2024 Most Popular Car Colors and What They Mean

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Have you ever wondered why the red Ferrari is such a catch? Or what draws our eye to a particular color? Cars are a form of self-expression. Your color choice can reflect your style, mood and even your outlook on life. Whether you’re a fan of classic black, gray and silver or prefer more vibrant colors, there’s a hue out there for everyone.

Throughout the first decade of the 1900s, cars only came in a few shades, such as black, green, red and gray. As more colors began to enter the market, they were heavily influenced by trends in fashion, interior design and technology. In recent years, however, there has been a shift towards more neutral colors.

According to a report by Kelley Blue Book, silver/gray was the most popular color in North America, leading the way at 34%. This was closely followed by white (24%), black (18%), blue (12%) and red (7.5%). Over the years, these colors have consistently dominated showrooms and driveways alike due to their classic appeal and ability to hide dirt and scratches better than brighter colors.

Each color is often associated with certain personality traits:

  • Gray: A neutral color that represents elegance and sophistication. Drivers of gray/silver cars are viewed as tech-forward and business-minded. 
  • White: This color symbolizes purity and cleanliness. People who choose white cars are seen to appreciate simplicity and clean living. 
  • Black: Often associated with sophistication, black is a popular choice for luxury models and middle-class vehicles. Drivers of black cars are known for exuding excellence. 
  • Blue: The color of practicality and stability. Blue car drivers are thought to be dependable, honest and giving. 
  • Red: Representing energy, passion and action, red is a popular choice for confident and ambitious drivers. 
  • Green: The symbolism of green is multifaceted and often represents a range of meanings from envy to calmness. Drivers of green cars may be understated and hopeful.  
  • Orange: This vibrant color is attention-grabbing and demonstrates warmth and joy. Those who drive orange cars may be enthusiastic and unique. 
  • Purple: Drivers of purple cars may be known for their pride, independence and ambition. 
  • Pink: A fun and playful color, drivers of pink cars are known for being happy and lighthearted. 
  • Yellow: The happiest and brightest color on the spectrum, yellow signifies optimism. You might find drivers of yellow cars to be joyful. 

Did you know that certain car colors are more popular for specific types of vehicles? Kelley Blue Book shares that black is the most common color for convertibles and coupes, while gray is a top choice in SUVs. 

While national trends certainly provide a general picture of popular car colors, these preferences can also vary by state. According to Edmunds, most black cars can be found in Midwest states, including Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota. Notably, Maine, Massachusetts and Alaska also report black as the most popular car color. Gray is listed as the leading choice in New Hampshire, Vermont and Connecticut. The remainder of the U.S. reports white as the most popular color choice. 

Of all non-grayscale colors, blue (10%) and red (9%) vehicles take the lead in this study. The least popular vehicle colors are yellow and purple, both of which are only 0.2% of total vehicles. 

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Car colors that make a difference

Besides personality traits, there are a variety of reasons why you might choose a specific shade for your vehicle. Car color can play a role in safety, ease of cleaning, climate compatibility and even resale value. 

Benefits of light-colored cars  

If you choose to drive a light-colored vehicle, your choice might increase your safety on the road as they can be seen easier by other drivers. Light colors are also better suited for warmer climates due to the ability to reflect sunlight and keep the car cooler. 

Benefits of dark-colored cars  

Vehicles that lean on the darker side, however, might show scratches and dirt spots more easily. Despite that, dark color cars offer benefits like being perceived to have a luxury status, enhancing their resale value. 

Choosing the right car color for you

The color of your car is much more than a mere aesthetic choice—it’s a reflection of your personality, lifestyle and even safety considerations. The shift towards neutral colors such as silver/gray, white and black, suggests that drivers are leaning toward elegance, sophistication and practicality. Vibrant hues like blue and red still hold their ground, symbolizing stability, energy and passion. 

Remember, your vehicle’s color could also influence its visibility on the road, its suitability for your local climate and its resale value. Next time you’re picking out a car, consider what your color choice might say about you and how it could benefit you in the long run.

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