how to choose a color of the car | Indy Auto Man, Indianapolis

How to Choose a Car Color: the Pros and Cons of Different Shades

When you buy a car, every factor matters, including color. An official dealer can offer you the entire palette of shades available for the chosen model.  For a used car purchase, color is rarely the decisive factor. But if you are looking for a used car in Indianapolis or any other big city, the chances are high that there will be a selection of models you like in different colors.

So what color is the best for a car? Several criteria may affect the choice, but safety matters should prevail:

  1. Car visibility on the road;
  2. Practicality; 
  3. Difficulties with maintenance;
  4. Resale liquidity;
  5. Theft statistics;
  6. The driver’s personal preferences.

White: the Safest

white mercedes-benz Indianapolis
2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE AMG GLE 63

 According to the Color Popularity Report from PPG Industries, white dominates the global automotive market almost completely.


  • The safest car color on the road. The minimum share in head-on collisions. White cars are visible from afar and reflect light well;
  • Reduces the temperature in the cabin – white paint almost does not absorb the energy of sunlight;
  • Most accessible. White cars are cheaper than other colors, so they are chosen for reasons of economy;
  • The easiest color to sell. White cars are in demand among taxi, delivery, car sharing, and rental services;


  • All dust is visible. White cars are not practical – they show dust and streaks after washing. The slightest spots of rust turn into ugly red streaks;
  • Difficult to paint. There are milky, pearl, beige, and moon-white shades that are difficult to match. They do not combine well with each other.

Black: the Color of Prestige Cars

black jeep for sale Indiana
2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk

A black car, like a black cowboy hat, has a symbolic value that is understandable to everyone. 


  • Solid. Black cars seem massive, heavy, and reliable;
  • Always in demand. The demand for yellow, red, and green cars varies according to trends. Black is always popular;
  • Selling is most profitable. The black color of the car is more practical in terms of resale. According to statistics, it accounts for 22% of transactions. Moreover, it retains the highest residual value.


  • The most easily soiled car color. Gray and brown road dirt is visible against a black background. Minor dents and scratches too;
  • Heat in the cabin. The interiors of black cars heating rapidly ;

Gray and Silver: the Most Practical Car Colors

Lexus gray color
2018 Lexus LS 500 F Sport

Gray is associated with conservatism, formalism, as well as arrogance, but also maturity, and wisdom.


  • Easy to care for. On a silvery-grey background, dirt, scratches, dents, and even rust spots are visible only at a distance of less than a meter;
  • Easier to repair. Gray paint is the easiest to pick – cars from popular brands such as Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, and BMW are painted in branded gray tones, which are well known.
  • The most persistent. Gray cars are practical – such enamel absorbs little ultraviolet radiation and the energy of sunlight. Even after 10-15 years, they look like new.


  • The most inconspicuous. The gray color of the car affects the accident rate – it is difficult to notice it on a dry asphalt road on a cloudy day;
  • Inexpressive. Silver and light gray merge with the road, making the car invisible to other drivers.

Red: The Color that Makes an Impression

Chevrolet Corvette
2015 Chevrolet Corvette 3LT

The red color is traditionally considered the privilege of Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, and, in general, sports cars.


  • Striking. Red cars are in second place in terms of safety after white ones. Red attracts attention and makes other drivers keep a bright object insight;
  • Universal. Suitable for sports cars, small cars, and crossovers. Looks good on any model. It does not make it heavier but also does not reduce its size visually.
  • Why it is worth considering:


  • Included in the top of the hijacked. Red turns even the most practical car into a target for car thieves;
  • Fade quickly and unevenly. After five years, the car loses its aesthetic appearance – in the worst case, it can become covered with spots or stains.

Green, Blue, and Brown: Calm Car Colors

Tesla blue color Indianapolis
2020 Tesla Model Y Long Range

These colors act as a compromise between the excessive severity of black and the unnecessary expressiveness of alternative shades.


  • Great for off-road use. The streaks of brown mud raised from the surface are not so noticeable on green and brown;
  • Rare and noble. Such colors are associated with racetracks and celebrities such as British Racing Green and Dark Chocolate.


  • Green and blue are poorly visible on the track. Such cars are perceived further than they are. 
  • Difficult to resell. Cars of these colors are in low demand in the aftermarket.

Yellow and Orange: Bright but Discreet Car Colors

Dodge orange color
2016 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

Only 0.4% of buyers choose yellow cars. However, psychologists believe that yellow is the color of optimists and sociable people.


  • Yellow and orange cars are safe: they are perfectly visible on the road and stand out from the stream.


  • A strong association with a taxi. Public transport is most often painted in these shades.

Car Brands and Their Traditional Colors

Have you ever wondered why famous car models and brands have their own traditional colors? For example, Ferrari is red, McLaren – orange, and Subaru – blue. We reveal the secret.

  • Red Ferrari. The use of red for Ferrari goes back to the history of the first Grand Prix races in the early 20th century. Each country has a specific color of the body of the car that participated in the races. For example, for France it was blue, Germany – white, Great Britain – green, etc. When Enzo Ferrari first appeared at the Grand Prix, Italy’s national racing car color was just getting started. Then, in 1908, the race was won by Felice Nazarro in a red Fiat.
  • Silver Mercedes-Benz. Silver arrows – the poetic name that the journalists gave to the Mercedes-Benz team because of the regular victories in races and the silver body of racing cars. The name was first mentioned in the press in the mid-1930s after the team success at the Grand Prix. Gradually, Silver Arrows’ name spread not only to the Formula 1 team but also to the brand itself, making silver the traditional color of Mercedes-Benz.
  • Yellow Lamborghini. Yellow became part of the brand with the advent of the logo – black shield with a gold bull. In 1967, at the Geneva Motor Show, the Lamborghini Miura was presented for the first time in a yellow body (Miura is an aggressive breed of bulls). Yellow refers to the base colors of Lamborghini vehicles along with green, orange, and black, as these are the colors of the logo.
  • Blue Subaru. World Rally Blue is the full name for the blue shade that Subaru uses for its models. The history of blue also goes back to the days of rally racing. In 1993, the Subaru rally team signed a contract with the British cigarette brand State Express 555. In addition to sponsorship, the team received a blue livery with three yellow fives. Due to restrictions on cigarette advertising, the name of the model appeared in the brand name – Impreza 555.

Which Color to Choose?

There is no perfect option. However, be prepared that for a new vehicle some basic colors are free, and for others, you will have to pay more. But with the purchase of a used car, there is usually no additional cost for a particular color, so relax and focus on your taste.   To simplify the choice, here is a brief recall of the advantages of popular shades. 

  • White is best seen at dusk and in bad weather.
  • Dirt and scratches are almost invisible in gray.
  • Black looks solid and respectable.
  • Red attracts attention to your car.
  • Green and brown combine nobility with practicality.
  • Blue and light green make the car unattractive to car thieves.

Check Indy Auto Man inventory online and sample the colors you love to make your choice now!