Sunday, October 25, 2009


Why Would Anyone Buy a Silver Car?

My rental from December 2008.

I asked my friend, "If you could buy any car you wanted, brand new, what color would it be?"

"Royal Blue", she answered.

"Exactly! Or in my case, it would be a dark green of some sort."

The reason for my question was that I read the article, What color is your car? Most likely, silver. by The Associated Press, earlier last week, and was stewing on it. Quite frankly, I'm not a silver car person.

I understand that a lot of people are buying silver cars, but I'm not so sure the color is what someone might actually want, when they go to the car store. To me, silver shows lack of imagination. It's just a blah; no wonderful color. Wouldn't the world be an ugly place if it was only silver? Where's that rainbow palette?

I notice television and magazine advertisements show silver cars. All sorts of silver cars. My guess - silver is what's stocked on the lot, and someone goes in, they have to take a silver whatever, because the lot doesn't have any other color.

When I bought my beautiful little car, I went to the lot to buy a new car - the old one, a silver Bonneville (though, I bought it for $600.00 after some guys rebuilt the transmission - and it was a fantastically wonderful, warm car) had broke its engine. I was going to buy a Chevy Metro (4-door), since it was the cheapest I wanted to go. The one I looked at had a beautiful dark blue exterior.

So, I took the car for a spin. I didn't much care for the ride, but I needed reliability, and to me, at the time, that meant new. When the salesman and I were going through the paperwork, I asked, "are you sure there aren't any dark green ones?"

"Not on this lot... however, we do have a new/used dark green Cavalier."

We went for a ride. Yup, that was the car for me! I got the color I wanted, and a better car (for me) than the Metro.

You might, by now, realize that not only don't I much care for silver colored cars, but I fear the car companies are also trying to push mainly silver cars.

I think the people who actually go out to buy a (brand new) car and specifically want silver as the color, want to be part of the herd. "If that's the popular car color, then I should buy one, too. After all, people can re-sell a silver car for more money than other colors!" At least, I assume that's what goes through their heads.

As I was looking for the article above, I found several articles posing the notion that silver cars are safer than any other colored car. Here's a 2003 study that is quoted, and recirculated in quite a few links, as I used the Google search engine, Silver cars are the safest on the road. I think that's bullshit, myself. I pulled out in front of a silver car, several years ago. The reason?...I didn't see it. Apparently, it looked like part of the sky. Also, most of the articles, about silver cars being safe, use the phrase, "are far less likely to be involved in a crash causing serious injury."

One of my silver car owning friends has been rear-ended several times, at intersections. I'm not sure if the drivers could see her, or weren't paying attention. I know, I know, my car was smashed into last December, but that was because the woman tried to stop at the stop sign, and slid on the ice, right into my car. It wasn't because she didn't see my car....or the stop sign. The color of the rental, while my sweet car was being fixed, was very close to silver.

I found an article that pretty much agrees with me: Silver not safe car colour warns Monash expert, from the Monash University in Australia. Dr Stuart Newstead says that white is the safest color, and warns that, "The safest car colour has now been replaced by one of the least safe." The following article agrees with his assessment that silver cars aren't easier to see.

In the article, Colour of your car does matter, NRMA Insurance research indicates silver cars tend to blend in with the environment. Red is a more visible color - and one of the safest colors.

So, my original point was that new silver cars are probably bought by people lacking in imagination...and even creativity and originality. They are probably conformists, sheep, even, that fear being different, and have a need to blend in. Or, maybe, it's because the car companies insist on having very few other colors on their lots - I noticed several of those articles having the extension .org.

The second point was that silver cars are not safer. Indeed, I believe they are less safe than the articles present. Next time you're out and about, look at the other cars around you.

Which ones do you see easier than the others?
What colors do you think are safer?
What colors do you prefer?
If you have a silver car, why did you buy it? WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?

If you agree/disagree with my post, please let me know. Did I mention that I'm not a silver car person? If I bought one at a very good price, I would probably think about getting it re-painted dark green.

DriverSense has a fun little article What your car colour says about you. Mine says:
Blue or Green
Blue and green are down to earth colours and if you choose a vehicle in one of these shades, you are probably not that concerned about appearances. Practicality is a priority for you. You are not overly emotional or dramatic. Your friends describe you as the solid one they come to for advice.

******Update apology.
I really don't think that silver car buyers are lacking in imagination, creativity, etc... I was just a little ticked at the article, and the advertisements. If I offended anyone, I apologize. I know people have their own tastes, and they won't always coincide with mine.

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