Ask someone what their favorite color is, and chances are they won’t say a neutral like white or gray. Ask someone what color their car is, however, and chances are they just might say a neutral. White, silver, black and gray are the most popular car colors in America and in many places around the world. Sure, there are various shades of white, silver, black and gray, but the fact remains that they are all neutrals.

So, why do car buyers go for neutrals? There is no one clear answer, but many point to the investment factor. A car is a major investment, and buyers need a car color they can live with for a long time to come. A bright yellow car at age 18 might be fun, but not so fun a few years later. Purchasing a different color of car is not an option for most people, nor is having the exterior repainted.

Resale also factors into the equation. Bright yellow will not appeal to as many buyers as white or silver will. To ensure their car sells easily later, many buyers will purchase a neutral color. Neutrals also tend to hide dirt and damage better than bolder color choices.

Lot selection may also play a factor in color choices. Pass by a few car lots, and you’ll probably see more neutral colors than bold. Dealers know what color of cars are more likely to be bought and stock their lots with them. So, yes, while you might encounter some orange, red, blue and green cars, chances are they will be located in a sea of white, black, gray and silver.

Budget, of course, is always a factor. Often, the bolder the color choice, the higher the price of the car. Bolder colors like red and orange require specialty paint, which increases the cost. While you may not notice the increase in the sticker price, you will most certainly see it should you order a car directly from the factory.

Specialty reds, oranges and the like can add hundreds of dollars to the final price. Buyers may not care to fork over the cash for a specialty color, especially if there are other extras more important to them, like heated seats. Having a warm seat to slide into in frigid temperatures might outweigh the need for a fiery red exterior.

While neutrals are the most common car colors and therefore the easiest to find and buy, that doesn’t mean buyers have to settle. There are various shades of white, silver, black and gray available from pearl white to matte black. As for buyers who have their heart set on a bolder color, they will find it. However, it may cost them, both in terms of time and money.

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