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Q: car paint ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: car paint
Category: Reference, Education and News > Consumer Information
Asked by: randygm-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 13 Aug 2005 09:19 PDT
Expires: 12 Sep 2005 09:19 PDT
Question ID: 555314
I am looking at buying a new car. Which color will show the least
amount of scratches over time?
Subject: Re: car paint
Answered By: byrd-ga on 13 Aug 2005 15:10 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi randygm,

Does your user id mean you?re interested in GM cars?  Just curious, it
really doesn?t matter as far as the answer to your question goes,
since it?s the same across all makes and models:

   1. *The color that will show the least amount of marks and
scratches over time is plain old, NON-METALLIC WHITE.

   2. If you don?t like white, the next best would be NON-METALLIC
CHAMPAGNE (or beige or pale tan or any of the handful of names used to
describe that color).

   3. If you can?t get non-metallic, and it?s getting harder to find,
then these two colors in metallic or pearl would be your third best

If you don?t and/or can?t find these or don?t like them, then try for
silver. Following that, bear in mind the general principle that the
lighter the color, the less it will show scratches, marks and dirt.
The darker the color, the more it will show these things, and the more
care it will require to keep looking clean and new.

Now I know there?s some disagreement out there on this amongst car
owners.  I?ve seen various forum discussions where people recommend
everything from red to black to blue, with silver being the most
common.  However, among the others, you?ll usually find a number of
people who have already learned, as I?ve told you, that white is best.
 Just for your information, here are links to a couple of such

    ?Oh I know white is best ....? 
    Chicago Gas Prices forum discussion on color:
    Here are a couple of interesting comments about white cars from
happy owners (scroll all the way to the bottom): 
    Here, posts number 3, 6 & 7 also recommend white:

And silver takes the prize for the most common car color:
     Chart showing the top ten colors:
     Article: ?Silver Reigns as Top Car Color? 
     Another article: ?Move over white: Silver?s the most popular car color? 

But most common or most popular or not, NON-METALLIC WHITE is still
the most practical choice for the color least likely to show dirt,
marks and scratches over the lifetime of the vehicle, as well as being
easy to match for any necessary touchups.

My main source for this information was a professional auto detailer I
know. He has been in the auto detailing business for over fifteen
years, and owned and operated his own shop for more than eleven of
those years. His customers include individuals and both retail and
wholesale dealers, including high-end classic and sports car
dealerships. He has worked on ordinary domestic and imported cars, as
well as many exotic and expensive models, including Ferrari, Dodge
Viper, an antique Shelby and numerous Corvettes of various vintage. I
am astounded at the depth of his knowledge as he rattles off the exact
millimeter thickness of paint as well as its chemical composition on
virtually any make or model of car. In addition, he?s detailed trucks,
boats and RVs, and is one of the only detailers in this (large metro)
area still willing to do wet sanding and provide other specialized
services. In short, he knows his business.

So I called him, and read him your question. His immediate answer was
as I?ve given you, i.e. "non-metallic white," without hesitation or a
shadow of a doubt. Then he elaborated to include second and third
choices, and also mentioned the general rule of thumb regarding light
vs. dark colors.

I then searched the web for either corroboration and/or possible
disagreement with this, and though there is (as you probably already
know) not very  much available on this subject, I did find among all
the various opinions, quite a bit of validation of this advice and
information. My consultant also mentioned that, while he isn?t sure
about all makes/models, he?s fairly certain the the new Toyota
4Runners come in a non-metallic white, just in case that?s of any
interest to you.

He also suggested I remind you that consistent quality care is very
important as well, to ensure your car?s finish remains as scratch-free
as possible. His recommendation is a good, all-over hand-wax job to
begin with, followed by regular washing (by hand with mild soap made
for cars), and a once or twice yearly full professional detail to keep
it looking its best. He says there?s no need to wax in between details
IF the waxing is done right to start with, and IF you avoid automatic
car washes whose heavy brushes and harsh detergents can strip your wax
and scratch your finish.

If you need to have anything clarified, please use the ?Request
Clarification? feature to ask before rating and closing the question. 
I want to be sure you?re satisfied with the information.

Best wishes, and good luck with your car shopping,

Search strategy:

As I said, I called and spoke with a professional auto detailer, who
gave me the precise answer to your question, based on his experience
and professional knowledge.

For further search terms, the following gave the most relevant results: 

[car paint color "least likely" "show scratches" OR "show marks"]
[best choice car color]
["top car color" OR "best car color" OR "most popular car color"]
randygm-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars

Subject: Re: car paint
From: byrd-ga on 14 Aug 2005 04:33 PDT
Hi randygm-ga,

Thank you very much for the five-star rating. I'm so glad you were pleased!  

Subject: Re: car paint
From: myoarin-ga on 14 Aug 2005 08:31 PDT
Scratches are one consideration, resale value is another.
Subject: Re: car paint
From: randygm-ga on 14 Aug 2005 10:53 PDT
Thank you for the quick response. I plan to purchase a new white Toyota 4 runner !

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