Multiple studies have shown that people like really boring colors for their cars. In fact, the most common car colors are white and silver. Come on, America! (I have a white car, not because I preferred it, but because it was what I could find.) Take purple, for instance. This is easily one of the most vivid colors, and it is the most unused color in the automotive world. However, thanks to the obsession with social media, that might all be changing.
What is the least common car color?
The Drive reports that, according to VW, only 21 percent of new cars are painted a color other than white. Although, VW color experts say that we might be heading back toward a better or at least more colorful time for cars like the late ’60s and ’70s when all the muscle cars were orange, purple, red, lime green, yellow, and any other skittle color. You’d be hard-pressed to find many of those colors these days—especially the least popular color, purple.
VW color experts predict that more new cars will be ordered with actual color. The reason is that social media and the obsession with taking pictures on our phones and sharing them online will drive people to want flashier and more vibrant colored cars.
What do phone screens have to do with your car’s color?
The idea is that because we spend so much time looking at our small phone screens, people will want their cool new whip to stand out on that tiny little screen, and the best way to do that is by having it be Plum Crazy Purple or Hugger Orange, or some such loud color.
Volkswagen Senior Color and Trim Designer Jung Lim Park says, “We are all so impacted by our digital life through the pandemic, and the colors you mainly see are [on] your screen more than actual physical objects. The future is getting colorful, for sure.”
“Color is always shifting, and our color perception is always evolving depending on what we see, what we observe, and what we live with,” Park explained.
Bring back the old hot rod and muscle car paint
As The Drive mentions, the retro colors of the late ’60s and early ’70s could make a triumphant comeback. The color you picked for your car was almost as cool as the car itself back in those days. VW certainly seems to be leading the charge on fun colors. Last month, they reissued the “harlequin” edition Golf and still offered the Golf R in 40 exterior colors. People still have to order them in fun colors for them to matter. Park has faith, though. The VW busses will offer a wide variety of colors as well, and this is something Park thinks VW is ahead on.
“The colors found on the original Buses and Beetles are iconic to Volkswagen and continue to be recognized even as the colors are no longer in production. The bright contemporary yellow on the Volkswagen ID. Buzz concept is a great example of how the original color image could be reinterpreted for the high-tech, and it is not available in other places but Volkswagen.”
People may not paint their cars fun colors, but they will wrap them in such hues
The problem is us. The manufacturers will make whatever they think the most people will buy. No matter how many of us enthusiasts beat our chests and fuss about manual cars, they won’t make many until more people are willing to buy them; it’s the same with fun colors.
This is why people will wrap cars rather than buy something in a fun color. Deep down, we know that no matter how cool the color is, we know it will make the car harder to sell. So we wrap them instead. This way, we can have fun with it without paying the price of short selling your purple car.
‘If you built it, they will come’
If we want cooler car colors, then we have to start buying cars with cooler colors. It’s really that simple. Stop buying white and silver and go for a “Bright Green,” “Vermillion,” or “Calypso Coral”… if you can find any, that is.