The Most Popular Car Colors Are Very Boring

Shopping for a new car can be an exciting experience. You get to pick out which make and model that suits you and your lifestyle the best. Then you get to pick out the color and options that work best as well. But have you ever wondered why there aren’t very many exciting colors to choose from? In fact, most of the colors that cars are offered in are rather boring and you have the rest of the population to thank for that.

America’s color palate favors the mundane

In case you’re wondering what the most popular car colors are, you probably already know the answer. According to, the two most popular car colors are white and black. Shocker, right? Not really. According to an analysis done by iSeeCars where they analyzed “over 9.4 million cars to determine the share for each color,” the color white takes up about 23.9-percent of the market share, while the color black takes up 23.2 percent.

Those not-so-colorful colors are followed by gray, silver, red, which account for 15.5, 14.5, and 10.3 percent respectively. According to Phong Ly, CEO of iSeeCars:

“Apple helped popularize the color white with the launch of the iPhone, and consumers may associate it with being modern. White is also one of the easiest car colors to maintain and surprisingly hides dirt better than most colors. Consumers may prefer grayscale colored cars from a practicality standpoint since they are colors they are less likely to tire of.”

It makes perfect sense, considering most of the car-buying population probably isn’t too picky when it comes to the color of their cars and don’t mind blending in with everyone else. Especially in large parking lots.

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Resale value could have something to do with it

According to a report from CNBC, people tend to buy cars in colors that will be more popular when it comes time to resell it. Sure, that lime green Honda Element might have looked cool when you bought it 10 years ago, but who wants to drive around in a bright green toaster on wheels now? According to the data from iSeeCars, about 0.7 percent of the population might.

Dealerships could have something to do with it, too

But the population and manufacturers aren’t the only people to blame for the lack of vivid colors, dealers might have something to do with it as well. Consumer Guide interviewed John Hennessy, owner of River View Ford, who stated, “When I’m paying interest on $5 million worth of inventory, I can’t afford to take chances on a bunch of gold and yellow cars that I might never match with customers.”

This is largely why you will likely find many white, black, silver cars the next time you go new car shopping. It can be frustrating, but every dealer likely subscribes to the same logic from a purely cost-saving standpoint. The limited amount of colors will likely push buyers toward buying them, along with a healthy discount off the car.

painters painting a car
XI’AN, CHINA – DECEMBER 25: Workers spray paint a car body shell at the BYD Automobile Company Limited Xi’an plant on December 25, 2019 in Xi’an, Shaanxi Province of China. (Photo by Yuan Jingzhi/VCG via Getty Images)

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The color wheel goes around

Ultimately, the next time you purchase a new car, don’t be surprised if you can’t find the exact color that you want. If anything, the dealer will most likely have to source the exact car you want from another dealer in order to meet your demand. And although it will take more time, at least now you know why car colors are the way they are; consumers just like to keep it simple.