It’s no surprise that car colour is often more important to auto painting and refinishing technicians than other auto enthusiasts. In their work restoring vehicles after collisions and accidents, creating custom paint jobs, and generally ensuring auto body surfaces remain in pristine condition, auto painting professionals develop a real appreciation for just how much car colour matters.
But what makes people choose certain car colours? And are there advantages and disadvantages that can come with a favourite car colour? The answers to these questions might be surprising, even for students in auto painting courses.
Read on for some unexpected facts about car colour that you may have been in the dark about.
1. Grads of Car Painting Courses Might Notice that Some Car Colours Are More Accident Prone
If you find yourself performing a higher-than-average amount of refinishing jobs on black or navy blue cars after completing your auto painting training, it might not be a coincidence. A study conducted by Monash University in Melbourne in 2010 concluded that black cars were up to 47 per cent more likely to be involved in accidents.
The research suggested that black cars were less visible than other lighter-coloured autos, as they tended to blend in with the road, resulting in more accidents. Blue, red, silver, and grey vehicles also enjoy poor visibility, while white, yellow, and gold cars tend to be the safest.
2. Vehicle Type Plays a Big Part in Colour Choice
Many students in car painting courses might argue that some vehicles just look better in certain colours, and it would seem they are not alone. According to an annual colour popularity study conducted in the US by DuPont Automotive, colour preference tends to vary a lot depending on vehicle type.
For example, while silver tends to be the most popular vehicle colour overall, drivers of larger vehicles like SUVs, minivans, and light trucks tend to prefer white. Light brown, meanwhile, is the third most popular colour choice for sedans, wagons, and hatchbacks, despite not being particularly popular for other vehicles.
3. Auto Paint Colour Can Actually Impact Fuel Economy and Emissions
While vehicle owners rarely consider fuel emissions when choosing a car colour, a 2011 study conducted by the Berkeley Lab Environmental Energy Technologies Division (EETD) suggests it might play a bigger role than we think.
The research showed that cars painted in dark colours, like dark red, dark grey, or black, absorbed more sunlight, making the air in the cabin warmer. This meant that drivers would have to run their air conditioners more, resulting in a slight dip in fuel economy and increased emissions of greenhouse gases and pollutants.
Fortunately, there are solutions for drivers who still want to drive a car in their favourite colour. Solar reflective paint, for instance, which is used on new cars such as the 2017 Toyota Prius, can reflect sunlight more effectively to reduce the amount of heat absorbed by a vehicle. As awareness of both the financial and environmental cost of fuel inefficiency increases, being aware of these new options could become increasingly important in the auto painting careers of the future.
Looking for a career in the auto industry with a bright future?
Contact ATC to learn why you should pursue training in auto painting.