Best Car Colors: Everything You Need To Know

Determining the color of a new or existing car can be quite a daunting task. This Best Car Color Guide will prove to be of tremendous help for anyone in a similar predicament. Whether you’re trying to find the correct color of your current car, the best color for a car in general, a popular color, or what color car may hold the best value – this article contains all of the information that you require.

colorful cars

At some point during the process of vehicle ownership, you may find yourself questioning – what is the actual color of your car? If this is the case, then you may be in need of finding something known as your car’s “color code”. Why could you possibly need this information? Well, whether you’re looking to replace a component of your car, or you’ve perhaps nicked the paint and are in need of a touch-up, you’ll require the exact same shade of paint – and the color code will offer you this information.

Unfortunately, manufacturers make many variations of exterior paint colors, most of which vary from year to year. So, even if two paint colors appear very similar, they could in fact look incredibly different on your vehicle especially side by side. This is why you need your car’s specific color code, in order to get the proper paint match.

In general, the color code for your car can be located on one or more of these areas of your vehicle:

•      The Radiator

•      The Firewall or Engine Compartment

•      The Rear of the Middle Console

•      The Driver’s Side Sun Visor Area

•      The Glove Box/Compartment

•      The Driver’s Side Door Jam Area

•      Under the Driver’s Seat (Near the Door)

•      Under the Trunk Lid

•      Within the Spare Tire Wheel Well

In addition to these areas of your vehicle, you can usually find your car’s color code in your car’s service history (if applicable). You can also find this information in your car’s owner manual.

What Color is the Best Color For a Car?

The best color for a car can be determined by a wide array of factors. For some, choosing the best color for a car is based purely on personal preferences. For others, it may be based upon what color is the easiest to maintain or care for. Some people are more concerned about what the color of cars says about them, or what color of cars or most commonly pulled over by law enforcement.

While other people could possibly be more concerned about whether their color preference may affect their insurance rates (which, isn’t actually factual) or the potential resale value of their vehicle. All are very valid reasons for determining the best color of the car for you.

It’s important to take your time and put forth proper consideration and effort before making any purchase – especially one this expensive. So, let’s take a closer look at some popular colors of cars, and facts about them.


Black Mercedez Benz Coupe.

Black cars have the ability to look incredibly dramatic and sharp when detailed correctly and properly maintained. Black cars are, however, one of the most difficult cars to keep up the appearance of from dirt to salt stains, scratches, and chips – you can literally notice it all.

Black cars are also by far the hottest vehicle (and no we’re not talking about appearance). Apart from the obvious exterior heating up by being pounded by the sun, the interior can be equally as warm. This is even more true if you consider the option of dark-colored interior fabrics or leather.

Another issue with exterior black car paint is that darker cars will show imperfections much easier. Therefore, generally, an experienced painter is required for work. It’s been proven that unless you have the time, excess money, or the exterior image of your car isn’t of the greatest concern to you, black may then turn out to be quite the love/hate relationship. Regardless it’s most certainly true that black is rightfully associated with both sleekness and luxury.


White BMW sedan.

White cars have proven time and time again to be one of the easiest colors of cars to own. This is probably why it remains the most popular color of the car. For the most part, white paint hides dirt and dust surprisingly well.

Unfortunately, during winter or rainier months, white paint does have a tendency to show road grime worse than any other color of the car. Just like with clothing, white tends to make everything look bigger and brighter. Also, white car interiors are generally a grey, tan or black color.

This makes them the best choice for disguising any messiness within your vehicle. Lastly, white cars are by far the most forgiving when it comes to heat, as white doesn’t attract sunlight the same way darker shades do.

Tan, Taupe, Champagne, etc

Champagne American vintage car.

Regardless of what you may classify the specific shade as, tan-colored cars are by far the most forgiving color of cars on the market. Due to the fact that the color is such an earth tone, dirt and dust have to accumulate quite the healthy layer before even visibly noticeable.

At the same time, tan-colored cars don’t face the same winter fate as white cars; road grime is generally quite similar in color. Tan-colored vehicles are also virtually just as forgiving to heat as white cars are, so that needn’t be of concern.

Light or Dark Blue

Blue wagon Audi.

Both light and dark shades of blue are very popular color options for cars. Light blue is one of those colors that most would consider a combination of both pros and cons. While being on the lighter side, it’s generally less susceptible to heating up from UV rays. Light blue is also quite easy to care for and maintain, similarly to white or tan.

However, also like white, it does show its imperfections and dirtiness quite easily. Dark blue casts more similarities to black. It is equally difficult to keep looking clean and does have the tendency to heat up quite a bit in the sun as well. Dark blue does look very visually dramatic, which generally causes it to be very aesthetically appealing.

Red or Burgundy

AMG GTR red car.

Red cars are very synonymous with sports cars, and speeding tickets. They are associated with the urban legend that red cars notoriously receive more speeding tickets, by the mere fact that they’re more noticeable or associated with going fast. Although not a proven statistic, red cars definitely create a strong reaction from their aesthetic appearance.

It generally seems red is the color most often associated with sports or racing cars as well. Red-colored cars are much easier than black cars to maintain the appearance of, but are still susceptible to noticeable dirt marks. Red is also much nicer on the UV ray side of things than a darker vehicle is too.

Burgundy cars are also an incredibly popular color option. Just like red, they are also very beautiful when detailed down to perfection. Burgundy cars are often painted with a metallic sheen, which is very eye-catching. However, being a dark color, burgundy shares many similar attributes as black. They are both very prone to showing all blemishes, scuffs, and dirt, as well as very susceptible to heat.

Silver or Gray

Silver car parked on the road.

Silver and gray cars are becoming increasingly popular. Grays are considered to be a very sophisticated color of cars, and are very commonly the color of luxury vehicles. With grays being an easy combination of both care, aesthetic maintenance, and heat build-up, it’s no wonder that it is a winning color for many car owners.

Silver, clearly being very similar to gray, is also very easy to care for. The color too is very kind on heat build-up, cleaning and road grime appearance. Again with a usual metallic sheen, silver cars are very easy on the eye.

Top 10 Car Colors

Have you ever been curious as to what the Top 10 Car Colors are? Well, thanks to that data is available for anyone to access. The most popular car color, according to, is not so surprisingly, white. White is, of course, followed very closely by black, gray, and then silver.

While all being very monochromatic, these shades make up 77.1% of the total – proving to be incredibly popular! The first color to make an appearance on the list is red, sitting in the fifth position with just over 10% of the vote. Blue is next at 9% and subsequent colors roll in with minuscule percentages.

Note: This is with the overall average sitting at 37.6%*

It’s important to take into consideration that this data was taken from over 9.4 million cars in America. The study was conducted from 2014- 2018, making it very broad and inclusive. With their increasing popularity, it wouldn’t be shocking if shades like silver and grey had even higher percentages if this study was conducted again, in present times.

What Car Color Has resale Values?

Shocking to some, a car’s color can have a massive impact on how fast it can lose its value. It’s because of this that cars with the highest depreciating color lose more than twice their value, in comparison to the lowest. Unfortunately, the most popular shades of cars: black, white, silver and grey, have minimal impact.

This means that the color won’t hurt the resale value, but they also won’t help maintain the value of the car either. This has much to do with the commonality of cars with those colors. Oddly enough some of the most beneficial colors for resale value, are also the most uncommonly thought of purchased colors of cars. These include bright and vibrant colors like orange and yellow, and even the very neutral color, beige.

Once again taking data from, we can see a study consisting of over six million new and used cars. This study also took place in America from the year 2017-2020. This is clearly a very large and lengthy study, so the data is very accurate. The study determined which colors helped, hurt, and had minimal impact on a car’s resale value. These are the results of that study:

Vehicle Depreciation by Car Color

It’s important to note that the percentage beside each color is based on a 3-year rate of depreciation. It’s clear to see that from these numbers, the colored cars that are less common actually have much lower depreciation percentages. Although, the commonality isn’t the only factor to take into consideration.

The fact of the matter is in order for a car to be resold, the color has to resonate with its next purchaser. When it comes to more common colors, it really boils down to the fact that there are just so many of them available. Buyers have the ability to really shop around before purchasing a car if looking at a color like black, white, or grey.

Whereas a color like yellow will have more people wanting it versus the actual number of new yellow cars being manufactured. Thus, making yellow a much more desirable and sought-after color, in a used car market setting.


There is plenty to learn about the colors of cars; the popularity, factors in resale value, how easily maintainable their aesthetic is, and much more. These are all very important factors to take into consideration when thinking of purchasing either a new or used vehicle. This article touched on many of the basics but, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Feel free to leave your comment below!

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About Matthew Webb

Hi, I am Matthew! I am a dedicated car nerd! During the day, I am a journalist, at night I enjoy working on my 2 project cars. I have been a car nerd all my life, and am excited to share my knowledge with you!

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