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Jeruba's avatar

Some advice on information about car buying? (Question 6: color)

Asked by Jeruba (41919 points ) September 8th, 2012

Why are cars in the blue – blue-green – green family so rare?

These used to be very common and (I thought) popular colors.

Is it a matter of supply or demand or something else?

In my ongoing and so far fruitless shopping, I am getting very frustrated finding that once I’ve zeroed in on a make and model, just about all I have to choose from is black, white, silver, or gray. My answer: nope. And no to red.

Oddly, I’ve found the same right combination three times now, only to have the dealer fail to follow up as promised (“I’ll call you tomorrow”—> no call), resulting in no sale.

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22 Answers

jerv's avatar

Silver/grey is an extremely popular color for most cars. There are some exceptions as certain cars have iconic colors, like red for Ferraris, or a special shade of blue for the Subaru WRX, but for most cars, your choices are limited to the white->grey->black spectrum with few (if any) other offerings.

If you want blue, go Subaru :D

Jeruba's avatar

So—it’s demand?

gailcalled's avatar

The smaller Subarus come in a glittery metallic blue, which I do not like. My 2006 Forester is a nice, maiden-aunt navy blue that is no longer available.

janbb's avatar

We had a long held family joke that every rental car we ever had was silver. That seems to be their default so if that’s where you are still looking, that might be part of the reason.

Jeruba's avatar

@CWOTUS, vinyl vehicle wraps? Wow, I never heard of that. Maybe I should just vinyl-wrap my old car. The only thing wrong with it is the deteriorating paint job. It still runs just fine. From the FAQs on a local website, I see that it would cost $2—$5k and last maybe 5 years. That’s something to think about.

jerv's avatar

@gailcalled That is the same color as the WRC Rally cars, which is why the sportier Subis get it. The more mundane ones like the Forester don’t get “racing” colors.

augustlan's avatar

Interesting… I hadn’t noticed. Nearly every car I’ve ever owned was some shade of blue or green. Right now, I’m driving a navy blue Chrysler Town & Country minivan (which I do not recommend, by the way). These things do tend to go through cycles, though. A few years ago, the rusty orange color was very popular, and I saw it on a lot of cars. It must not be a blue phase right now.

@Jeruba If you’re serious about your old car, you can get it repainted for much less money than getting it vinyl wrapped.

Sunny2's avatar

There seem to be fewer colors available each year. It save money for the manufacturers. There’s more choice in more expensive cars. The last few years, the main color seems to have been silver. This year it seems to be black. For me, a standard transmission was more important than the color, so I got a black car. (a Honda Fit) Looks like kind of a mini-hearse. I put a mini nosegay on the mini antenna to differentiate it in a parking lot. I love the way it drives and the great cargo space, but I just put up with the color .

CWOTUS's avatar

I only brought up the vinyl wrap thing because today’s Hartford Courant had an article about it in the Saturday “Automotive” section. In fact, that was the only story in that section today. I had been aware of vinyl wraps for commercial and race vehicles, but I hadn’t realized that it was becoming available to consumers. The multi-thousand-dollar price can be beaten at the consumer price level, but you won’t have the same high quality.

The article I read stated that vinyl wraps were going to become so common and so popular that “painted cars” would soon be a thing of the past, maybe within 5–10 years.

Jeruba's avatar

@augustlan, I was under the impression that a paint job would cost several thousand as well. Not so?

I have gone around and around on this for months. I could have my car painted for a whole lot less than the cost of a new (or even used) vehicle. But then I’d still be driving a 14-year-old car. But the 14-year-old car runs great and has never given me any trouble. (It’s an Altima, @jerv.) Do I really need to replace it if all that’s wrong with it is the paint job? And so on, and so on.

I’d finally pretty much made up my mind on a new car and picked out my model. But because of slow dealer follow-through, not once but three times, I missed my window on the 2012s in the color I wanted, and I am not inclined to spring for a 2013 for the amount of driving I do. But unless I go for a new car, I can’t pick the color.

And color is really important to me. I am not having a car that’s a neutral color. Just not.

I am even boring myself with this stuff by now.

CWOTUS's avatar

I’ve never felt the need to replace a car simply because of fading or even peeling paint (my ‘92 Camry had a delaminating clearcoat finish that made that car look like hell for most of the last 100,000 miles I got out of it – I ended up giving it away at 205,000 miles when it just wouldn’t start any more, we couldn’t find the immediate cause, and I wanted “reliability” again).

If the car is mechanically sound, then keep driving it, right into the ground. And saving for the next car.

Jeruba's avatar

@CWOTUS, I have saved for the next car, starting about when I bought this one. I’m ready to buy. I’ve never had a new car, and it’s my turn. It’s only my disaster mentality (is it really okay to spend the money? what if we end up starving?) that’s holding me back—and the color.

jca's avatar

I have a blue Civic – like a denim blue.

geeky_mama's avatar

I have to say the silver (boorrrrinnnng) color of my Mazda5 was a big reason why we got a new Mazda CX-7 when the dealer made us such a phenomenal offer (excellent trade in, about $2k over blue book and then 0% financing on the new car, and some cash back $ from the manufacturer). The new car is Scarlet metallic (and as a Buckeye by birth, I am partial to scarlet & gray)..which I don’t hate.

The car which I loved the best that we’ve had over the years was this one – the color was called Green Tea Metallic. It had a light tan all leather interior..and the green had sort of sparkly metallic flecks in it that really lit up in the sun. I loved that car (and especially it’s color) so much.

janbb's avatar

I think you should try to hold out for what you really want.

rooeytoo's avatar

I have a blue citroen, it is a great car but I hate the color. I really prefer white, they stay cooler in the summer and oddly enough don’t seem to show dirt the way other colors do. I see lots of blue cars in Australia, must be a yankee thing.

srmorgan's avatar

Cars are still made in blue.
Look in the back of the brochure you got at the dealer or go to the manufacturer’s website and see what they say are the colors.

A dealer “should” be able to find a blue car for you, especially the densely poplulated state where you live.
If the color is really, really important to you, go to Kelly Blue Book www.kbb.com or the manufacturer’s website and solicit quotations from dealers. I think you can specify the color you are looking for. It is worth a shot since the color is so important to you.

SRM

Jeruba's avatar

I’ve shopped many websites over many months and put in a lot of hours studying and searching: manufacturers, dealers, Edmunds.com. I e-mailed for quotes, visited dealers, followed up with phone calls, talked to people, read newspapers’ automotive sections, and consulted Fluther. I think Fluther has been the most helpful resource of all.

And yesterday I made my purchase at long last. I’m now the owner of a 2013 Toyota Corolla, in a lovely light blue. Given my modest needs and my lack of interest in fancy features, I think this will suit me just fine for a good while to come.

Many thanks to all my helpers here and in all my other car-related threads, going back nearly a year. I couldn’t have done it without you.

Time now to think about something else for a change.

geeky_mama's avatar

Congratulations!! So happy for you @Jeruba – sounds lovely & like a car that should last you a good long time (and in a beautiful color as well!). Hope you are enjoying the new car smell. :)

Jeruba's avatar

Thank you, thank you! Your knowledgeable replies gave me a lot of context, perspective, and confidence, @geeky_mama. Well, maybe not a lot of confidence. But I had some, and that was a real plus.

In the end I made the deal and completed the purchase on my own, with no husband or sons in the picture. It took a lot for me to work up to that. I swear it was worse than getting married (worse on the nerves, I mean).

augustlan's avatar

Doesn’t that feel wonderful, @Jeruba? When I bought my van after my divorce, I was all on my own, too, for the very first time. Afterward, it felt like “I am woman, hear me roar!” Congrats on the new car!

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