Colour me pretty

2011-10-07 09:07

With the local fuel price stinging at R11 per litre, there are hardly any happy drivers on the road – unless they’re driving a green car, figuratively and literally.

It’s no secret that South African drivers seem to prefer the same colour palette.

On any given day, you are sure to spot cars that are either red, blue, white, silver or black. Still, according to Toyota South Africa’s Leo Kok, there are two colour front-runners when it comes to the local preference.

Kok says: “The two most popular colours are white and silver above all others. That represents the bulk of our vehicle orders. That’s about 70% of our market.”

Fiat Group’s Clynton Yon says while they order what’s offered overseas, their local customers are skewed towards certain colours.

“Alfa Romeo buyers are biased in favour of red, whereas Fiat drivers go for silver, blue and white. There’s also further segmentation based on individual models – the most popular colour for a Fiat 500 is metallic pearl white, while for the Fiat Bravo it’s the bright metallic blue,” says Yon.

Here’s my pick of the most popular colours on our roads and what they mean:


This symbolises sex appeal, speed and high energy. No wonder, then, that speed demons prefer this hue.

Because these drivers like to prove a point on the road, they get a daily rush from weaving in and out of lanes.

They’re also more likely to be annoyed by slow drivers in the fast lane.

This is for the fun-loving, talkative and trendy types – just think of the Ford Focus ads. This colour has become more popular in the small hatchback segment in recent years, especially with young, female, first-time car owners.


In this time of eco-consciousness, the bright green colour for me has come to symbolise the hybrid, like the Honda Jazz and the CRZ. More manufacturers seem to go this route when introducing eco-friendly models.

Then there’s the vintage dark racer green, which Jaguar and Porsche still use. It’s a traditional colour that symbolises the racing heritage .


There’s a lot of blue variants out there, and is definitely in the top three favourite colours for South Africans.

More often than not, the drivers of blue cars are considerate on the road and have given me right of way. But don’t make the mistake of thinking everyone in a blue car will be a push-over.

There’s no doubt that the majority of people who drive cars in this colour like elegance. Think of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, BMW 5 Series, and Audi A6 and A8. Of course, there’s an element of arrogance that comes with driving these cars and the silver represents wealth and class. Personally, I’d never drive a silver car because I think it’s dull.

This is a simple and clean colour, and my personal colour choice. I prefer my car without the bells and whistles because when it comes to this hue, less is definitely more.

It has mystique and sex appeal. People who drive these cars usually have dark tinted windows too, something that says “you can look at me, but don’t have to know me”. Oh, and they are quite aggressive drivers.

This is a new colour offered by manufacturers but has been slow in being favoured. And because it used to look like poo before, people are still reluctant to go for it even though the colour is now fresh, metallic and pleasing to the eye.

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