Rock Talk

Psychology of Car Color

Last updated on May 16, 2017 at 02:42 pm

We have all heard stories, studies, or discussions among friends, family, and colleagues about what the color of your car says about your personality.

Some common assumption heard by Plymouth Rock Assurance is that red cars are for people who like to drive fast and live on the edge, blue means you are relaxed and calm, and black is shows you are cool under pressure — but who can say for sure? Numerous studies have been done on the psychology of color, but when it comes to cars — there are too many other factors at play for any study to be conclusive.

Let’s first start with breaking down some common misconceptions about red — number one being that a red car does not look faster or stand out more than other colors. In fact, that fire truck red just may make your car an easy target for accidents because it is one of them most complex colors in the spectrum for the human eye. At night, red is often perceived as black, and most people have poor detection of shades of red when it comes to peripheral vision. A color that resides in the middle of the spectrum, like lime yellow, is much easier to see — hence why more and more emergency response teams are adopting use of these colors, especially in Europe.

Speed speaks more to your personality than your color choice. Drivers who speed excessively aren’t necessarily motivated by their car color, but by much deeper character and personality traits. Lastly, red does not mean you will pay more for car insurance — that is a myth. Just make sure to drive safe regardless of the vehicle color because it is more important to get home safe then to get home fast.

White is the most popular car color in North America, followed by black, then silver. Although there is a lot of symbolism behind black vs. white (e.g., good vs. evil, spy vs. spy, etc.), most color experts agree that the popularity may simply come down to availability. Black and white are two of the most readily available colors in most industries and have little effect on the cost of the vehicle. They are also universal — most individuals do not view black or white as having shades or variables when it comes to the car market (house paint is another story). The opposite goes for colors like red, blue, and even the more mundane tan or beige. These colors can have a wide spectrum, are riskier to reproduce, and often demand premiums to purchase.

The bottom line to any “psychology” involving car color is that every driver is different and perception can vary greatly. Color is a complex subject that affects us every second of every day, but we think little about it. So the next time you are car shopping, you might want to think twice when the salesman asks, “What color would you like?”

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