Personally, I've owned cars and SUV's, and I've only owned three different colors, dark/wine red, white and silver. Ironically, the white and silver were compromises that needed to be made because I was purchasing a vehicle off the lot. When I ordered a vehicle, I certainly considered the different colors available, but always gravitated back to the dark red color palette. I currently own a silver vehicle. I've found it a bit challenging to locate my car in a sea of cars in the parking lot (assuming I wasn't the one that parked it there), because there seems to be quite a few silver vehicles out there (along with black and white!)
Vehicles from earlier generations that are still on the road, stand out and are quite visible. Not for their design necessarily, but for their colors which just pop out in contrast to the more bland color scheme of modern vehicles. Vehicle colors today are usually black, white, gray, or silver. Other colors, such as red or blue tend to be muted rather than bold and pronounced, like those vehicles of the past.
According to an article from slate.com:
"With the exception of an early ‘90s flirtation with the color purple, and a late ‘90s love affair with forest green, the past 20 to 30 years have represented a demure era in the world of automotive colors. Since the late-1990s, the best-selling paint colors have been black, gray, white, and silver (silver, in fact, was the best-selling color for a decade, until it was recently overtaken by white). George Iannuzzi, a board member of the Color Marketing Group (an international color-forecasting group that meets regularly to discuss the colors of the future) says that concerns about resale value have a tendency to conservatively shape buyer’s inclinations"
An article from Kelly Blue Book (kbb.com) describes the effect of vehicle color on resale values.
"The Monetary Value of Color
So, you might ask, "Why does color matter?" Like many vehicle features, color plays a role in the residual value of your car. Put simply, today's popular color will probably make your vehicle more popular to a buyer five years from now. The "probably" factors in the cyclical nature of color popularity, but the general rule still holds true.
It also follows that less popular colors depreciate your vehicle's value. By how much, you ask? That's the tricky part. It actually can vary from hundreds to thousands of dollars depending on the vehicle and the color in question.
Sticking to neutral colors such as silver, white, black and gray are your safest bets. But, if you feel moved to more chromatic colors, bright yellow, orange, or purple vehicles could put you at a disadvantage when selling or trading in your vehicle."
However, an article by Forbes stated:
"On average a yellow car that originally cost $20,000 can be expected to retain about $1,500 more of its value after five years than the same exact car painted black.That’s according to an analysis of over 20 million used car listings from the 1981 through 2010 model years conducted by the Boston-based used-vehicle website iSeeCars.com. Other colors the study found that bring back the most green include orange, teal and – of course – green.....it should be noted that one is more likely to find a sports coupe or convertible offered in eye-popping hues like orange and yellow in the first place than a more-conservative family sedan or station wagon, where the “non-colors” tend to proliferate."
An extensive and informative article written by The Consumerist (consumerist.com), explains the impact of the rise and fall of the economy on vehicle color preferences and resale potential.
"...during the recent recession, consumers were a bit shy of flashy things and tended to play it safe when and if they took the big step of buying a new car, and that trend has persisted over the years. Meaning the likelihood of a flood of yellow cars on the market is not great, hence, the rarer it is, the higher price tag it can command."
Bottom line is that color choice is part of your personal expression of your ride. The importance of personal expression through color varies among consumers. Some like more subdued colors and other want the "look at me, here I am" presentation of popping, bright colors. Run with the pack or stand out? As the Consumerist article states: "Whether or not you take that risk, it’s up to you. But at least you don’t have to order it in black, if you don’t want to."
Here are the links to the articles and sites I referenced in this Musing. I found them to be very interesting. I hope you do to.