Recent figures have found that there has been an increase in the amount of white cars being sold. Whether we mean to or not, most of us judge other people by the car they drive. Car have powerful connotations in modern society, with many judging consumer purchase purely on what manufacturer’s product they drive. Psychologists have made links between the cars people choose and the personality traits they were likely to exhibit, and it also seems that the colour of the cars we buy can be influenced by popular culture and technology.
The market for new and used cars is recovering rapidly – figures from 2014 showed that sales were up 9.1% from 2013, and the UK is now the home of the second largest automobile market in Europe, losing out only to Germany. In 2004, sales of white cars were so few that they were not reported separately. However, now 22% (approximately one fifth) of all new cars registered in the UK are white. The reason for this sudden change in popularity, according to vehicle hire company Arval, is the meteoric popularity of the iPhone.
Since the iPhone was released in 2007 and the iPad in 2010, white has come to symbolise technological progress, sophistication, wealth, and youthfulness. Statistics reported on Motors.co.uk show that buyers of white cars are likely to be younger than the average car buyer, around 38 years old, and are more likely to be of senior managerial level. Lighter coloured cars are also associated with safety – figures from 2012 show that in that year silver cars were more likely to pass an MOT than any other colour.
Although silver was the colour of choice in 2012, by 2013 black was the favourite – sales of black cars rose by 9% from 2011, and silver was forced to take second place. Blue was still popular (blue cars, especially electric blue cars, are reported to have the happiest drivers, while drivers of red cars are reported to be more aggressive, and those who drive pastel coloured cars are more likely to suffer from depression).
The iPhone and iPad are, arguably, the most iconic pieces of technology on the market, with no other brand managing to capture public attention in the same way. Apple is synonymous with cool, which could also explain the increased popularity of black cars as well as white as technological devices are available in both colours.