By Choice or By Default – Why Do People Buy White Vehicles?
The next time you are on the road, take a look around. According to Cars.com you are not seeing things. There are an inordinate amount of white cars, trucks, and SUV’s…26% in fact. That’s more than one in four vehicles. The 2008 DuPont Automotive Color Popularity Report lists the color White as number 1. This is up from 19% in 2007. But why?
A question was posed online asking this very question. Specifically, the query asked why there are so many white cars and trucks on the road; and who buys white vehicles and why. Over 50 people responded to this informal survey, and the reasons they gave were varied and some of them surprising.
Topping the list of reasons is the belief that white paint reflects the sun and keeps the interior of the car cooler. Ken Martin of Richmond, VA says that the “vehicle surface is much cooler to the touch” and Jeanne O’Keefe of The Lippin Group/Los Angeles says that one of the reasons her last two cars were white is because “when it’s hot, my car is less hot than a darker one would be.”
“In the South, white vehicles reflect the sun best, makes it the coolest (temperature) of any color,” says Barry Epstein, President and CEO of Barry R. Epstein Associates, Inc., a public relations firm in Boca Raton, FL).
In an exact tie with interior temperature is the viewpoint that white cars are “cleaner”, or at least that dirt doesn’t show on a white car surface. “My first two vehicles were…gorgeous…when they were clean,” says Diane Bogino (President of Performance Strategies, Inc., Atlanta, GA www.performstrat.com) of her previously owned black cars. She has since converted to white vehicles. Kathi Petersen of KP Communications (Ashville, NC) even goes so far as to claim that “white cars don’t show dirt as much, which means you can be more environmentally conscious by not washing the car as often.”
“The main reason I love white or lighter [color] vehicles is because they hide dust and dirt better than any other color,” claims Ann Marie Moore, MBA (Speaker, Professional Organizer).
But two respondents beg to differ. John Z. Wetmore, Producer of “Perils for Pedestrians” (www.pedestrians.org) says that the drawback of a white car is that it shows “dirt more than most other colors.” Jenna McCarthy, author (www.jennamccarthy.com), believes that the dirty look of a white car forces you to be more diligent in cleaning your car and that the car looking dirty is a plus because you “don’t have to lean on it with your white jeans to discover this [the car is dirty].” Still the vast majority of the respondents claim that a white car looks cleaner, not dirtier.
Coming in next in frequency is the viewpoint that a white car is more visible on the road thus “they get into less accidents because of it” (Payson Cooper, Managing Member of Payson & Co. LLC www.paysonjewelry.com). Leah of Boston Family Foodie (www.examiner.com/x-1240-Boston-Food-Mom-Examiner) claims that her husband’s family has always chosen white cars “because they live in the country and they feel that white is the safest color.” Thomas Weller (Goose Creek Ranch, El Cajon, CA) agrees with Leah and Payson saying that “they [white cars] stand out in the dark better-easier to see.”
Eleven percent of the respondents claim that they prefer white cars because of the viewpoint that a white vehicle is more “classy”. Kathy Jo Pollack says she purposefully buys white vehicles because “white is classy, sharp, and timeless.” Carol Weisl (Public Relations Manager in the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine) “can’t see owning a car in any other color.” Elizabeth Weintraub (Broker-Associates/Lyon Real Estate of Sacramento, CA www.ElizabethWeintraub.com) always buys white vehicles because “white never goes out of style” and it usually is “the preferred color choice for many car buyers in the resale market.” Ms. Weintraub has only bought white cars for the past 40 years!
Also at 11% are the respondents who purchased a white vehicle, not by choice, but by circumstance. That is because the white car happened to be the only car the dealership had with the options the respondent wanted, as Janie Glover (High Point, NC), Lisa Icenogle (Information Coordinator, Casper College, Casper, WY), and Stuart Nachbar (Principal, Educated Quest www.EducatedQuest.com) can attest.
Six percent of the respondents claimed they chose white cars because they wanted “green” cars. Pablo Solomon (artist, Lampasas, TX www.pablosolomon.com) says that since he lives “in Texas, the major reason that people here buy white vehicles is obvious-they reflect the sun…like white reflective metal roofs” and that “to save the planet we should all paint the top surfaces of our cars white or reflective aluminum.” Kathi Petersen agrees stating that “they [white cars] make a positive environmental impact in terms of reflecting the sun.”
A handful of those responding to the survey claimed that the color of the car they purchase doesn’t matter and a few of the respondents said that white paint hides scratches and dents.
Some of the more interesting reasons for owning a white car range from symbolism to business purposes. Trudy Schuett of Yuma, AZ claims that the sun will bleach out any other car color “so it’s only a year or two before your vehicle is not the color you wanted…”
“White provides a certain amount of anonymity,” says Karen Tiede of Moncure, NC (www.karentiede.com). Megan Sullivan (Account Supervisor of Word Hampton Public Relations www.wordhampton.com) thinks a white car is “girly”, which she thinks is complimentary. Kitty Werner of Waitsfield, VA thinks she is “less apt to be stopped for speeding [while driving a white car].”
Deanna Minich (www.foodandspirit.com) says she “specifically chose a white car for the first time last year because it symbolizes purity, clarification, and higher knowing.”
Diana Hudson Kresnye of Devine Designs, Ltd, Cleveland, OH (www.DevineDesignsHome.com) chose a white car for business reasons. “I specifically wanted a white one because I will be using it for business and will be having my business logo and other information put on it. White will not interfere with the colors of my logo.” She goes on to say that “visual presentation is important.”
Whatever the reasons, car owners are progressively choosing the color white.
Popularity: 5% [?]