Most people have a favorite color. They might paint their entire house bright blue because they love the color so much. Others have an entire wardrobe of their favorite color. Some even dye their hair their all time favorite color. Car thieves also have their favorite colors of cars to steal. Their favorite colors of vehicles to steal include white, black and silver.
Why these colors? Most car thieves are professionals, and they steal cars to make money. Car thieves know that cars with the highest resale value include the most popular exterior color. In 2010, 20% of consumers drove off the car lots with a new white vehicle. 17% of sold vehicles came in the colors black and silver. Blue followed with 13%. A consumer pays the same for a yellow or white car, but the resale value for a vehicle with a popular color (like white and black) can sell for up to $1,000 more.
The least popular colors in North America are yellow/gold at 2% and beige/brown at 5%. These and other bright colors deter car thieves. Not only do these vehicles have a lower resale value, but they are also like a flashing neon sign. A thief driving a stolen white automobile will blend more with other vehicles while a bright yellow truck would be easily spotted by the police.
A study in the Netherlands illustrates car thieves’ preferences. From 2004-2008, the most commonly colored vehicle stolen was black. This may be because black vehicles look more luxurious. Following close behind black were gray/silver automobiles. Of the 109 pink cars in the study, not one was stolen. A bright and uncommon color, like pink, may be as effective deterrent as an expensive security system. Ben Vollaard, who conducted the research, wrote, “If the aversion to driving a car in an offbeat color is not too high – or if someone actually enjoys it – then buying deterrence through an uncommon car color may be at least as good a deal as buying deterrence through an expensive car security device.”