What your choice of car colour says about you

Blue Wave
White Wave

Metallic purple. A strange choice for favourite colour perhaps, but inspired by a particularly spectacular Lamborghini Murcielago coming round Hyde Park Corner on a rainy late afternoon in London just as it was getting dark. And it looked a million dollars, especially from a vantage point in a long bus queue.

Your choice in car colour says a lot about you apparently, and most of the cliches are true – red is an assertive, dominant colour… and by inference the driver too, and an orange car is likely to be driven by someone who is ‘bubbly and spontaneous’. And if you drive a brown car ‘you may be considered frugal’, although in our opinion the exact shade of brown is pretty important – there’s a mid/light brown which, unless you’re aiming for camouflage, is a uniquely horrible colour.

Australia remains pretty conservative in its choice of colour when it comes to cars – 33% of respondents in a 2016 survey conducted by CarAdvice preferred a white car, with grey, black and silver the next most popular colours (18%, 13% and 12% respectively). White has always been a favourite in Australia, with any number of reasons being cited – highly visible, easy to clean, cool in the heat, good resale value – take your pick.

There hasn’t always been so much choice – the Model T Ford was famously available ‘in any colour you want, as long as it’s black’ and if you want to stand out from the crowd, you generally have to pay for it. Both Ford and Toyota charge you extra for any colour other than white on their main models (Focus, Camry, Corolla), so add ‘extra cost’ to the reasons why most cars in Australia are white – to the tune of $400 on average.

And if it’s a luxury end car like an Audi, BMW or Mercedes, triple that. The highest paint related ‘extra’ we’ve ever heard about was the $29,876 you’d have needed to pay if you wanted the ‘liquid silver’ paint job on your new Mercedes SLS AMG, now unavailable (that’s the car, not the colour option – you can probably still get that on its own).

But if you want to be in with the in crowd, it turns out that the colour blue is on the up. BASF Coatings, who supply paint to many car manufacturers, put together a report this year indicating that blue was gaining in popularity because the colour ‘has a calming effect and a strong correlation with natural things’. Or maybe they just have a small surplus in blue paint they need to move.

Fundamentally it comes down to how much you want to stand out in your car. If you want to hide in the masses, get a white, grey, blue or silver car. If you want to stand out, go for something a little more garish.

We’ve heard a rumour that, while Lamborghini is keen to see you drive away in one of their cars in whatever ludicrous colour you want, their cousins and arch rivals at Ferrari are a little more conservative.

It might surprise you to know that most buyers of new Ferraris already have one or two older Ferraris in their garage. Part of the reason for this is that existing customers are given first dibs on new models. But if you put in your order on your first Ferrari and you ask for it to be pink, let’s say, Ferrari would happily supply it – but don’t expect any invitation to own another one! Mind you this could just be scuttlebutt, we haven’t put it to the test.

Finally, if you want to get the maximum attention, do what this lady in the US did – invite a bunch of graffiti artists to go wild on your car. Just don’t use it as a getaway car.

PS if you need finance for your paint job, you know who to call…


Image credit:

Dark Blue Wave