What Are the Most Popular Car Colors?


If you had to guess which color cars were most popular, which shades would you put at the top of the list? The correct answers might surprise you! AutoSmart takes a look at popular colors by vehicle and by state, and we also look at whether certain color cars really get pulled over more than others. 

Most Popular Car Colors Overall

When looking at the most popular colors, it’s best to break it down by grayscale colors (white, black, gray, and silver) and non-grayscale colors. The grayscale colors are overwhelmingly more common than other colors, but it’s still interesting to see which of the non-grayscale colors are selected the most. 

One thing to keep in mind is availability. Most vehicles are available in white or black, but not all are available in red or blue. Would you have gone for bright red rather than black or white had it been available? 

Most Popular Car Color by State

If you thought you’d see a lot of variation in color by state, prepare for a letdown. In every state, black or white is the most popular color, and red or blue is the most popular non-grayscale color. 

One thing that was a little surprising is which states choose colorful options more often than grayscale. If you think states such as California or New York are more flashy, think again! California was second-to-last in terms of choosing non-grayscale colors, and New York landed about midway on the list. 

So, which states make the most colorful choices? Vermont was number one, with West Virginia, Wyoming, and Montana following closely behind. 

The Most Popular Colors by Vehicle Type

Unexpectedly, the most popular colors don’t vary much by vehicle types, and there were a few surprises when breaking down the top colors by type of vehicle. One example came when looking at sports cars. You might think red would be a top pick here, but only 5% of buyers chose red for their sports car. Red picked up in popularity among buyers of light trucks, minivans, and mid-size sedans, with 11%-12% of buyers opting for shades of red. 

Here is a list of the #1 color choice by car type:

  • Luxury Sedan: White Pearl
  • Mid-Size Sedan: Gray
  • Compact: Gray
  • Sport: Black Metallic
  • Light Truck: White
  • SUV: Black
  • Mini-Van: Gray

What Color Cars Get Pulled Over More?

You may have heard that red cars get pulled over more than any other color car, but a study by CJ Pony Parts showed that white cars are pulled over the most, followed by red in second place. The reason is likely as simple as that white or red cars are more eye-catching than blue or black, which makes it more difficult to stay under the radar. 

Which Car Colors Stay Clean and Which Are Hard to Clean

Another consideration is how easy and difficult it is to keep particular colors clean—and, yes, there is a difference. You might think darker colors would be easier to keep clean, but that’s not always the case. Black cars tend to show every speck of dirt, so if you’re not diligent about washing your car regularly, you might want to opt for a lighter color that is a bit more forgiving. 

What’s the Right Car Color for You?

When choosing the best color for your next vehicle, ignore the most-popular lists, and choose whatever catches your eye. Some makers deliver unusual color options, so don’t feel limited to conventional colors!  

No matter what color car, truck, or SUV you want, you’ll likely find it at AutoSmart. Browse our current inventory online or stop by our dealership today.


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