Today’s car owners tend to see their options in black and white. These contrasting hues are the most popular paint colors that car buyers choose for their vehicle. In fact, white is the most popular color car in America, followed by black. The third most popular choice is the mix of white and black—gray!
American drivers seemed to gravitate towards black and white and shades of grey. Yet not all buyers fit the mold; some choose colors that are unique and perhaps even shocking. Check out these rare car colors that are guaranteed to catch the eye of other drivers and make it much easier to find the vehicle in a crowded parking lot!
Car and Driver highlighted the newest and craziest colors offered by manufacturers for 2022; these hues were included on the list:
- Dragon Orange Metallic (Audi Q8)
- Sao Paulo Yellow (BMW M3 and M4)
- NSX Thermal Orange Pearl (Acura RDX)
- Cyber Orange (Ford Bronco)
- Phoenix Yellow (Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition)
- Ocra GT Top Coat (Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio)
- Papaya Spark (McLaren 765LT)
- Hellraisin (Dodge Challenger)
While this isn’t the complete list, potential buyers might zero in on a few of the names. Citrus fruit hues seemed to dominate, and Dodge was even raising a little hell with its raisin-hued Challenger. Every year, manufacturers might include some unique paint hues for the buyer who wants something extraordinary.
Through the years, though, some hues have become iconic and very much aligned with their time or even reminiscent of a certain company or tradition.
The Pink Cadillac
The Cadillac is a classic car; it exudes luxury in an all-American design. One color Cadillac, though, is renowned and has even been the title of hit songs: the Pink Cadillac.
This sweet hue is associated with the ‘50s, but it’s also tied to cosmetics multi-level marketing giant Mary Kay. A pink Cadillac on the highway will definitely turn heads and is quite uncommon.
Another car straight from the ‘50s is the ’57 Chevy. The classic Tropical Turquoise hue is often associated with these cars. Not only is the ’57 Chevy an uncommon site, but the blue hue isn’t a tone that many modern car owners choose today.
The song nodded to the Joker’s car in the movie The Suicide Squad. While this unique hue might not be common on many vehicles, it might have become more common among Lamborghini buyers who wanted their own strikingly purple vehicle. MotorBiscuit notes that buyers can score one of these cool cars for only about $369,000.
Yes, some Volkswagen drivers like to have a bit of fun with their rides. Those who choose a VW Beetle sometimes customize the paint to look like a cute little ladybug. A buggy Bug! Occasionally, drivers will see these small cars buzzing by with their red and black paint, but the ladybug Beetle isn’t such a common sight beyond the garden.
Some paint colors actually change colors when viewed at different angles. One unique color is actually a pearl or opal hue. It’s pale cream with shimmers of pink and other hues—it looks like the gemstone opal. Chameleon paint offers a similar effect; the paint color might be purple but it also can look green when viewed from a different angle.
A McLaren was painted with a chameleon-like shade called MSO Amazon Colour Stream; the paint hue reportedly bumped the car’s price by more than $38,000!
When a car owner can’t decide on the best color, opt for a rainbow of hues! One woman’s husband had her car wrapped up in tie-dye. While this wasn’t an actual paint design, it was still extremely unique.
When Any Color Goes
While most manufacturers include a list of car hues for each model, some offer buyers the option to create their own custom color options. This is when the sky really is the limit.
Luxury manufacturers like Lamborghini are more likely to offer carte blanche to buyers when it comes to the hues for their vehicles. A quick search reveals that Lamborghinis and other high-end vehicles are designed in some amazing hues.
One Ferrari was actually painted pink with the Barbie logo on it. However, when Mattel launched a Ferrari for Barbie in the 1980s, a red hue and a white hue were offered.
Some car buyers want what they want and they don’t care how much it costs. A Bugatti Divo was painted with an intricate red and black pattern that took two years to create. As Business Insider noted, the Divo has a price of $6 million.
Does Color Impact the Price of a Vehicle?
The color of a car might be a bit like the color of the walls in a home; some hues appeal to many buyers, but others only appeal to a select few. Real estate agents often advise homeowners to opt for neutral paint hues to increase the marketability of a home.
Does the color of the vehicle impact its value? Unfortunately, some vehicles will lose value if they are painted in colors that just don’t have wide appeal. The most depreciating color hues include gold, brown, and purple.
The most popular colors are black and white for a reason: they appeal to many buyers. While a yellow car might still find a buyer, it might sit on the lot longer as it is less of an appealing choice.
Interesting to note, the color that depreciates the least is yellow. Perhaps more buyers should opt for a bright yellow model!
Choosing the Best Car Color
If car buyers are focused on the resale value of their vehicle, they could stick with the more popular choices: black and white. Yet, not all buyers want their vehicle to look like every other on the road. Some consumers are nonconformists and their car is a reflection of their personality.
Those who have nearly bottomless budgets for a new car also might simply choose what they want. If this means that they are zooming down the road in a magenta Mustang, then so be it! They may worry little about the resale value of their purchase; they might simply love their car.
How Vehicle Availability Affects Selection
When dealerships have crunched inventory, buyers might not be able to be picky about the color of car they want to purchase. Some dealerships might have a limited supply to offer buyers, and if a color or vehicle is backordered or can’t be ordered at all, buyers might have to opt for their second favorite color (or maybe whatever is on the lot).
However, if custom orders are available through the dealership or manufacturer, this might be an opportunity for buyers to create the car they want in the hue they love. When supply is limited at dealerships or if car buyers simply aren’t finding what they want, they can inquire about custom orders.
Can Car Buyers Preview Car Hues?
Buyers might not know what color they want for their car. Many manufacturers offer a list of choices, and while buyers might not want black or white, they also may be unsure how the hue will change the appearance of the car.
Car buyers who want to preview different paint hues can use RelayCars to explore all their colorful options. The RelayCars app can be downloaded for free and lets buyers explore cars in augmented reality, virtual reality (if they have Google Cardboard) and with 3D car models, too.
Car buyers also can explore RelayCars via the website, however only the augmented reality experience and 3D models are available. Both the app and the website let car buyers preview car models in every available paint hue offered by the manufacturer.
There is no limit as to how many vehicles buyers can explore via the RelayCars app or the website. Buyers can explore as many models as they want and use the app or the website as long as they wish.
With 3D models, car shoppers can choose the color they wish to view and then interact with the 3D illustration of the model. Using a fingertip or the mouse, users can turn the 3D car images to view them from any angle.
Augmented reality experiences allow car shoppers to drop a model into their space. They might be able to view a car in their backyard or just the garage. If car shoppers have Google Cardboard, they can explore all their options in virtual reality!
Car buyers who are focused on the potential resale value of their vehicle might opt for classic hues like black or white. However, they also might remember that yellow cars retain their value, too. Every car buyer might have their own favorite hue for their vehicle, and car buyers with bottomless budgets for a new car might even create a one-of-a-kind paint design that takes years to create.
While there are many new colors offered from manufacturers in 2022, every year might include another different colorful selection. Color trends for cars might come and go, and they also might nod to the fashion trends of the moment. Car buyers who don’t find the hue they love and who might consider a custom paint job also can take inspiration by visiting Pantone’s website. Who knows? Maybe a few Pantone-inspired Veri Peri painted cars might be driving down the highway!