Should I Buy a Black Car?

Hey all,
Looking at getting a new car soon and one thing I find myself on the fence on is the colour. Essentially, I'm looking at getting a hatch (i.e. mazda 3, corolla) so nothing fancy. However, in terms of colour, what I would really like to get is black but the disadvantages I've heard associated with black has made me think twice.

I currently drive a white VW Jetta which looks a little boring to me. When its dirty, it doesn't look dirty and when its been washed, it looks a little better but the difference isn't all that big.

I am attracted to the shine you get with a black car.
I do enjoy car detailing and I normally wash my car once a week and wax it every few months.

What I'd like to know is, do black cars get a lot hotter than white/silver cars. I don't care if it gets really hot in summer since all cars will feel hot, so I'm mainly referring to those 22 degree sunny days.

Would be great to hear from people who own/have owned a black car and also if you have owned a black and a light coloured car. Any regrets with owning a black car? FYI, the car will be parked outside. If I don't get a black car, it'll probably be a silver one. Not interested in grey or red, orange etc.


Poll Options expired

  • 88
  • 192


  • +10

    Had 2 black aurions, I don’t think it makes much of a difference, much more important in my opinion is getting good tint done.

    • Totally agree, exactly what I was going to recommend.

    • I've had plenty cars in the past, all different colous, models, shapes and sizes, gray sti, green lancer, black lancer, white 86, white camry, brown camry, list gones on, from my experience, in term of the temperature of the car (without aircon being used), ur primary concern will be tints, regardless of any car, tints is the most important factor for reducing sunlight and heat out, all my cars ive opted to get 20% standard black tints.

      as for other factors, cars with leather seats and metal gearshift (for manuals) are a complete nightmare in summer, but once the aircon is on, it all feels similar temperature wise

  • +11

    I've had a black car, and I won't have another. Done with that.

    • was it because of the dirt, or the heat, or both?

    • Lost your licence?

  • +9

    I personally would avoid both white & black, any other colour is fine.

    Edit: new Mazda 3 looks great in red.

    • +1

      What's wrong with white? Just curious to know your opinion

      • Becomes easily visibly dirty, which may be a plus for some people (who like to see the grit so they can keep their paint in good shape).
        I may be a bit biased here since I am an obsessive person. I would most likely end up cleaning the car every day.

        • +1

          Fair enough. Thanks

          • +1

            @Dr-StrangeLove: The best colour to get is Khaki.
            It hides most of the dirt, and is still a light colour that reflects most of the sunlight instead of absorbing it.

            For aesthetics, apply it using a Matte texture on a masculine looking vehicle like a Jeep Wrangler.

            • @Kangal: Hey thanks. Lately I'm more inclined with liking white cars. They just look a lot cooler to me. Specially the SUVs. I'm little obsessive as well so car not showing dirt is a bit hard to accept. I've got a grey sedan at the moment and it looks quite neat even when it's dirty (at least from a distance) but I think I'll pass on the idea of getting a khaki coloured car.

    • I loved my black Fiesta when it was clean. Recently was told red is one of the most dangerous colours for a car so safety wise it might be best to get a white car? E.g.

    • if it's a 4wd, I'd prefer White instead of Black as white hides most of the minor scratches you get from wheeling and a simple cut and buff takes the rest off, a black 4wd on the other hand is a nightmare

    • weird as my white car always looks clean and i probably wash it 3x a year.

  • +6

    Personally I think black looks tacky unless it's a luxury limo class vehicle like an S Class.

    Metallic colours (not black/white) are amazing these days. Combined with high tech coatings, even a well detailed Mazda 3 looks expensive.

    • +1

      Yes I’m pretty sure other colours like red etc these days have a metallic undercoat, especially the new Mazda red. The paint has this depth to it, saw one today.

    • +1

      Trust me there's tackier than black…according to my wife and employer , anyway. They were both opposed to me getting the Sapphire blue exterior with the red devil leather interior aka the Superman treatment for my car. I had to make do with metallic black and Mojave Beige seats .

      • +10



        • +5

          By that woman? Anytime, anywhere ;)

          My kids call my car the batmobile. It's the cutest thing when my toddler goes : " Quick to the batmobile, Dada! 🎵 Ta NaNananana, Ta Nananana…🎵"

  • +29

    Black needs constant cleaning. Every scratch shows up easy as well.

    • +10

      These are the real issues. Black looks great freshly detailed then about 2 hours later you can already start to see the dust. On top of that you'll see minor scratches and swirls far more easily.

      Temperature wise you won;t notice a difference between colours.

      It's your car, buy what you like but having owned a black car in the past I won't buy one again.

  • +2

    It'll be still too hot at 22 degrees

    • This is my main gripe with my black corolla. It gets nasty hot in the sun.

      • So do other colours. At worst it will be a few degrees hotter, which doesn’t make a lot of difference when the interior is above 40.

          • @rlay3: Ok, that is 8 degrees. Myth busters tested and got 5 degrees. Another got 3 degrees. One test does not make a scientific comparison, there are other factors that will affect it. Is the paint metallic, does it have clear coat, what colour is the interior, what fabrics and plastics etc? You’d need like 100 cars with all sorts of different colours and configurations and then repeat the experiment several times on different days to get a decent result.

            End of the day, the link you posted shows both cars got very hot. White one was 45 which is still uncomfortable.

            • @Euphemistic: 8 degrees is a huge difference if you're trying to cool it down to a comfortable level

              • @rlay3: My point being that it isn’t scientifically proven to be 8 degrees in all cars. Could only be 3 degrees different, might not be any different spending on the model and othe features.

                White cars get very hot in the sun too.

  • +14

    Get a brown car. You’ll never have to wash it.

    • +37

      ..because it already looks like shit? haha 😨

    • faded gold is the way to go, detail other dudes black penis extenders and make money!

    • +2

      If you like resale value, please follow this advice

  • +6

    Please get a black car. We need more posts about how your paint protection is doing (fropanity) all and how they won’t take the car back under lemon laws because it’s always scratched.

    Black cars are really nice to look at but a nightmare to own. They are hot in summer and one tiny piece of grit in your washing sponge will make the car look like it’s been through a chaffing machine.

    Resale is better on a white or silver car as they mask blemishes better than black. Black cars are also a niche colour. Sure, white and silver are boring as batshit, but there is a reason why nearly every second car on the road is white or silver.

    I have owned one black car in my life. Never again.

    • +10

      Oh pfft if he wants to detail it then buy a black car. They look shit hot when clean and polished and can look really tidy with decent rims and tint.

      I've owned a black car and yes keeping it clean was a bitch but I admired it when it was clean.
      I get sick of seeing white/silver/grey cars in the yard because that's what the majority of people buy.

      If you like it, and don't mind spending time cleaning it, just buy it and enjoy. If you tint it and have fabric seats it won't be unbearably hot (22 degrees is nothing!)

      Colour won't affect resale unless it's something ridiculous and out there.

      My old car (not my Flikr account)

      • +1

        Nice car, always love black motors. BTW, did you tag that wall up? Proper gangster!

        • +3

          Lol no I didn't tag the wall 😂

      • +2

        That's the first time I've heard a Verada referred to as 'shit hot' lol.

        • Wasn't just referring to mine, there's many black cars that look good.

          Props on not calling it a magna tho 😉

          Lol @ the view count on that pic increasing rapidly

    • Is "fropanity" a black man with an afro screaming obscenities?

  • +25

    This being OzBargain, you will probably get a lot of people saying "don't buy a black car, they show all the dirt". Well, having actually owned a black car, I would say don't buy a black car, they show all the dirt.

  • Pros and cons.

    Need to wash every other day. Black shows up the dirt and every mark.
    Hot, very in ferocious AU summers. Yes it does make a diff to interior temps. Aircon will work hard.
    Low vis colour in low light conditions, dull, ovc, rain, night and in general - safety issue. You want other drivers to see you.
    Black screams wannabe on anything w/o elitist status, Merc, BMW, Audi,

    Wa*nker cool colour

    Won't pull party girls like a Red Ferrari does.

    High vis all conditions
    Much cooler in AU summers. You will be glad if you live N of 30S. Really you will.
    Good resale because sells easily and quickly
    Wears dirt well without looking perpetually grubby
    Parked outside? Less chance of attracting attention and being keyed that a shiny back finish will.

    A dark grey car as a fashion statement is the equivalent of the conservative grey suit for men. Except its not a suit, and as a car colour is very low vis. Even worse than black in that regard. Difficult colour to see in all lighting conditions.

    • +1

      I don’t think white are high vis on an overcast day. I nearly had a head-on with a white van at a dog-leg rail crossing because the van was melded into the background- INVISIBLE almost.

      • +1

        Greyy cars appear to come with a condition that the driver refrain from turning on any lights at all while in drizzle or rain during twilight.

    • Low vis colour in low light conditions, dull, ovc, rain, night and in general - safety issue. You want other drivers to see you.

      Definitely agree. I had a dark blue (almost black) car when I lived in the UK (land of the overcast day) and nearly every day I had other drivers make moves that showed that they hadn't seen my car, e.g. pulled out in front of me, almost side swiped me when changing lanes etc.

      One plus is that it improved my driving style to be more defensive and raised my situational awareness.

      • +1

        I think it's driver's lack of concentration in general. Melbourne is horrible. Weekend drivers have just melded into 7 days a week and peak hour drivers all in one these days.

        I owned a beautiful red commodore ute (vu ss) and I'd have thought red would be nice and visible… Boy was I wrong. Anyone would have thought I was a giant target or something the amount of times somebody had nearly merged on top of me or pulled in front of me.

        • Do advanced plus driver/rider training and defensive courses and you'll understand why. That kind of "I didn't see him/her/it" has nothing to do with colour per se, although the fact is that if actively engaged and 'looking', colour is an even more significant a factor than size in low vis conditions.

          Might not cover it in base courses or even in civy street 1 or 2 day courses designed for Gumby assimilation, but I suspect they will on more advanced courses. All cost $$$ of course. In another career was fortunate to enjoy lengthy and in depth advanced driver and rider pursuit courses where we got to thrash out the theory on high performance pursuit kit at government expense. Kept me alive and collision free on my own performance motorcycles (& cars) for > 45 years …so far ")

          Driver skill in Australia is abysmally low. Enforced high quality training and recurrent high standard required testing with driver retraining or restriction for failing is a political egg. No one of either party is ever going to touch it other than with tokenism and lip service. Revenue raising under the noble pretext of "saving lives" hiding behind the unassailable sacred cow of "safety" is another thing entire.

  • I had a convertible once. It wouldn't get too hot in summer even if the room was closed. I think the fabric let's the heat exit

    Get a convertible

  • +2

    Driving in Canada no one buys white cars. Driving in Australia no one buys black cars.

    Buy one OP.

    • +2

      That's to prevent moose strikes.

  • +2

    Everyone should buy a black coloured car once in their lifetime.

  • +4

    Once you go black, you never go back.

  • +5

    Black looks great on sports cars but on a Mazda 3 or Corolla better off going a common colour as better for resale.

    • +1 to this. Personally I feel Silver or gold colours are better suited for a sedan

  • If you want a black car, buy a black car. I don’t want a black car. Too hard to keep clean. My neighbour used to keep a feather duster in the garage for her black car.

  • Insurance data shows red cars have more accidents, go figure :)

    I've settled in metallic silver and probably never buy another car in any other colour. Metallic silver looks clean so much longer.

    I had a black Saab 900s in early 90s and it was way cool car though :P cool as in hot ;)

    • -3

      Maybe there's more red coloured cars on the road so statistically more accidents involving red cars

    • +2

      Insurance data shows red cars have more accidents

      Probably because red cars go faster.

    • Drink drivers have fewer accidents than sober drivers! Same with phone distracted drivers and speeding. Safest combination is doing all three! ( By total. ) Steering with your stomach, even better. Exiting your vehicle for a shameless selfie. Reduce those odds!

    • +1

      shhhh he thinks his Saab was once a cool car.

      • +4

        Oh yes it was ;)

        Close your eyes, imagine cars that were on the road 30 years ago and then look at this:

        Mine was almost identical :P

        Had aero package and top of the line sound system… drool :P

        And daddy didn't pay a cent, had to earn every single penny to buy that car with finance while in school… But man it was fun to drive with its near 9s 0-100kmh :)

        • +1

          Must admit thats looks pretty awesome, would drive today.

        • +1


        • +1

          Beautiful colour AND car.

          Funny how Spookware changed their tune. Moreso how those cars are making a resurgence now BECAUSE of their styling.

  • +2

    Black cars are a pain to see especially at dusk. Some insurance companies will up the premiums on black cars but also red which I found surprising.
    Personally, I would never contemplate buying a black car! But I own two red cars … so I guess I'm paying a higher premium…:(

    • Thanks for the info. My man always complains about how high his insurance is, now I can explain why.

    • +2

      That is negated a bit by daytime running lights.

  • Fck yeah! I drive a black SP25. Nothing sexier than a black car in the rain. I'm looking now at buying my 3rd brand new car and will be choosing black again. You know what they say-once you go black… 😉

    • +1

      According to most of these posts, you don't go back.

  • +3

    Always owned black cars, if you love to maintain your car, I don't see any issues with owning one. I love black cars, they look much better than the boring lighter ones. Lighter colors are for ones who don't maintain / wash their cars or take it to automatic car washes.

    Edit: get ceramic coating done on your car from a reputable person (not from car dealer). Makes it much easier to maintain and it doesn't get swirl marks for years.

  • It takes a lot of effort to maintain it. I bought a black X5 and i was the touch free carwash sort of guy, but soon i had to start drying the car and waxing it because the watermarks were a pain

    • +1

      Watermarks is not an issue with ceramic coating. I got it done on my last two cars and it makes a hell of a difference.

  • We bought a 2008 black Mazda 6 in 2012 with 29k km on the clock now with 100k km.

    For the first 4 years it was mostly parked in the garage but then changed jobs and it became my work car.

    Now parked in the sun all day and you can see the paint ageing and fading along with scratches.

    It has not really bothered us with the heat, have not really noticed apart from when you first get in on a hot day but it has good tint.

    Never noticed a difference with safety and not being seen. Only had one person reverse into the corner coming out of a driveway when it was parked.

    Would not buy another black car as the paint does not seem as durable and I prefer a car to be durable and reliable so not to waste too much of my life looking after it.

  • +5

    I've only bought new cars in black.
    Ranger I had to wait 3 months and corolla we had to wait 6 weeks to get in black.
    In my opinion a dirty black car looks better than a clean white car.

    • +1

      In my opinion a dirty black car looks better than a clean white car.


      I don't understand the above mentioned associations between car colour and (wannabe) status. It's a paint colour, not a flag or advertisement.

  • +4

    For any normal person? No. For someone like you that actually enjoys cleaning and detailing their car regularly? Absolutely.

    • I enjoy detailing but would hate owning a black car. Its frustrating spending time to clean it and make it perfect when as soon as you drive it, you will see some kind of dust on it again. Black paint shows everything.

      • -1

        What gray fox said. If you like having a clean car, it takes less time for a black car to look dirty. This may be more annoying if you don’t have extra time to keep it clean.

      • I enjoy detailing but would hate owning a black car.

        Likewise, but only because I've owned a black car and know how difficult they are to keep clean. Although I've never had the motivation to clean a car on a weekly basis, much like OP.

  • I have a very dark car (sometimes mistaken for black). I personally wouldn't choose black if buying new, but wouldn't not buy a second hand car in black just because of that (i.e. I'm not put off).

    Given you've said you like detailing and frequently washing your car I think you'll enjoy the satisfaction that comes with seeing how well it comes up and looks after that effort. Depending on use, I reckon mine looks pretty good for 1-2 weeks after a decent wash and wax. Because I'm lazy I then leave it for a few months before doing it again and while it doesn't look as great, it's still fine.

  • Seriously has the op actually learned anything here he didn’t already know. Black absorbs heat! Shows marks and dirt much quicker! Reminds me of when I worked for a paint company and I had to go to peoples houses and tell them what colour to paint it because they had no idea…WTF.
    By the way, put an egg on a black surface after it’s been in the sun, it will cook, try it on a white surface, it won’t. (Not cooking advice lol)

  • +3

    As everyone has said a billion times, black is harder to keep clean. But one thing with black is maintaining the paint work - it will show swirls, and buffing marks a million times worse than other colours. So as well as need more frequent cleaning, you need to put additional care into your cleaning methods to avoid damaging your paint with minor scratches etc.

  • Personally I think silver looks classy and is very forgiving considering how slack I am with washing my car.

  • +1

    Magpies and crows peck the crap out of black cars as they see their reflection in the paintwork and see them as rivals so you can have lots of little scratch marks on the door panels.

  • +1

    Black cars much more likely to be in a crash than white at dawn and dusk.

  • +2

    Go the metallic RED in the Mazda 3. It really pops in the sun. Also suspect it will be a good resale colour as it looks great. Good with the metallic grey silver wheels. If you clean it as you do its a great colour. Black as soon as you wash it and it sits there it catches the dust. Black is like a mirror after its cleaned. Look at all the glass black interior finishes. Horrible. You see the dust and the finger prints.

  • Bing

  • +3

    I don't know if they've just been unlucky, but my hubby and brother both have black cars and both have had four accidents each in these cars. All of the accidents were the fault of the other drivers. I have been in the car with my hubby on many occasions where it appears the car is invisible!! Quite a few near misses where he has had right of way and the other drivers appear not to see the car. And it's a Kia Soul - so ugly as and definitely noticeable!

    • +1

      Lack of mandatory daytime running lights laws don't help either (as in i.e. EU where there are mandatory for several years now and have measurably decreased number of dawn/dusk/night collisions and pedestrian hits)

      • +1

        Yep - I have a white car and I drive with my lights on day and night.

        • +1

          Good on ya, same here. I wish more people were aware of the visibility problems.
          It's for some reason worse here in Australia. Nowhere else have I seen so many cars and utes driving without any lights on even in dark evening, let alone during the day. There seems to be lack of education about self-visibility (as opposed to just using one's lights to make it easier to see where you're going)

  • +1

    We had a black car and when it was summer it was way too hot to get into hotter than our champagne colour car and when it was cold it was too cold the temperature just was too extreme anyway I hope that helps.

  • +1

    So you love boring, that's fine, but don't get black if you're keeping stock wheels, they will always clash with the paint unless you get them powder coated black as well.

  • Split the difference and go grey.

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