10 Tips for Choosing Car Colors

You’ve researched vehicles. You’ve picked one to buy or lease. You’ve visited the dealer, test-driven, negotiated price, maybe even thrown in a trade-in vehicle to offset your down payment. Then the car salesperson asks the one, simple question you hadn’t planned for: “What color Civic would you like?”

Now your head goes in a tailspin. None of your research prepared you for this moment. You begin calculating all the variables at play, all the options on Civic’s car colors list. Rallye Red or Lunar Silver Metallic? Crystal Black Pearl or Platinum White? Maybe you’d look good in Aegean Blue? The pressure gets to you, and you pass out on the table.

Okay. That’s an exaggeration. But although picking your car color may not be the most difficult decision you’ll make during the buying process, it’s still an important choice that shouldn’t be done all willy-nilly like. Your car paint color and finish will have lasting implications, many of which you wouldn’t even consider off the bat. Some paint options add more to the purchase price. Some finishes are more difficult to maintain. An unpopular color could affect the vehicle’s resale value. It all adds up, and your wallet will certainly notice.

Don’t fret. Follow our tips to figure out what car color you should get if you want your dollar to go the distance.

Choosing A Car Paint Color


How to Pick the Best Vehicle Color

10. View Car Colors in Natural Light

Never look at just a brochure or website when you’re picking a color for your vehicle. Ask your salesperson to show you the colors outside, in the sunlight, away from the showroom floor. Some automotive paint colors simply look better, shine brighter and shimmer more in natural light. In fact, with vehicle paint colors like “metamerism” — a type of car finish that changes appearance depending on viewing angle and lighting — seeing your options on the car lot might sway you toward an unexpected choice.

9. Expensive Paint Color/Finish Costs More to Maintain

When you speak with your salesperson about vehicle car color prices, it’s important to know that the more expensive options typically mean more expensive maintenance costs. Should you get into any shenanigans that result in paint damage, including a walk-by egging on Halloween, those repair costs could be in the thousands.

If you’re worried about the extra expense of maintaining and repairing your Civic’s exterior with Honda touch-up paint, you should consider sticking to the basic automotive paint and finishes, not the unique matte finishes or cool car colors. 

The best car colors to choose for affordability would be something like black, gray or white. Iridescent car paint, pearlescent finishes, and metallic car paint colors have more material costs associated with repairs. Surprisingly, red car paint can also be costlier to patch up, as more pigmentation is needed to create that specific color of vehicle touch-up paint.

8. Silver Hides Imperfections Best

Tiny scratches, grime, mud and dings are magnified on darker paint, like dark blue cars and black vehicles. The best low-maintenance paint color for a car is usually some sort of pewter, silver or gray. 

7. The Best Resale Car Color Is…

Anything that’s neutral. According to auto-paint giants PPG, the car colors with the best resale opportunity in America are also the most popular. This includes your standard pearl white car paint, black, gray, and silver. Red and blue paint colors for cars bring up the rear, followed by the more unique car colors, like green or Civic Type R’s Phoenix Yellow.

Popular Car Color for Resale Value


So, what car color is best for resale value? Trendy, cool car colors may actually take the cake here. Car colors like yellow, blue or green aren’t as popular, which means they’re also scarcer in the used marketplace, so they could depreciate less after 5 years. This article breaks down vehicle depreciation by paint color, showing that orange, green, beige and yellow cars hold their value more than black, white and silver vehicles.

6. Car Color Resale Value by Segment

Oddly enough, car color resale values vary by vehicle segment, too. For instance, a white mid-size sedan (like a Platinum White Pearl Honda Accord) may see higher pre-owned values than a white Honda Ridgeline, which is a less popular truck color. On the other hand, gray trucks usually sell better than gray sedans. 

5. Car Color Resale Value by Gender

Things get even trickier when you add gender to the equation. Resale values for vehicles that are marketed to a certain gender can also be affected by car color. 

A study on Miami residents found that men prefer white cars, while women opt for gray and silver vehicles. Men also tend to buy more expensive vehicles; for instance, the average price for white used cars for sale in Miami is 42% higher than gray or silver pre-owned vehicles. 

While not entirely scientific, this study suggests that white vehicles, particularly those marketed to the male demo, are the best bet for resellers. This includes male-oriented vehicles like a white Ridgeline or Honda Passport. If you choose a silver Honda CR-V, Civic or Accord, you may have an easier time selling to women, as those are some of the most popular models within that demographic.

4. Pick Your Vehicle Color by Region

Geography also plays a role in what car color to get. If you’re shopping for a Honda Civic Hatchback in Miami, for instance, you’ll want to avoid the “hot” colors, like black or dark blue. Like black shirts, darker cars will more quickly absorb the sun’s heat than lighter ones, and no one really wants to open the door to their 170-degree Civic. 

3. Steer Clear of Speeding Tickets

The myth is that red cars get pulled over more often than any other car color. Is it true?

Not exactly. In a recent study, it was found that white cars get more speeding tickets, followed by red, gray and silver vehicles. If you’re prone to lead-foot-itis, consider a less conspicuous car color, like black or blue. 

2. Visibility & Safety

Your risk of getting into a car crash may also increase if you choose a particular vehicle paint color. The Monash University Accident Research Centre investigated the link between car colors and accidents and discovered that white cars are 12% less likely to be involved in a crash than the average. The most accident-prone car color, on the other hand, is black; black (and other darker colors) cars have a higher crash risk due to decreased visibility, especially at night.

1. Go With Your Gut

Popular Car Color for Resale Value


All these stats can’t compete with your heart. In the end, this is your new car, so pick the color you want, regardless of what the numbers say is best. You don’t need to take a “What Color Car Should I Get” quiz to tell you not to buy a silver Honda Accord Hybrid in Miami because you just don’t like silver cars. Opt for a red Civic Hatchback with a spoiler instead — it’s your life.

About South Florida Honda Dealers

Red, blue, black or yellow — if you’re looking for a specific car color in South Florida, we’ve got a vehicle for you. Visit any of our Honda dealerships near Miami to see what we have in stock or place an order for your custom Honda. Request a quote online to get started and let your colors fly.