Why an orange car could cost you – in more ways than one

Colours play an important part in our lives – it says something about us when we wear a certain colour, or when we choose something because of its colour. Certainly, marketers spend a lot of money perfecting the colours of products and there is a lot of (sometimes) controversial information about what psychological effects colours have on us.

There are now more colour options for cars than ever before and it can be easy to be tempted for to buy the tangerine dream or the cute pink number. But you might like to think a little harder about your decision.

When it comes to cars, there are definite trends for certain colours. White is a perennial favourite – in fact, it’s the world’s most popular car colour according to paint manufacturer PPG which releases an annual report on the popularity of car colours.

But aside from making you feel good when you look at it, the colour of the car you buy has a very real influence on your hip pocket, and even, believe it or not, on safety.

The vast majority of car manufacturers sell most of their cars (almost 75% according to PPG) in the most popular colours: white, black, grey and silver.

It’s worth bearing in mind these “conservative” colours when you buy a car because it may affect how quickly you’re able to sell the car on.

Having said that, some specialist cars do very well with bright, unusual colours. And colours can become the signature of a brand – British racing green will always be synonymous with MGs for example, or the signature rosso corsa (racing red) of Ferrari.

There is also evidence to suggest colour plays a part in the outcomes of road crashes. According to research from the Monash University Accident Research Centre’s 2007 report, “An investigation into the relationship between vehicle colour and crash risk”. The analysis showed a clear statistically significant relationship between vehicle colour and crash risk. The report said: “Compared to white vehicles, a number of colours were associated with higher crash risk. These colours are generally those lower on the visibility index and include black, blue, grey, green, red and silver. The association between vehicle colour and crash risk was strongest during daylight hours where relative crash risks were higher for the colours listed compared to white by up to around 10%”.

And of course, you need to consider the cost of ongoing maintenance. While black is one of the most popular colours around the world, and a beautifully detailed black car does look amazing, it is also widely considered to be the most difficult to maintain. Black is unforgiving for both bumps and scrapes, as well as dust. White is considerably easier to maintain, and according to Monash University’s research, it’s also significantly safer.

All is not lost If you do go for that bright orange ute though: you might minimise the chances of a serious accident and it could just take you a bit longer to find a buyer when you come to sell it on.

Paul Higgins is Director of HelloCars.

This article first appeared on Yahoo7.