The Psychology Behind Why We Choose Specific Colours for Our Cars

The Psychology Behind Why We Choose Specific Colours for Our Cars

When we select a car, we often tell the world about ourselves. While make, model, and year contribute to the impression, one of the most striking, immediate factors is the colour.

Have you ever wondered why it is you lean more towards one car colour as opposed to another? In general, most people will choose a car based on its practicality, efficiency, the ‘bells and whistles’ it comes with, and how it looks, and this is where colours come into the equation.

Here in the UK, the psychology behind car colour choices reveals intriguing aspects of the British character, according to colour psychologist Sophie Dearman, on behalf of the International Drivers Association.

Below, Sophie explains the psychology and motivation behind people preferring specific colours.

Black: Elegance and Power
Black is the colour of choice for many Brits, accounting for about 20% of cars on the road. The psychology behind choosing a black car often indicates a desire for power and control. It can also reflect a taste for elegance, sophistication, and a timeless appeal, aligning well with the British reputation for refinement and class.

White: Purity and Optimism
Next in popularity is white. The preference for white cars reflects qualities such as purity, simplicity, and optimism. White is considered fresh and modern, and choosing a white car may suggest a forward-thinking, innovative spirit in sync with the cutting-edge technologies and progressive thinking Britain is known for.

Grey: Practicality and Responsibility
Grey is another popular choice, typically signifying practicality and responsibility. In the sometimes dreary British weather, grey cars tend to hide dirt and grime well, an advantage for busy people who prioritize function over showiness. This colour may reveal an understated, reliable personality, aligning with the British stereotype of a “stiff upper lip.”

Blue: Calmness and Stability
Blue, a colour often associated with calmness and stability, is another favourite among Brits. Choosing a blue car might indicate a relaxed, peaceful temperament and a preference for consistency and reliability. It’s a classic choice that can denote a certain kind of tradition-loving individual, a characteristic that the British are known for valuing.

Red: Energy and Passion
Red, though less common, is a vibrant and bold choice. Red car owners may be signalling their dynamic energy, passion, and somewhat rebellious spirit. A red car owner might be seen as someone who’s willing to stand out from the crowd and make their own way, reflecting a portion of the population unafraid to break from the classic British reserve.

A young couple buying a car from a dealership

Green: Harmony and Balance
Green is not a common car colour, but when chosen, it can signify a love for nature, harmony, and balance. The British love for gardens, parks, and the countryside can be reflected in the choice of a green car. It’s a nod to the environment and perhaps a statement of one’s commitment to sustainability and eco-consciousness.

Yellow and Orange: Optimism and Creativity
While not frequently seen, yellow and orange cars suggest an owner with a cheerful, sunny disposition and creative spirit. These car owners are likely to be extroverted, fun-loving, and possibly a bit eccentric, in line with the British penchant for quirky humour and originality.

Every colour has a psychological message behind it. While not everyone who drives a black car is seeking power, nor every red car owner is a rebel, our preferences do often mirror aspects of our personalities and values.

The diverse palette of car colours in the UK is a reflection of the nation’s multifaceted character. As varied as the colours are, they come together to form a vibrant mosaic of the British motoring landscape, each colour telling its own unique story about the person behind the wheel.

Read more motoring features and guides here.

The Psychology Behind Why We Choose Specific Colours for Our Cars 2

Editorial Team

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