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The Psychology of Car Colour

February 26, 2014 by Our Sponsors


When it comes to buying a car, the decision-making process is often a lengthy and sometimes convoluted one. For anyone deciding between manufacturers, models and engine specs, the options have a nasty habit of growing in size instead of reducing. Selecting the colour you’d like your vehicle to be can dramatically aid you in your choice of car – particularly if you’re shopping in the used car market. Once one factor is taken care of, you can concentrate on other elements you need your motor to comprise.

The colour of your car might initially seem like the easiest aspect to decide upon, but how much does the colour of your car actually say about you? According to a survey conducted by Trusted Dealers, the psychology behind your choice of car colour can speak a thousand words – and we’re seemingly just as judgemental when it comes to the colour of other people’s cars, too.

Half of us reckon that there’s a relationship between irresponsible driving and car colour, with a fifth of us pegging owners of red cars as the culprits – and apparently, this perceived recklessness only increases with age. Gone are the days where boy racers seek out a red car, as only 15 per cent of 18 to 34-year-olds agreed with the idea that drivers of red cars are more careless. Compare this with the statistic that shows a quarter of over 55-year-olds reckon there is a correlation, and you’ve got an interesting show of the generation gap between car owners.

Neil Addley, MD of the used-car site Trusted Dealers has commented on how curious this notion is, saying: “Older people have seen enough trends come and go to develop a stronger association with different car colours, and their response in this survey has given us a fascinating glimpse into the cultural impact that car colour can have on the industry as a whole.”

The poll’s results indicate that the colour pink would be avoided entirely when looking at making a vehicle purchase, even though the association between pink and recklessness is seemingly non-existent.

Black cars took second place on the grid when it comes to association with reckless driving, with 17 per cent of survey respondents making the connection. Addley commented: “There’s no correlation between reckless driving and car colour that we know of, but the fact that people hold these emotional associations shows that there’s a real connection in the way different cars are perceived – whether that’s through the media or elsewhere.”

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1 Comment

  1. John D says:

    I have a red truck and black van. What does that say about me? ;)

    Of course the fact that it’s a rather large diesel truck and a somewhat classy newer minivan probably offset the conclusions that others may jump to in this particular case…

    Interesting read. Especially the part about generation gaps.

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