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What is the best colour car to buy?

The colour you choose for your car can have far-reaching implications.

When it comes to choosing the best car colour to buy, the glib, smart aleck answer is, “Whichever one you like the most.” 

If only it was that simple. 

The hard truth is the colour you choose for your car can have far-reaching implications, both in terms of the kind of care you have to give your vehicle and, most notably, how much money you’ll get stung for if you ever have to pony up for a respray. 

When taking the long game into consideration, it’s also wise to think what kind of colour will give your car the greatest resale value. This is where sticking to basic-but-always-popular colours can prove a wise investment, meaning you’re sticking to the less flashy end of the colour chart - your whites, greys and blacks. 

Bolder, brighter colours may give you the edge on visibility while on the road, but be aware that while a car that’s Joker-suit-purple may be eye-catching and might appeal to your personal sense of style - as questionable as that may be - you may come to regret your flamboyant decision once it’s time to sell up, and no one else feels the same way. 

Not that basic colours don’t come with their own set of drawbacks. 

White may be the best temperature-wise - particularly in a hot country like Australia - since it deflects sunlight instead of absorbing it and is thus less likely to turn into an oven on four-wheels (as black cars inevitably do), but it also shows up dirt and dust like nobody’s business. 

White cars deflects sunlight instead of absorbing it. White cars deflects sunlight instead of absorbing it.

Another black mark against choosing black cars is that they aren’t easy to keep clean, either. Dust and grime will show up on them starkly, especially if the point of origin of said “grime” is a bird’s bum. 

If you’re a car-wash dodger, the colour you’ll want to have covering your ride is something like a champagne or a taupe - the brown tinge, naturally, being the best car colour for not showing dirt.  

If you’re the kind of person who has a spatial awareness problem that leads to more dings than a game show buzzer, you may want to circle back to getting yourself a vehicle whiter than a Star Trek convention. White is easily the best colour car for scratches as it does an excellent job of concealing nicks and dents. 

If you’re the kind of person who pays attention to every little detail of your car from top to tailpipe, you might also want to give some thought to what colour wheel rims to get. 

What is the best colour for wheels and rims?

Black cars aren’t easy to keep clean. Black cars aren’t easy to keep clean.

While there’s no unanimous call on, say, the best colour rims for a white car or best colour rims for a black car - again, we're diving into the area of personal choice - the safe bet is to go with a classic choice like a chrome or a grey. 

White rims may give a white car a sporty look, but they’re definitely not recommended (10 points if you guessed “not easy to clean” as the main deterrent for getting them). 

Can choosing the wrong kind of paint cost you?

The colour red doesn't make a car go faster. The colour red doesn't make a car go faster.

Anything that comes in Ferrari red (like, a Ferrari) might make you think you’ll be magically able to drive faster, but looks can often be deceiving. As are myths about red being faster.

Googling the colour of your car is advised, which is something a lot of owners of Mazda models using the car paint colour ‘Soul Red’ probably wished they’d done before shelling out for their vehicles. 

While Soul Red is inarguably an eye-catching colour - a three-layer paint boasting a semi-transparent layer coated on a reflecting layer comprised of regularly arrayed aluminium flakes will ensure that - it has also become a thorn in the side of anyone who has to get a respray. 

Already prone to chip easily - you’ll find many an outraged owner of vehicle sporting Soul Red online - the colour is expensive to respray due to a multi-stage spraying process that can’t be achieved by using conventional methods. 

Mazda's Soul Red is expensive to respray due to a multi-stage spraying process. Mazda's Soul Red is expensive to respray due to a multi-stage spraying process.

So while the question “What is the best colour car to buy?” may rank up there with “What’s the meaning of life?” in terms of the greatest unanswerable queries of our times, there are a few things you can ask yourself to guide your decision. 

Is visibility your primary concern? A shade of council-worker-vest hi-res orange should do the trick, particularly if you want to buy a Lamborghini. Can’t be bothered grabbing a sponge and a bucket to clean your filth-accumulating ride? Go for a shade of champagne or taupe. Scratches and dings your poison? Go white. 

And if you want to go faster? Ferrari red, as long as it’s on an actual Ferrari. 

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