Should You Buy a Black Car? (Pros and Cons of Black Cars)


Black is a very popular car color around the world and there are plenty of reasons why. However, there are also a few challenges that having a black car can present. In this article, I’ll take you through the pros and cons of owning a black car so you can decide if it’s a good color option for your next vehicle.

Pros and Cons of Owning a Black Car

The main advantage of buying a black car is that they have above average resale values compared to most other colors. However, black paint highlight dust and dirt and show swirl marks and scratches more easily than most other colors and also makes the car less visible to other drivers on the road.

Pro: Black Cars Offer Incredible Gloss Levels

Black is an incredibly rewarding car color. It’s no secret that black paint looks incredibly glossy and can really turn heads. It’s important to note that the paint needs to be kept in good condition to achieve this level of shine (more on that later), but if the car is well looked after, then it will always look more glossy than a white or silver vehicle.

Pro: Above Average Resale Value

Since black cars are so popular, they have an above average resale value because they are in high demand. As with white cars, you can expect to lose out a little bit less due to depreciation when you sell your black car if you purchased it from brand new.

Black is a popular color for sports cars, SUV’s, saloons and hatchbacks, so it doesn’t really matter what type of vehicle you’ve purchased. The same can’t be said for some more colourful shades such as red, which tends to offer a better resale value on sports cars and hatchbacks compared to SUV’s and saloons.

Pro: Black Paint is Better at Hiding Stone Chips

Since stone chips have a dark grey appearance, black is a pretty good color at masking them. This kind of damage is far less noticeable on a black car compared to a white or silver vehicle which is good news if you frequently drive your car on faster roads.

With that said, you still will be able to spot stone chips on a black car. One thing you can do to prevent this, is to invest in front-end paint protection film (PPF). This covers the front bumper and hood of the car in a thin, and pretty much invisible layer or protection to stop the stones chipping the paint.

Con: Black Paint Shows Dust and Dirt

Unfortunately, it’s not all good news when it comes to owning a black car. Whilst they can look incredibly glossy when clean, they do show dust and dirt fairly quickly. The “traffic film” that the car will pick up on the lower sections when driving in the rain, and the dust that will likely collect on the flat panels will be highlight noticeable on a black car as it quickly dulls the finish.

This isn’t a big problem if you like washing your car every couple of weeks, but if you go for months without cleaning your vehicle, then you can expect the black paint to look pretty flat most of the time!

Con: Black Paint Highlights Swirl Marks

Swirl marks occur when a car is washed improperly. Unfortunately, most of the world are using poor techniques to clean their cars including using brushes and sponges on the paintwork when washing it themselves, or taking it to an automatic or cheap roadside car wash.

The car’s paint consists of a color coat (black in this case), and a clear coat which sits on top and provides the gloss and protects the color coat underneath. This clear coat is actually really sensitive and scratches very easily.

These scratches are highlighted in direct sunlight and often look like swirls or spiderwebs in the paintwork. However, they also cause the car to look duller in all levels of lighting which means the gloss on a brand new car can be quickly lost if the vehicle is washed improperly.

Unfortunately, black is the worst color for highlighting these scratches and swirl marks. The contrast of these fine clear coat scratches is very noticeable against the dark black paint.

However, if you do look after the paint properly, then you can keep it looking shiny and avoid inflicting this kind of damage. Check out my complete guide to washing a car without causing scratches to learn everything you need to know.

Con: Black Paint Gets Very Hot

Another drawback of black cars is that the paint can get very hot. This is because the color absorbs all wavelengths of light and converts them into heat so the panels will get very hot on a sunny day if they are not parked in the shade.

This causes two problems:

  1. Washing the car on a warm day is made very difficult because the water/ chemicals quickly evaporate and leave water spots and chemical stains that need to be quickly removed to prevent permanent damage.
  2. Black paint is more prone to fading compared to other lighter colors which reflect more wavelengths of light.

Con: Black Cars are Less Visible to Other Drivers

Black cars are harder for other drivers to see on the road compared to other lighter colors such as white, or even brighter colors such as red and yellow.

There have been several studies which highlight black as the least “safe” car color because they are statistically more likely to be involved in an accident compared to other colors. According to citywidelaw.com, most studies find that driving a black car increases the risk of crashes by 10-20% compared to a white car.

However, there are many other factors that determine the “safety” of a vehicle including the safety equipment that’s fitted.

In the USA, the cost to insure a black car is the same as it is to ensure any other color of vehicle. This is because insurance companies do not use the car’s color as a factor when calculating the cost of insurance.

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Heather

I first became interested in car detailing around 3 years ago and learnt all the main techniques on my very first car. I spend a lot of time detailing my current car, and trying to keep my family's cars looking presentable too!

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