When It Comes to Paint Preferences, Men and Women Aren't Equal: Study

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
when it comes to paint preferences men and women aren t equal study

While local climate plays a role, prefered automotive paint schemes largely come down to personal feelings and dealer inventory. There is also the matter of what colors are trending within the industry and, according to a recent consumer survey tabulation from iSeeCars.com, gender.

The automotive data research company compiled survey results from over 700,000 consumers and close to 30 million used car sales between 2015 and 2016 to find gender biases for specific colors. For the most part, color preferences are irrelevant. But there are a few standout shades that one group seems to prefer over the other.

For women, those colors were teal and gold. For men, it was yellow, orange, and black. However, color choice may have more to do with gender favoritism among vehicle types than an attractive paint job.

This marks teal’s first appearance in the women’s rankings since the initial iSeeCars’ color preferences study in 2013. Women now have a stronger preference than men for teal cars by 19 percent, followed by gold’s 14.5 percent, and silver’s 9.7 percent. Green, blue, and beige were also favored by women, though with a less significant bias that’s almost not worth mentioning.

Interestingly, beige went from holding a 13.5 percent larger stake of women’s hearts in 2015 to being almost dead even with men in 2016. Meanwhile, teal went from being a slightly male-dominated color choice to women’s favorite.

Men’s new preferred car color was yellow, which they favored more than women by a whopping 33.9 percent. Orange followed closely with a 32.6-percent bias, black at 14.2 percent, and brown’s 12.6 percent. In the previous year, orange was ranked first and yellow second.

“Men and women don’t just like different colors,” said iSeeCars CEO Phong Ly. “Our research shows men’s preferences are much stronger than women’s, and the top color choices for both of them have actually grown to the highest percentages we’ve seen in four years.”

Still, trends showing larger gender biases in color choice may have less to do with the colors themselves than with the vehicles being purchased. Men had a stronger preference in 2016 for pickup trucks by over 200 percent, convertibles by 33.5 percent and coupes by 31.6 percent. But women had a stronger preference for SUVs (23.1 percent) and minivans (21.5 percent) — neither of which are likely to come in orange or yellow, but can definitely be had in teal or gold.

“There’s an interesting connection between gender preferences for vehicle colors and body styles. Men favor pickups and sports cars more than women do, and those segments have an unusually high percentage of brown and yellow/orange cars, respectively” said Ly. “The same is true for some of women’s favorite body styles – SUVs and minivans, which have more teal and gold cars than average.”

Black is ubiquitous, though. There are few models that don’t offer a slate color palate inside and out, yet men favored it to a much higher degree than women. The same is true for silver, which was preferred by women despite appearing on the vast majority of vehicle types. But these seem to be the exception, not the rule. Body styles seem to dictate paint choices more than any legitimate color bias between men and women.

Join the conversation
2 of 53 comments
  • Scott25 Scott25 on Aug 18, 2017

    I love purple (both 90s style dark purple which is impossible to find now and Plum Crazy-style), green and blue, but only blue is actually possible to get on most cars. Ford's Performance Blue is one of the best colours of recent times, but dark blue was the only actual colour other than brown available for the Mazda3 when I bought it so I went with silver, mostly because I had an urge for a silver car with black wheels, which always looks good. I also was coming from a dark blue xD so I didn't want that colour again. My next car will almost definitely be one of those first three colours though in some way. Maybe I'll keep the Mazda and paint it Performance Blue if I have an influx of disposable income. I mostly care about how the colour looks on that particular car more than the colour itself, and most males I know are like that. My girlfriend loves her Bohai Bay Mint Fiesta, never seen another one, and she wouldn't even consider buying anything neutral coloured.

  • Nrd515 Nrd515 on Aug 20, 2017

    Men almost universally like my Hemi Orange Challenger's color, with women it's a love/hate thing. Seems like women over 50 and under 30 like it, most of the time, with the ones in between hate it. One of my coworker's wives said, "I Like the car, but that color is just stupid!". My next Challenger will be yellow, if it's available, but I would really like to have it in Petty Blue with white stripes.

  • Sayahh Is it 1974 or 1794? The article is inconsistent.
  • Laura I just buy a Hyndai Elantra SEL, and My car started to have issues with the AC dont work the air sometimes is really hot and later cold and also I heard a noice in the engine so I went to the dealer for the first service and explain what was hapenning to the AC they told me that the car was getting hot because the vent is not working I didnt know that the car was getting hot because it doesnt show nothing no sign no beep nothing I was surprise and also I notice that it needed engine oil, I think that something is wrong with this car because is a model 23 and I just got it on April only 5 months use. is this normal ? Also my daughter bought the same model and she went for a trip and the car also got hot and it didnt show up in the system she called them and they said to take the car to the dealer for a check up I think that if the cars are new they shouldnt be having this problems.
  • JamesGarfield What charging network does the Polestar use?
  • JamesGarfield Re: Getting away from union plantsAbout a dozen years or so ago, Caterpillar built a huge new engine plant, just down the road here in Seguin TX. Story has it, Caterpillar came to Seguin City council in advance, and told them their plans. Then they asked for no advanced publicity from Seguin, until announcement day. This new plant was gonna be a non-union replacement for a couple of union plants in IL and SC, and Cat didn't want to stir up union problems until the plan was set. They told Seguin, If you about blab this in advance, we'll walk. Well, Seguin kept quiet as instructed, and the plan went through, with all the usual expected tax abatements given.Plant construction began, but the Caterpillar name was conspicuously absent from anywhere on the site. Instead, the plant was described as being a collective of various contractors and suppliers for Caterpillar. Which in fact, it was. Then comes the day, with the big new plant fully operationa!, that Caterpillar comes in and announces, Hey, Yeah it's our plant, and the Caterpillar name boldly goes up on the front. All you contractor folks, welcome aboard, you're now Caterpillar employees. Then, Cat turns and announces they are closing those two union plants immediately, and will be transporting all the heavy manufacturing equipment to Seguin. None of the union workers, just the equipment. And today, the Caterpillar plant sits out there, humming away happily, making engines for the industry and good paying jobs for us. I'd call that a winner.
  • Stuki Moi What Subaru taketh away in costs, dealers will no doubt add right back in adjustments.... Fat chance Subaru will offer a sufficient supply of them.