2019 Automotive Color Popularity

Which car color is your favorite?

There is something sleek about having a white or black car, and North America agrees. In 2019 the automotive color popularity in North America overall was largely split between white and black car models. This is the 9th consecutive year that white has been seen as the leader in car color. 38% of car sales were white, 19% were black and 13% were grey according to Axalta. Silver was bumped from the top three spots where it has been seen in past years. In fact, Silver was ranked at its lowest popularity for the decade.

“Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black.” These famous words by Henry Ford were not because black was a popular shade at the time, but because economically he could only offer a single color option. Nowadays people have a range of colors and custom designs to choose from and their decision is often based on emotion instead of reason or experience.

Why is white the most popular car color?

One reason is that white cars are shown to offer the most protection from heat absorption. As the sun’s rays beat down on your parked car, black cars get hotter faster and take longer to cool down. In a 2011 study by The Berkeley Lab Environmental Energy Technologies Division, they found that lighter colored cars reflected around 60% of sunlight compared to darker colored cars. In this study two Honda Civics, one white and one black were left in the sun during a hot day. They found that the black car interior was up to 10 degrees hotter. The benefits of a car that absorbs less sunlight and therefore is less like a sauna inside can stretch beyond just personal comfort, they also found that the lighter color increased the efficiency of its fuel economy by 2% and had lower carbon emission by 2%. More information can be found within the study, “Potential benefits of solar reflective car shells: Cooler cabins, fuel savings, and emission reductions,” (Levinson, et. al 2011).

Current black car owners can describe the hassle of maintaining the exterior of a black car. Whether pearled or simply black, it can show dust easily and simple scratches until it is cleaned or repainted. However, to some it can be the most dramatic color of the car, showing off sincerity and elegance when maintained right.

White cars, on the other hand, are one of the easiest in maintenance. You’ll know when you drove through the mud because the road grime is visible, but the exterior is very forgiving on scratches and dust. Certain vehicle owners comment that the reason they picked a white car is because of its visibility to headlights and reflects more in the case of an accident.

2019 Automotive Color Popularity

Popular colors of 2019

The top three colors in North America Overall in 2019 were Blue (7%), Red (6%), and Brown (3%). Many articles claim that the color and tone of your car is a way of assessing your personality (if you have a colored car). The validity of this is unstudied and uncertain, but light blue cars are marked with a cool tone that owners love because it is sleek, modern and is a break from the constant white you see on the road.

Colors play an important role in industries. Undoubtedly you have seen an article about the best paint colors for a bedroom to maximize the quality of relaxed sleep or the best color tone for your skin tone. Humans are ruled by their psychology of color. Color preferences have emotional responses in the brain, stimulating feelings or memories. When it comes to cars, people will refuse one color where someone will gladly pay top dollar for the same color. This color preference says a lot about why we pick the cars we do.

In pop culture, each color car has been paired with the emotions they evoke. White seems pure and pristine while Black is powerful and classic. One color/Shade that is noted in the Axalta release but lacks its own category is a Pearl tone. This can be achieved over a base color, or on its own, commonly called Champagne. It is when a lightly metallic paint coat is applied to reflect more light and can appear either glossy or have a metallic color gradient as one moves around the car. The pearly shine that differs from white evokes glamor and a Hollywood-like effect on your car. You may drive this because it seems chic and has a jewel-like quality.

According to Today.com in pop culture, car colors seem to have coordinating personalities with the driver. Most of this information is not studied but correlates with other industries. Red is bold and vibrant, Blue can be calm and sensible.

The color Red is marked sensual and dynamic compared to the Blue tones. Those who go more vibrant red are bolder people that want that high energy to be shown in the kind of car they drive. Especially in the United States, Red has been marked as the most popular color. This could be a note to our country’s colors, or that red is a stand out in the 222 million drivers in the United States. Also part of our Country’s colors, Blue is noted as appearing confident and credible to other people. The popularity of Blue could be the classic tone it has without being a shade of white or black. It allows a pop of fun on your vehicle without being flashy.

Brown is a hint back to earth tones. If your car is brown, or beige for that matter, it can be claimed that it marks a down to earth sense of self, yet has a new elegance that is no-nonsense.

Whether these colors really match the driver’s personality or not is not proven, but your choice of a colorful car may say something fun about you. Remember that this information is not scientifically proven.

At Precision Auto Body and Painting we can help you achieve the perfect car color for you!  We custom mix the paint for every vehicle that comes through our doors, ensuring that it seamlessly matches your vehicle’s original finish. Need help? Let’s talk!  Call us at 805-683-4711 

All work performed by Precision Auto Body is guaranteed for as long as you own or lease your vehicle. The limited lifetime warranty covers all work performed, including parts installed, paint materials, and labor.  We want all of our customers to be 100% satisfied with the repairs.   Visit us at 57 S Fairview Ave, Goleta, CA 93117  We’re open Mon – Fri 7:30am – 5:30pm.


About Precision Auto Body and Painting:  Since 1987, Precision has been Santa Barbara’s leading full-service auto body repair and painting company, located at 57 S Fairview Ave, Goleta, CA 93117.  They offer assistance with color matching, dent repairs, major collision repair, and are the only autobody repair facility in Santa Barbara County to be autobody shop certified by Tesla and Mercedes-Benz USA, as well as the BMW of North America. Additional assistance is provided with car rentals, towing, and insurance. Visit the site to download the infographic “Most Popular Car Colors”.  Follow on Facebook for exclusive offers available only to our Facebook Fans. Call 805-683-4711 for an estimate.



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