Car color might be the last thing you consider when you’re deciding what vehicle you want to buy, but it’s more important than you might think. Car colors can affect everything from the resale value of your vehicle to the risk of getting into an accident.
Whether you’re looking for a long-term vehicle or plan on selling your car in a few years and getting a new one, knowing what colors you should avoid is a good first step.
Here are the 7 car colors you should avoid in 2023, and the main reasons these colors just aren’t working in today’s competitive vehicle market.
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Which 7 Car Colors Should You Avoid?
As a note, before we dive into the 7 car colors to avoid, if one of these colors happens to be your favorite, that’s a good enough reason to go ahead and get that color! Color has a minimal impact on the value of your vehicle and its performance, so while it’s important enough to consider, market forces aren’t a good reason to drive a car in a color you hate.
The car colors to avoid are a recommendation, not a rule. Of course, some of these colors are going to be on the road in 2023, and that’s a good thing. Variety is the spice of life.
Just make sure you’re thinking about the pros and cons when you decide whether a specific color is right for you.
Green isn’t a terribly common color anymore, though some brands still have several popular green colors. There are a couple of problems with green as a car color though, which is why it’s one of the colors to avoid in 2023.
For one thing, green cars have been shown to have lower resale value than other colors because relatively few people want to own a green car.
Depending on the shade of green, green can also be hard to keep clean and keep it in good condition.
Lastly, some greens can stand out on the road and be cop-magnets, pale lime greens in particular, which might make some buyers think twice before considering a green vehicle.
Once upon a time beige and tan cars were popular, even prestigious. However, these days they’re more likely to look old-fashioned than fashionable.
Beige and tan colors are also notoriously difficult to keep clean, and even brown dust and dirt will show up next to brown paint.
Brown has a lot of the same problems as beige vehicles, it’s hard to keep clean-looking, and can look muddy and discolored even when the vehicle is completely clean.
Brown can also easily hide paint damage and bubbling, and can even disguise the look of rust around damaged areas.
That might sound like a good thing, but it’s a pretty serious problem because it means it’s much harder to spot and treat rust and other body issues.
Brown also shows hail damage, small dents, and waves in the body panels pretty clearly compared with other colors, making it a high maintenance choice without the flash or style of other colors.
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2-tone paints are getting more and more popular in the luxury car market, but these paints are also on our list of colors to avoid in 2023. Why? Well, there are a few reasons.
For one thing, 2-tone colors are almost always going to come with a custom-paint premium. The market for them is relatively small, so manufacturers charge more, and you’ll probably get better value putting those dollars toward non-cosmetic upgrades.
2-tone paints also tend to show damage. Hail marks, for instance, will change the way the light hits the paint and that means that every little dent will have color gradients giving it away.
Additionally, 2-tone paints are harder to repair, and if your paint gets scratched or chipped there’s no guarantee that your exact color of 2-tone paint is going to be locally available. There aren’t many points where you might have to re-paint your whole car to hide minor paint damage, but 2-tone paints are one color it’s fairly common.
Purple car paints come in a wide variety, from muted purples that are almost brown to eye-catching violets that are almost neon. However, one and all, purple is one of the car colors to avoid in 2023.
Well, it’s not necessarily a popularity problem, plenty of people are interested in purples for their cars. But, despite that popularity, purple vehicles still have lower resale value compared with white and other more common car colors.
Muted purples tend to get dirty easily, and can start to look like a muddy brown or red with even a little dust over the paint.
Worse, the brighter colors that are potentially lower maintenance are cop-magnets. Purple can be a popular color with street racers, which means that many cops will give a purple vehicle a second look just in case the driver is in violation in some way.
Lastly, purples also tend to come in and out of vogue faster than most other colors, which can make it harder to get a paint match if you need to repair your vehicle. The exact shade your car comes in may well be discontinued within a couple of years of release.
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6. Cherry Red
Red vehicles have long been known as cop-magnets, and there are plenty of stories behind the reputation. While it’s not entirely clear that any color reported to be a cop magnet is actually going to attract more tickets, or if it’s the driving behavior of the people who choose those colors that leads to the tickets, one thing is certain. Bright red vehicles often have a lower resale vehicle because there aren’t that many people who are willing to risk the extra citations.
Of course, there’s also the red-car premium where red cars sometimes sell for more because they’re seen as a more premium version.
Black is one of the most popular car colors out there, so you might be surprised to see it on a list of the car colors to avoid in 2023, but it’s definitely a color you should think twice about.
For one thing, black vehicles heat up in the sun more than almost any other color, which can put more of a burden on your coolant system and A/C.
Black is also a hard color to keep clean and doesn’t hide dirt, damage, or scratches at all. Even small scuffs will show on most black paint, which can mean that you’re going to spend a lot more time taking care of the paint than you would with a lower maintenance color.
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