Do cars still come in colors where you are?

Fifty Shades of Gray must have been more influential than I realized. Since somebody pointed it out to me a few days ago, I’ve been amazed at how many cars are black, white, or gray. (Especially if you lump silver in with the grays.) There’s a few champagnes, and some almost black, navy blues. Typical car colors like blue and red together only make up 10 - 20% of the cars I see now, and yellow, green, purple, and orange cars are a rarity. When did this happen? Is it everywhere, or is San Diego particularly chromatically challenged?

Red only looks good on sports cars. Yellow, green ( except British Racing Green), purple and orange are simply ugly car colors.

Cars are all different colors 'round here. Most cars at the dealer, as you mentioned, are grey/silver, black and maybe a few others. But getting the color you want from a choice of about 15 colors often times just means waiting a few days and possibly paying an additional acquisition fee for them to truck it in from another dealer wherever they happened to be able to find it.
It might also depend on your location. From what I’ve heard, in places like Arizona white cars are more popular whereas in the midwest and the rest of the Northern states some people will avoid black cars because they get filthy in winter.

  1. White 23%
  2. Black 18%
  3. Silver 16%
  4. Gray 13%
  5. Red 10%
  6. Blue 9%
  7. Brown/Beige 5%
  8. Yellow/Gold 3%
  9. Green 2%

Oh for the good ol’ days when two- and even three-toned cars filled the streets.

I think car colours reflect the group psychology of the era. Bright and flashy when the economy and mass optimism are in the ascendant and at full throttle, drab, boring and dismal in times such as this. (Though two-tone, five-foot-long “full-size” cars might look even more meh than they do now.)

It’s so bad that GM charges $300 or $350 extra if a customer orders a new car painted red.

I’m not so sure. I vaguely remember going car shopping with the family in the mid-1970s, and seeing all the bright yellows and blues and reds and greens on the AMC car lot; but the 70s weren’t an especially optimistic time.

3 white
3 black
2 Sahara (a sandy tan color)
1 (each) silver, gold, red, blue and Camo.

You might be on to something…

But I haven’t ever bought a new car.

Here in Brazil it is pretty normal for the cars to be black or silver. White is not so popular because it is used on taxis. on the other hand, it was a trend a few months ago for luxury cars to be white. Some models, such as the Fiat UNO come in pretty strong colours, but it is not so usual.

Humpf!!! Red and school bus yellow look great on working Jeeps, plus it helps you find it when you’ve been wandering around in the woods. Blue and green are bad colors for that, and purple would probably not be good, but fushia would be.

Seriously? I thought it was because red oxidizes very quickly without extra layers of protective clear coats.

When I lived in Arizona, almost everyone drove light colored cars so they wouldn’t get as hot in the sun. I kinda thought that was (checks forum) a lot of what makes the grass grow green, because if a car is sitting in triple digit heat and baking sun all day, it doesn’t really matter what color the car is…its just going to get really, REALLY hot.

Now that I’m in Houston, I am seeing a lot more colors on the road. I like it.

That’s the first time I heard that. I owned two red cars and one white and red, but years ago. There was no extra charge for the new all-red car back then. Perhaps the modern paints would make a difference, though I don’t know why red would oxidize more than any other colour. Seems like a step back.

I could see this degenerating to the point where Ford comes up with the slogan, “It comes in any colour as long as it’s black.”

Brighter colors are far more common place on sports/utility cars as noted. Pickup tucks and Jeeps too.

Sedans and Family-Type SUVs typically go with dark/neutral colors. This seems to be the case across the US anyway.

Disagree heavily, and obviously YMMV.

Honestly, all these black and gray and dark green cars are kind of hard to see at night. I wanted a silver car, but then everyone and their mother got silver. So I ended up with a blue raspberry Fit. And I tell you, I am very happy with it. I can always find my car in a parking lot.

I had two choices when I bought my car last year–light grey and dark grey. I’m very, very annoyed by it. My car looks exactly like every other car and I’m always walking up to other people’s cars in the parking lot. Bring back fire-apple red.

My previous car was silver; in public garages it would get lost in a sea of silver. One of the Must Haves for my current car was “must be a real color”.

Cars I can see out my windows:
2 navy
1 black
3 light grey
1 light blue
2 dark grey
5 red
but I’m in a region where red has political meaning, there is a lot more red anything than in other areas. When I’m Elsewhere, my red car is often the only red one in sight.

I think a lot of it is being driven by fleet sale and resale value. Cars that are boring inoffensive colors might not hold their value more on paper, but they generally move faster and get slightly higher prices at auctions.

This has a bigger effect on the general automotive milieu than it once did because the economics of vehicle fleets have changed a bit. It used to be that fleets would keep cars until they were genuinely worn out and sell them for a pittance, but these days they’ve figured out that it makes more sense to sell them when they’re only a few years old. So resale value is a much bigger concern for fleet managers than it once was. Plus that means that a bigger percentage of cars driven by “civilians” started life as fleet vehicles than has been the case historically.

Another issue is that white cars are cheaper to do body and paint work on, so many fleets are simply all-white now. I’ve been watching sadly as the light green Forest Service trucks that were once ubiquitous in this part of the country have been replaced by nondescript white ones.

Even if you wanted an actual color sometimes you can’t get it if you’re getting a lower trim level. All the cars I’ve owned have been variations of either blue or red.

Still an improvement on Henry Ford’s day: “You can have any color you want as long as it’s black.” --H. F. on the Model T

I buy gray because dirt and grime doesn’t show as much as it does in colors or black and white. I can get away with washing it less for aesthetic reasons.

It’s 2013. Why can’t you order a car, and as long as it’s paid for, have the robot at the factory mix up whatever color you want and spray it on? Seems like that could be a good sales gimmick.

Interesting point, but I think people mostly go to a dealer and drive away with the car the day they buy it. At least, that’s the only way I’ve ever bought a car. That may be anachronistic though. Manufacturing is so precise now that one car of a particular make and model shouldn’t be noticeably different from another, but I’m not sure people really believe that. I’m not even sure I believe it.