realized their mistake, we all had a big laugh, and my dad and I went home in the right car.

What I’m getting at is that even though the cars were silver in this illustration.

If you’ve ever had a hard time looking for your car in a crowded parking lot, a white car won’t make it any easier as a result of their sheer volume.


The color of your car has no bearing on the development of rust. It’s the oxidation of the metal underneath the paint that’s prone to rust.

Paint is a urethane film that adheres to the surface of a car. And when its applied properly – along with primers, sealers and clearcoats – rust won’t develop.

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However, when the paint is scratched or chipped off. Water gets into the metal and that’s when rust begins to form.

Black cars tend to hide imperfections like scratches better than white cars. Rust will show more distinctly on a white car than on a black car.



When I first started driving as a teenager and I was thinking about what I wanted as my first car.

I remember hearing the myth that along with getting ticketed more often, you shouldn’t get a red car because they’re more susceptible to being stolen as well as ticketed.

However, a study from CCC Information Services found that silver cars are actually the most likely to be stolen followed by white and black cars.

The reason given is because cars with these colors are more prevalent, and therefore more difficult to identify as stolen.


We already touched on this a bit, but did you know that the color you choose for your car also may matter when it comes to driving safely?

A study by MUARC (Monash University Accident Research Center) found that certain color cars are safer to drive than others.

According to the research the safest colors are the ones that stand out the most in all driving conditions.


They found that a white car is 12% less likely to be involved in an accident than a black one.

That’s because white cars are the easiest to see in all driving conditions, especially at night.

This ability to be visible in all driving conditions is likely another one of the reasons why white cars outsell black cars.


According to the same research, black is the least safe car to drive primarily because it’s the hardest to see at night.

This finding touches on how critical the environment in which you drive plays on the color of car you should choose.