For many people, the colour and style of their car acts as a psychological short-hand for how they want to be viewed by the world.
A study commissioned by Ford Motor Co sometime ago shows that choice of car colour also says a lot about the buyer’s personality and self-image. And, in many cases, there are stark differences between men and women who choose the same car colour.
For example, women who prefer black cars often see themselves as street-smart and task-focussed – and quick to become irritable if things aren’t going their way. Men who prefer black cars, meanwhile, tend to see themselves as disorganised, easily distracted and reliant on others to complete projects.
Men who go for blue cars are a different story. In touch with their feelings and emotions, they place more emphasis on feelings than facts when it comes to making decisions. Women who go for blue seek harmony in relationships and avoid conflict – but have strong will-power. Men who drive a dark blue car – like those who wear dark blue suits – tend to be more conservative.
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Ford UK commissioned the report to understand the correlation between colour choice and individual personality traits. Red and black were among the top four choices for both men and women according to the survey.
“Car colour choice can be very revealing – but usually only if you take into account whether the person behind the wheel is a man or a woman,” said Wendy Lord, psychometric testing consultant and chartered psychologist, who produced the report. “This changed when we interviewed people about red and black combinations. Regardless of gender, these tended to appeal to people who are drawn to exciting and risky activities that offer a rush of adrenaline.”
Lord and her team, who surveyed more than 200 people aged 25 to 65 in the UK, also found that silver cars appeal to men who find it easier to remain calm under stress, while perhaps unsurprisingly men who prefer dark blue cars tend to have a somewhat conservative approach to life. Men who prefer red cars tend to be more personally organised, methodical and goal-oriented than most.
However, women who favour silver, dark blue or red cars remain an enigma – the colours indicated no particular strong character traits for women drivers.
"The differences between what the colour of a car says about a male or female driver’s personality could certainly explain why couples with very different personalities can often agree on their preferred car colour,” Lord said.
Ford designers find inspiration for colours in latest trends in everything from fashion, to furniture, and smartphones. The first Red Edition and Black Edition models were introduced for the Fiesta last year.
“Bold and expressive colour-contrasting designs used to be the reserve of extroverts but now they're part of a much wider trend that includes not just cars, but clothing and even electronic products," said John Mcleod, chief designer, Vehicle Personalisation, Ford of Europe. “Red and black are traditionally sporty colours so the two together make a very sporty combination, ideal for thrill seekers. This car isn’t for the average person.”
Also read: What your car colour reveals about you