Photo KnowInsiders
Top Least Popular Car Colors In USA. Photo KnowInsiders

Choosing colors for cars seems like picking what colors you wear every day. Are you in a good mood today? You might like red or orange. If today is a rainy day, you might love something bright to stand out on streets. Some others love blending two colors to make their car special.

The history of car colors

In the 1900s, most cars were motorized carriages, a world apart from the vehicle we know today. Painting methods were usually taken from the oil-based coating formulas used for traditional horse-drawn carriages, and applying the paint, waiting for it to dry, and finishing the car took weeks.

While the colors available were luxurious, most paints would end up turning yellow, or fading over time, due to a lack of binding medium. Eventually, Ford developed asphalt-based enamels for cars, using darker colors which lasted a lot longer.

Innovations continued over the years, and after the first world war, new methods of painting were introduced, using tung oil, sprayed and painted onto cars for faster drying times.

Spar-varnishes and spar enamels began emerging for the first time, and in the 1920s, brilliant, exotic shades emerged, with some cars even using multiple colors.

In the 1930s and 40s, single-color cars and chrome trims became more common, and car colors gradually became more uniform. Today, there are only a handful of colors offered by most vehicle providers, unless you’re willing to pay extra for a unique trim.

Some suggest that our fascination with technology is reflected in our preference for car colors.

Most consumer electronics are finished in brushed chrome, matte gray, glossy black, or white hues— the same trend can be observed in our vehicle color preference for the past few years.

Impacts of car colors popularity on sales

Color popularity is a crucial factor that dictates how quickly cars sell on the market. People buy with their eyes first and undoubtedly prefer if their vehicle looks a certain way. Flashy colors attract attention, but they’re not what most buyers have in mind.

PPG’s data suggests that in 2021 buyers preferred practicality to aesthetics. Silver, gray, white, and black vehicles were in very high demand, with more colorful options like red, green, pink, or two-tone selling in lower volume.

With everything mentioned in mind, it becomes evident that monotone colors currently dominate the market. You can prove this by simply stepping into an open parking area and trying to see how many vibrant finishes you can spot. But how did this trend come about?

Top Least Popular Car Colors In USA

While Americans love neutral, naturally elegant cars, they’re immediately turned off by more gaudy and exciting colors. According to car color statistics, the least popular car colors include gold, yellow, and purple.

This probably isn’t much of a surprise, as these bright and dramatic colors are some of the least common car colors, you’ll see in parking lots and on roads.

Though it’s difficult to know for certain why the least common car color always tends to be something more dramatic, like purple, it may have something to do with how we want to be perceived when driving.


Photo Pinterest
Photo Pinterest

Gold cars may not be your first color choice, but they are a safe color since they are noticed quicker than dark colors. Like orange cars, gold vehicles not only stand out against the background of traffic and roads, but they are rare enough to make other motorists notice them.

Gold is a valuable metal, so a yellow car gives the impression of warmth, wisdom and charm. But the weakness is that yellow-painted cars are often more expensive due to the higher cost of painting.


Photo Arnold Clark
Photo Arnold Clark

Yellow is a less common color for cars. Yellow car owners know they will get noticed, but they tend to have a cheerful personality and often have a sense of humour. Yellow is also the safest and most suitable color if you live in a sunny area. However, yellow makes people think of taxis.

“Yellow is among the least popular car colors with the lowest vehicle share and is commonly a color for sports cars and other low-volume vehicles that hold their value relatively well,” said iSeeCars Executive Analyst Karl Brauer. “Because yellow vehicles are so novel in the secondhand marketplace, people are willing to pay a premium for them.”


Purple cars are few and far between because automakers produce what people want and not a lot of people want to buy purple cars. While deep metallic purples are not uncommon for expensive, exotic supercars and one-off restomods, the potential negative impact on the residual value of a car in such a polarizing color means purple isn’t a popular choice for mass-produced vehicles.

What does a purple car say about you?

Having a purple car probably says you like to be noticed and going under the radar isn’t high on your list of priorities. Purple is generally regarded as a color favored by creative people and those who like to consider themselves as something of an individualist. This analysis is probably close to the truth when we consider the types of cars that are often associated with purple paint.

Does purple paint make a car more expensive?

The kind of hues we normally think of when someone mentions a purple car are deep, rich, and often very metallic or pearlescent, and that can add a hefty premium to the cost of a car. When a production car is offered in a purple metallic it probably won’t be any more expensive than the other metallic colors offered, but if it’s a custom paint job for a restomod the cost of producing a super high-quality finish in purple can be eye-wateringly expensive.

If you do go for a purple custom paint job, especially one of the deep, rich metallics that require many, many coats to get the desired finish, heaven help you if you have a collision and have to get a section resprayed to match!

Cars available in purple

Photo car driver
Photo car driver

The 2021 Dodge Charger and 2021 Dodge Challenger are available in a color called Hellraisin, which is a somewhat subdued shade of purple that’s not too offensive. Previously, Dodge has been well known for a purple called “Plum Crazy” which is a much more vibrant shade than Hellraisin.

McLaren and Lamborghini are also manufacturers who don’t shy away from producing purple models such as the McLaren 720S and the Lamborghini Huracan, which can often be found for sale on Auto Trader or specialist websites in purple.

Pleasantly, North America seems to be more colorful than the rest of the world. With the exception of "natural" colors (browns, beiges, golds, etc.), North Americans were more likely to opt for colorful finishes than shoppers in South America, Asia or Europe, where white has an even larger share of the market. Sadly, though, the obvious trends cannot be ignored. While the popularity of black appears to have plateaued, gray and white continue to tick upward.

The PPG Annual global report on the popularity of car colors in North America offers some interesting insights into car color statistics:

• 24% of cars on the road in 2021 were white.

• Only 1% of cars are pink or purple.

• 34% of cars on the road are in shades of grey and silver.

Why are neutral colors more popular than gold, yellow and purple?

Photo iStock
Photo iStock

Neutral colors like white and grey can easily blend in with the rest of the traffic, while shades like gold and purple definitely stand out. Some people simply don’t want to be the center of attention when driving to and from work each day.

Top Most Dangerous Car Colors

Photo autoblog
Photo autoblog

The most dangerous car colors are dark-colored cars; the darker the color of the vehicle, the higher the chances of getting into a collision.

However, there are some exceptions. Below are the colors that carry a higher crash risk:


According to the results produced by the Monash University Accident Research Centre and other statistics, black cars are the most dangerous cars because they have the highest crash risk. However, different studies produce different figures, ranging from 10% to 20% more hazardous than light-colored or bright cars. For example, one study reported that black cars are 47% more likely to get into a car accident than light-colored cars.

Besides black cars being more challenging to see in dark and poor weather conditions, they also blend in well with their surroundings during light conditions, which creates that split-second hesitancy from other drivers that can lead to a car accident. In addition, black cars can blend in well with the dark background colors during the daytime, including buildings and roads.

Gray and Silver

Silver cars may be one of the most popular car colors, but they also rank high as one of the most dangerous colors, together with gray. Silver vehicles have an increased likelihood of getting into an accident of around 10%, compared to light-colored cars.


Blue is a prevalent color, and it's quickly becoming a favorite car color among motorists. Still, besides blending into night-time colors, it also blends into the surroundings during daylight hours. Blue cars can blend in with the sky's color, making it very hard to see or spot. As one can expect, dark blue vehicles carry a higher crash risk because the darker the shade, the higher the risk of getting into an accident.


Red is a bold color and often favored by sports car enthusiasts, but red vehicles are the exception to the rule because red is arguably the most visible car color. Red cars have an increased risk of getting into an accident because they blend in with many traffic elements, including brake lights, road signs, traffic lights, sirens, and many more.


Once seen as a dated throwback to avocado-colored cars of the '70s and teal cars of the '90s, green vehicles are again gaining popularity. But, unfortunately, they carry the same risk as red cars. They blend into many traffic elements and the environment, including trees, grass, bushes, etc.

Why the Fuss About Car Color?

You may choose a car's paint color based on your favorite preferences or something that highlights your personality, but next time, give it some extra thought.

The color of your car can affect several factors, including:

Resale value: Orange Chevrolet Corvette C8 Stingrays are more valuable because that was the year the color first debuted. Kelley Blue Book also notes that less popular shades, browns and greens, actually lower a vehicle's resale value.

Maintenance: Some paint colors are more challenging to keep and get clean. For example, darker cars take the most work to keep clean for scratches and scuff marks, as blemishes stand out more clearly on their surfaces, so prepare to visit the car wash more often. White, silver, and gray cars can keep a clean look longer than black or red cars.

The type of car you buy: Different car colors suit different types of vehicles. For instance, red and yellow are often associated with sports cars. You won't often find a yellow pick-up truck, but it's relatively easy to find a yellow Chevy Camaro.

Risk of theft: A study from CCC Information Services revealed that silver cars are stolen more often than any other car color, followed by white and black cars. Aside from the color not standing out boldly like a red car, there are more silver, white, and black cars on the road, meaning thieves have more targets to choose from and blend in with. Car thieves also like to steal vehicles sporting popular colors because these cars have higher resale values.

Safety: Some colors are safer than others because they can help prevent a car accident. Popular lore suggests that the color of your car affects your car insurance premium. However, this is nothing but a myth. Although insurance companies care about the make and model of any vehicle they underwrite, they don't judge the car's owner based on car color, as many people fear. Contrary to popular belief, for example, owners of red cars don't have higher insurance premiums than other owners.

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