Colorful is no longer in

Colors have different historic significance, they arouse emotions, they attract attention, and they can blend into the background. When you buy a car and insist on a particular color you are being guided by a gut feeling. In the past few articles you have repeatedly told us that you didn’t really look closely at the color of a used car. But unless your car is one of those plain station wagons which is nothing more than a workhorse and is supposed to be timeless to maintain a high resale value, then we have some “colorful” insights for you. They are not scientific and they don’t apply to everyone, but perhaps you recognize yourself or your friends in these descriptions. The trend is toward plain colors. Today we’ll look at SILVER cars.

The ever-changing favorite color

In the early 90s – which isn’t that long ago, is it? – most new registrations were … red! Yup, really. I’d also pushed it to the back of my mind. Things have changed completely in the new millennium. Red has pretty much disappeared; today more than 75% of new cars are either black, silver/gray or white. And especially silver, though at 28% it’s almost level with black, seems to adorn more cars now than any other color. It was a full ten years ago that I’d promised myself to never drive a silver car. Except maybe a DeLorean or an unpainted Porsche 911, but both don’t really fit into my budget. That I then went for a silver Audi 100 I like to keep quiet about, but it did have a black vinyl roof. Just sayin’. But no, the paint on many new cars is silver. And even today many customers consciously go for this color, not just because the car is then easier to resell. What is behind this color from a psychological point of view?

Unobtrusive or high value?

Not only since the movie have we known that there are more than 50 shades of gray. And psychologists clearly distinguish between gray and silver when it comes to color perception.

  • Gray stands for modesty, a matter-of-fact approach and practical actions. Many vehicles of the 50s and 60s were gray; they stood for safety in or after troubled times, and their drivers were driving carefully, sticking to traffic rules. Just as well – gray cars are very difficult to see in poor weather; their signal effect is non-existent.
  • Silver, on the other hand, stands for prestige, elegance and looking ahead to the future. There it is again, the unpainted DeLorean. The color of hard metal makes the car seem high value and weighty.

Or the resale value after all?

Of course, there are many people who don’t take into account their own taste when buying a car. If a company orders an entire fleet, all vehicles will look the same. Silver is ideal because it’s pretty timeless, easy to resell in contrast to shrill trendy colors, and also provides a good background for advertising in all colors. But even today there are always buyers who just like silver. And why not? In the end it’s all a matter of taste, or the main priority is not on the colors on offer so you just go for the silver one. I’m sure that some of you also have a silver or gray car, am I right? So what made you go for that color? Tell us about it.

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