NOTE: If you are interested in the gender differences in car culture, also check out this story about how Porsche has lured women to its predominately male loyalist base.
It’s no surprise that men and women have different color preferences in clothing, interior décor and cars, but a recent study by a Boston-based online car listing and review provider dug a little deeper to examine color biases in the two genders.
“We looked at 30 million used cars and hundreds of thousands of people who contacted sellers,” Phong Ly, founder and CEO of iSeeCars.com, said Wednesday. “What we found was that while black, white and silver were the most popular colors overall, making up almost 50 percent of all cars, preferences for other popular colors differed between men and women.”
The study used an algorithm that analyzes first names and determines the likelihood of the consumer’s gender. The research then focused on buyers who actively inquired about used-car purchases.
Some of the findings weren’t unexpected: Men tend to prefer flashy performance cars in flashy colors more than women do, while women have a higher tendency to go for practical and affordable models.
Other findings from the study were less intuitive. For example, while red ranked high in color choice among men compared to women, orange hues were ranked high for men even if the options for orange cars are very few – about 0.4 percent of the 30 million listings analyzed.
Men also seem more likely to gravitate to the most popular colors, black and white. The most common color for pickup trucks, an immensely popular body style in the U.S. auto market, is white. Pickup trucks are also two times more likely to be purchased by men.
On the other hand, women list silver among their top color choices, as well as beige and gold. Also, women tend to go for the small and mid-sized SUVs more than men do. Ly said he noticed women are also more likely than men to inquire about South Korean brands Hyundai and Kia. So if you want to sell to women in the U.S., best to market to them with an economical beige crossover.
Cost is another important factor. The colors women tend to inquire about also tend to cost less. Beige used cars, for example, average about $14,500 while a typical black used car costs about $21,700.