May 19, 2024


Choose Automotive

4 Things to Know About Color Before You Buy a Car


2. Some colors cost more

Be aware that certain colors come with an extra charge, from a couple hundred to a few thousand dollars. Why?

For starters, any metallic tone takes longer to produce than a nonmetallic white or black shade because it includes “flakes” for sparkle—and a triple-coat pearl finish is more complicated to apply and therefore costs more. “Upsell colors cost more because they are a three-stage paint process, instead of two-stage,” says auto expert Rick McLey of Dealer Peak CRM.

Second, colored paints need pigment, and some pigments, especially red or yellow, are more expensive to make. And keep in mind that any color that costs you more to buy will also cost more to repair if your vehicle gets dinged or scratched.

Color choice can also affect resale: “Sometimes those unusual colors hurt the value of the car,” McLey says. “Look at the NADA Black Book or Kelly Blue book and you’ll see the deductions.”

3. Colors carry significance

“Color emits an emotion,” says Misty Yeomans, automotive style color manager­­ at PPG Industries. “Colors also showcase the personality. You want a car that represents you well.”

Bright colors are signs of individuality. Matte blues and other earth colors tend to be aligned with an interest in nature or technology, Yeomans says. “Green is also seen as a ’traffic light’ color, acting as a signal for everyone to go forward—it’s safe and we can trust this color,” she says.

If you do buy a matte color from a manufacturer, make sure you inquire about any extra care that may be needed, suggests McLey, noting that special cleaners are often required.


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