You may have noticed certain car colors more than others, especially when it comes to greyscale colors like white, black, and gray. No matter how you slice it, white cars, trucks, and sport utility vehicles outnumber other colors by a landslide. Why is white the most popular car color? It is simple: white cars, trucks, and SUVs are easy to maintain and easy to sell.
Drivers prefer white cars, trucks, and SUVs more than any other color.
Kelley Blue Book reports that in 2022, buyers were drawn to white cars, trucks, and SUVs more than any other color. According to BASF, the world’s largest chemical company, color preferences don’t change too rapidly in a short period of time. BASF provides most of the paint and dye that automakers use to paint cars, and the company publishes a report every year about which colors are the most popular.
Commercial and fleet vehicles are not included in BASF’s Color Report for Automotive OEM (original equipment manufacturer) Coatings, so this applies to personal or private passenger vehicles only. The company calls greyscale colors “achromatic,” and these options are the most popular among drivers.
For 2022, white cars, trucks, and SUVs were the top color again, with 39% of all new cars coming in this color globally. Is there a reason buyers choose a white car over another color? BASF suggests it is because of “its classic, timeless beauty and high resale value.” A yellow car might not get as many potential inquiries for one reason or another, but most people would be satisfied with a white vehicle.
North America isn’t alone in its preference for white cars, trucks, and SUVs.
BASF found that white cars, trucks, and SUVs were also the most popular choice in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (BASF calls this region EMEA). Asian and South America also preferred white vehicles more than any other color.
In the second place, 18% of drivers preferred black cars, followed by gray with 16%. For those who couldn’t settle on white, black, or gray, silver vehicles came in at 8%. All of those combined make up a whopping 81% of cars that come in achromatic colors.
Don’t forget the interior, either! Some vehicles, like the Genesis GV80 SUV and Rivian R1T electric truck, come with green or purple leather as an option on the inside.
Chromatic colors are on the rise.
BASF says that the other 19% of people prefer chromatic colors, basically anything other than gray, white, black, and silver. Blue was the most popular color with 8% of vehicles, followed by red at 5%. Other colors like yellow, orange, green, and purple were less than 1% of the market.
Mark Gutjahr, head of Automotive Color Design, EMEA, says, “White and black increased this year, but the bigger story is diversity in the chromatic colors.” Colors like yellow, orange, brown, and green are popping up in 2022, which shows a “more nuanced color palette and a depth and breadth of color that has developed in the last year or two.”
These days, seeing a car that shifts colors or is more than one color at once isn’t too uncommon. Paint colors have come a long way in some aspects but not so far in others. People still enjoy white cars, trucks, and SUVs more than any color for now, but that could change in the future.