“You can never go wrong with black” as they say. And I agree, even when it comes to car colors. It looks cool, sleek, and stealthy. But as someone who has owned a couple of black cars in the past, take it from me when I say they are not without their problems. This post will discuss the pros and cons of a black car.
If you’re thinking of buying a black car for the first time in your life, continue reading to find out about everything you need to know about owning a black car.
- Pros Of A Black Car
- Cons Of A Black Car
- Care & Maintenance Tips
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Final Conclusion
Pros And Cons Of A Black Car: The Pros
Let’s not beat around the bush, there are three good reasons why you should buy a black car:
1. It Looks Cool
As simple as that. Yes, I know that looks are subjective. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” as they say, but black does make a car look good. As mentioned, it makes cars look cool, sleek, and stealthy.
Black is elegant and makes even the most dreary-looking car look nice. Compact hatchback in black? Cool. A mid-size sedan in black? Makes you look like an executive. A full-size SUV in black? Makes you look like part of a mafia family.
Sure, some cars will look better in certain colors. For example, a Ferrari 458 will look better in Rosso Corsa; it’s a beautiful car, to begin with, and Ferrari’s Rosso Corsa color showcases that. But a Nero Daytona (that’s what Ferrari calls their black paint) 458 wouldn’t look wrong either. It may not be quite as beautiful as a 458 Rosso Corsa, but it still looks sleek, and if anything, more menacing.
2. It Hides Design Cues Or Features You Don’t Like
Another reason why I argue black makes any car look good is that it hides design cues, features, or language that you don’t like. The design language is a set of rules that guides visual identity. In the case of cars, it refers to design features that are commonly shared across the lineup. For example, all BMWs share kidney grilles and similar sidelines.
When done right, design features will not only make cars identifiable but look beautiful as well. But when done wrong, it can ruin the overall design of the car. In some cases, design features may look entirely out of place.
The most common case is with the A-line or “accent line”, sometimes referred to as the “character line”. This is the line that’s on the side body that runs along with the silhouette of the car. When done right, the accent line can improve the car’s look. The Ferrari 612 Scaglietti side “scallop” is one of my favorites, even though not a lot of people agree.
But when done wrong, it will make the car look like it has weird proportions at best. And at worst, it will ruin the look of the car. Black paint makes the accent line – and other design features – less obvious if you don’t like it.
For example, I don’t like the new gigantic kidney grille on the new BMW 4-Series. I also don’t like the air intake and inlets, and I feel like the car has too many lines and creases that aren’t cohesive to the overall design.
But in black? Well, I still don’t much fancy it, but it makes the grille and creases less obvious. Making the silhouette stand out further, and the car looks less ugly to my eye.
3. It Holds Resale Value – Sort Of
The last reason is that black is one of the car colors that hold resale value quite well. You might notice that most vehicles on the road are either white, black, gray, or silver. According to CarMax, black is the top choice among their buyers, making up 22.25% of their sales.
White, gray, and silver cars sit behind black cars. And other studies also find similar results, with black almost always in the top 3 colors of car sales in the US.
This is a bit of an oversimplification, but this means that there’s more demand for cars in black, white, and silver. And when there’s more demand, prices will go up. Or in the case of secondhand cars, they will retain more of their original value.
However, interestingly, some “unique” car colors actually hold their value better than black. Yellow seems to be the color that holds its value best with the lowest depreciation according to research from iSeeCars.
This took me by surprise, to be honest. But black still holds its value quite well, especially when compared to colors like purple and brown. And the depreciation rate for each color is different depending on the type of car.
For example, a coupe car in black depreciates by around 25% in three years. Meanwhile, black sedans depreciated at around 39% in three years. And of course, the make and model of the car will also affect the depreciation rate.
4. Gives A Sense of Luxury
Black is a color often associated with luxury, power, and sophistication. This is one reason why many luxury cars are often seen in black. Having a black car can give off a sense of luxury even if it’s a budget or mid-range vehicle.
It’s a universal color that makes any car look more expensive and luxurious than it might actually be. Also, luxury car brands often showcase their vehicles in black in advertisements and car shows to make them appear more prestigious.
5. Easier to Maintain a Uniform Color During Repairs
In case of scratches or minor dents that require a paint job, black is one of the easiest colors to match. Paint shops usually have an easier time matching black paint compared to other colors, which may have different shades and tones.
This means that after a repair, it’s less likely for there to be a noticeable difference in the color of the repaired area compared to the rest of the car. This is especially important for maintaining the aesthetic appeal of your vehicle after a repair.
6. Offers Better Nighttime Visibility for Other Drivers
While it’s true that black cars are considered to be harder to see at night, they are actually more visible to other drivers when illuminated by headlights. This is because black cars reflect light from other vehicles better than lighter-colored cars. This can make it easier for other drivers to see your vehicle’s shape and contours on the road at night.
7. Heat Absorption in Winter
While it’s commonly known that black cars absorb more heat, this can actually be a benefit in colder climates. A black car can absorb more sunlight and heat up faster on cold days. This can help in melting the snow or ice on the surface, making it a bit easier to clean your car in the winter.
Remember though, the downside is that this also means your car will get hotter in the summer. However, if you live in a region where winters are particularly harsh, this can be a significant advantage.
8. It’s A Classic
Black is a timeless color. It has been popular for cars for decades and is likely to remain in fashion for many more to come. Choosing a classic color like black means your car is less likely to look dated or out of style in a few years’ time. This is another reason why black cars tend to hold their value relatively well over time.
Pros And Cons Of A Black Car: The Cons
Now, what are the cons of owning a black car? Here are two reasons why buying a black car may not be right for you:
1. It Gets Hot – Literally
While black paint makes your car look cool, it does make it hot, literally. You might have heard that black and darker-colored clothing absorbs more heat, and the same is true for car paint.
I won’t get into the science of why since I’m no expert, so if you want to learn more about why black absorbs more heat, you can learn here. But what I can tell you is that since black retains heat, this can increase the car’s interior temperature.
Even after a few minutes under the sun, the interior can become very hot and humid. Not a big deal if you’re driving with the air-conditioning on, but it does mean you have to be wary of where you park on a sunny day. Pick a spot without shade and you’ll come back to a car that’s sizzling hot inside.
Of course, if you live somewhere cold, this isn’t a big deal and you can ignore this point. But this next one is true for all black cars, no matter where you live:
2. Lots Of Scratches And Swirl Marks
Let me make it clear first: black cars don’t scratch more easily than other colors, but it’s more visible on black cars. The reason is that scratches often result in a white appearance. And of course, white is more visible when it’s on a black background.
This is why silver and white cars often appear to have very few scratches. Their lighter color means scratches and swirl marks aren’t going to be quite as visible unless you take a closer look.
This was the main reason why I hesitated in buying a black car. But of course, there are ways to avoid this. Using the right equipment and learning the proper method to wash your car is the first step to avoiding swirl marks. And getting your car detailed and coated is probably the best way to prevent scratches.
All this means that black cars will require more care and maintenance if you want to keep your car looking smooth. If you don’t want to worry too much about scratches and swirl marks, then perhaps white or silver would be the better color for you.
One more thing to note, You will find many articles saying that black cars will lose their shine easily. In my experience, this isn’t true. It all depends on how you maintain your car, as well as the quality of the paint job. The color doesn’t affect how fast paint loses its shine.
3. Shows Dirt and Dust Easily
Black cars may look sleek and luxurious when clean, but they also show dirt, dust, and grime much more easily than lighter-colored cars. Even a thin layer of dust can be very noticeable on a black car, making it appear dirty even if it was recently cleaned. This means you’ll need to wash your car more frequently to keep it looking its best, which can be time-consuming and costly.
4. Harder to See at Night
While a black car may be more visible to other drivers when illuminated by headlights, it’s also harder to see in the dark or in low-light conditions. This can make it more difficult for pedestrians and other drivers to see your vehicle, increasing the risk of accidents. To mitigate this risk, it’s important to always have your headlights and taillights on when driving in low-light conditions.
5. Higher Insurance Costs
Some studies have shown that black cars are more likely to be involved in accidents, and as a result, insuring a black car can sometimes be more expensive than insuring a car of a different color. This is not always the case, as insurance rates are influenced by many factors, but it’s something to be aware of when choosing a car color.
6. Fades More Over Time
While it’s true that all car paint colors will fade over time due to exposure to the sun and other environmental factors, black cars tend to show this fading more noticeably. This is because the contrast between the original color and the faded color is more pronounced on black cars. To minimize fading, it’s important to regularly wax your car and park it in the shade whenever possible.
Pros And Cons Of A Black Car: Maintenance
Those are the pros and cons of a black car. If you’re still reading, my guess is you’re still interested in owning a black car. But as we’ve learned, the main problem with black cars is that scratches and swirl marks are more visible.
So, how do you maintain it? The tips we’ll list down below can be applied to a car of any color. But with a black car, it’s more important than ever that you follow these tips:
Pros And Cons Of A Black Car, Maintenance #1: Wash Your Car – The Right Way!
Most hairline scratches and swirl marks are the result of improper car washing. If you don’t use the right equipment and method, the dust, dirt, and debris on your car will get dragged and scratched the car as you’re washing.
Here’s how to wash your car:
- Rinse the car with clean water thoroughly. Make sure you get any loose dirt and debris off the car, using a pressure washer will help.
- Use two buckets, one for the water and car shampoo mix, and the other for just water to rinse the wash mitt. Ideally, the water bucket should have a grit guard to help separate dirt.
- Dip the wash mitt in the shampoo, and start cleaning the car. I personally like to start from the top and work my way down the car. Don’t put too much pressure when washing. If dirt isn’t coming off easily, chances are putting more pressure won’t work either and will only damage the paint.
- Rinse the wash mitt whenever it starts getting dirty. After rinsing, dip it in soap again, and continue washing.
- Rinse the car again, and do it from the top to the bottom of the car.
- Dry the car with microfiber towels. You’ll want to have at least two of them. Wipe the car once, and then wipe it with the second towel if the surface is still wet.
- Don’t use excessive pressure. Check the towel regularly, if it’s dirty, then fold it or use a new one.
The video above is a great guide on how to handwash your car. They used a snow foam gun and a degreaser solution before washing in the video, but don’t worry about that if you don’t have it. Follow our guide and you’ll minimize scratches on your car!
Pros And Cons Of A Black Car, Maintenance #2: Car Detailing
No matter how well you wash your car, over time scratches and swirl marks will appear on the car. This is why you should detail your car to remove imperfections, and coat or sealant it to give it an extra layer of protection.
Car detailing is the process of cleaning and restoring a car to like-new condition. This involves cleaning the exterior and interior, polishing the body, and finishing with a sealant or wax (with a bit of understanding of how often should you wax your car) to add a protective layer on top of the car’s paint.
In some cases, if the paint’s condition is really bad, a paint correction may be necessary to remove deep scratches and uneven paint colors. On top of all this, you should also add a ceramic coating or Paint Protection Film (PPF).
Ceramic coating is a liquid polymer that the technician will apply to the exterior of the car. Once it cures, it will form a protective layer much like a sealant or wax. However, they are more resistant to scratches and can last much longer. Sometimes up to three years, depending on the thickness.
Meanwhile, PPF is a polyurethane film that also protects the car from stone chips, scratches, and more. Think of it as a transparent car wrap, and is claimed to last for up to five years.
Car detailing usually starts at around $500, but this doesn’t include ceramic coating or PPF. The total cost will depend heavily on your car’s size, and it can be as high as $2,500 for a top-notch job. We recommend enquiring into your local auto detailers to get a quote for your car.
Pros And Cons Of A Black Car, Maintenance #3: Some More Tips
Most people think that car body maintenance and auto detailing are hard. And that’s why most people choose to have a professional do it for them. Nothing wrong with that, but if you don’t feel like having your car detailed, here are some more tips:
- Use bug & tar remover to remove dirt and debris that are stubborn. After a while, you’ll notice that the lower part of your car is probably covered in tar, dirt, and other debris that can’t be washed off. Spray a bug & tar remover and they will come right off!
- Don’t use sponges or chamois (shammy towels) to wash your car. Dirt and dust will get dragged along the car more easily. Always use microfiber towels and wash mitts. Use plush microfiber towels for drying, it will help remove any remaining dirt and absorb water better.
- If your car doesn’t have a ceramic coating, use a wash & wax car shampoo. The wax content will provide light protection on your car. If it has a coating, then use a car shampoo with a pH-neutral formula to help prolong the life of the coating.
- Use a scratch remover to remove any micro-scratches. You can learn how to use them here.
- When cleaning the wheels of your car, use a separate wash mitt, microfiber, and bucket. This is because there will be a lot of nasty dirt and grit on them, and using the same equipment to wash the car body will increase the chances of micro-scratches on your car.
Pros And Cons Of A Black Car, Maintenance #4: Paint Protection
Black cars look incredibly sleek and stylish, but they are notorious for showing every little imperfection. To keep your black car looking its best, consider adding an extra layer of paint protection. There are several options available, each with its pros and cons:
- Wax: Wax is the most traditional form of paint protection. It adds a layer of protection against UV rays, bird droppings, and light scratches. However, wax needs to be reapplied every two to three months.
- Sealant: A paint sealant is a synthetic product that provides a longer-lasting protection than wax. It can last up to six months and provides a glossy finish.
- Ceramic Coating: This is a liquid polymer that bonds with the car’s paint and provides a long-lasting and durable protection. It is resistant to chemical stains and water spots and can last up to three years.
- Paint Protection Film (PPF): This is a thin layer of clear film applied to the car’s surface. It provides the best protection against stone chips, scratches, and chemical stains. However, it is also the most expensive option.
Remember, no form of paint protection is completely maintenance-free. Regular washing and maintenance are essential to keep your car looking its best.
Pros And Cons Of A Black Car, Maintenance #5: Regular Maintenance
Regular maintenance is crucial for keeping a black car looking its best. Here are some essential maintenance tips:
- Wash your car regularly: As mentioned earlier, it is essential to wash your car properly to avoid scratches and swirl marks. Ideally, you should wash your car every two weeks.
- Use a high-quality car shampoo: A pH-neutral car shampoo is the best choice for black cars. It will clean your car without stripping off the wax or sealant.
- Dry your car properly: Use a microfiber drying towel to dry your car. Do not let water air dry on your car as it can leave water spots.
- Use a quick detailer: A quick detailer is a spray-on product that helps to remove dust, fingerprints, and light dirt while enhancing the gloss and protection of your car.
- Polish your car: Polishing your car will remove light scratches and swirl marks and enhance the gloss of your car.
- Protect your car’s paint: As mentioned earlier, adding an extra layer of protection is essential for keeping a black car looking its best.
Pros And Cons Of A Black Car, Maintenance #6: Dealing With Scratches
Despite your best efforts, scratches are inevitable. Here’s how to deal with them:
- Assess the scratch: Determine how deep the scratch is. A light scratch that only affects the clear coat can be easily removed with a scratch remover or polish. A deeper scratch that reaches the paint or primer will require more work.
- Clean the area: Before attempting to remove the scratch, clean the area thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris.
- Use a scratch remover or polish: Apply a small amount of scratch remover or polish to a microfiber cloth or polishing pad. Gently rub the product into the scratch using a back-and-forth motion. Check the progress regularly to avoid removing too much clear coat.
- Wipe off the residue: Once the scratch is removed, wipe off any residue with a clean microfiber cloth.
- Protect the area: Apply a layer of wax or sealant to the repaired area to protect it.
Remember, if the scratch is too deep or if you are not comfortable with DIY, it is always best to consult a professional.
Pros And Cons Of A Black Car, Maintenance #7: Keeping the Interior Clean
While the focus is often on the exterior of a black car, it’s also important to keep the interior clean. Dust and dirt are more visible on a black interior. Here are some tips to keep the interior of your black car looking its best:
- Use a microfiber cloth: Regularly wipe down the interior surfaces with a microfiber cloth to remove dust and dirt.
- Vacuum regularly: Vacuum the seats and carpets regularly to remove dirt and debris.
- Use the right products: Use a high-quality interior cleaner and protectant to clean and protect the interior surfaces of your car.
- Protect your car’s seats: Use seat covers to protect your car’s seats from spills, dirt, and UV rays.
- Clean the windows: Regularly clean the windows inside and out to maintain visibility and keep your car looking its best.
Remember, a clean and well-maintained interior will make your black car look even better!
By following these tips and regular maintenance, you can keep your black car looking sleek and stylish for years to come.
Pros And Cons Of A Black Car: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Still, got more questions about the pros and cons of a black car? We’ll try to answer your questions below:
Do I Need To Wax It Every Weekend?
Some people may recommend you to wax a black car every weekend, but this isn’t necessary with modern car wax. They are far more durable than they used to be, and will typically last for about three months if applied correctly. We wrote a great guide on how to apply car wax yourself and you can read it here.
Can I Take A Black Car To An Automatic Car Wash?
They are convenient and very tempting when you don’t feel like spending an hour just to wash your car. But we generally don’t recommend it. Automatic car washes are known to result in a lot of micro scratches.
This is because they use floppy brushes that aren’t meticulously cleaned which means they can hold a lot of dirt. The dirt will then get dragged along your car, resulting in micro scratches. While they’re not immediately apparent in white or silver cars, black cars tend to show them more. For that reason, we don’t recommend it.
You’re better off going to a premium car wash service, which auto detailers also often provide. They handwash your car like they would before they start detailing a car, so there’s less chance of micro scratches. They cost anywhere between $15 – $70 depending on your car size and the wash package.
Can I Use A Waterless Wash Spray?
Waterless wash sprays are mostly intended to remove light dust and dirt. This allows you to remove them without having to spend too much time washing and drying the car. And yes, you can use them on black cars are well. Just be sure to follow the instructions to avoid any scratches to your paint.
Is A Pressure Washer Safe To Use?
Yes, pressure washers are safe to use on a car with black paint. Or on any car paint, for that matter. If you can control the pressure of the washer, set it to around 1,600 PSI to be on the safe side.
Another thing you have to remember is to keep the washer around 1 – 1.5 feet away from the car’s surface to prevent damage to the paint. And finally, be careful around paint chips as the pressure washer may peel off the paint. Learn more about how to use a pressure washer here.
How Often Does A Black Car Need Detailing?
Your car’s color doesn’t determine how often you need a detailing job. It depends on the car’s paint condition and will mostly depend on what package you choose at your first detailing visit. A standard package will finish your car with either a wax or a sealant.
As mentioned, car wax typically lasts for about three months, meaning you’ll have to take your car to a detailer more often to keep that shine and protection. Meanwhile, a sealant can last anywhere between 6 to 12 months. This depends on the thickness that’s applied, and you’ll have to take your car to a detailer about once or twice a year.
If you get ceramic coating or PPF, they can last anywhere between 3 to 5 years. However, oftentimes it’s still recommended that you go back for maintenance to make sure the protective layer is in good shape.
Additionally, PPF may turn yellow over time. But don’t worry, this doesn’t affect your car’s paint, but it will require some maintenance. Auto detailers will often include free yearly maintenance with the initial cost, so you don’t have to worry about that.
In any case, it’s a good idea to take your car to a professional auto detailer to keep it in good shape and looking sleek. You can learn to detail, polish, and even apply sealant or ceramic coating yourself. But this process is quite time-consuming and can take up your entire weekend.
Pros And Cons Of A Black Car: I’m Still Not Sure, Should I Get A Black Car?
This ultimately comes down to how much time and money you’re willing to invest in maintaining the car’s paint. If you don’t want to think too much about car paint maintenance, then a black car probably isn’t for you.
I’ve had my black car for six months now, and some micro scratches are already appearing. However, they’re only visible under direct sunlight or when I’m looking closely. From afar, the car still looks great, but I’m still planning to have it detailed and coated in the future.
If you don’t want the hassle, a silver car is probably your best choice. I find that it’s the color that requires the least maintenance, even when compared to white cars.
Yellowing can happen with white cars, especially if the factory paint job isn’t high-quality and you don’t wash it often. For this reason, I believe silver is the best color if you don’t want to think too much about maintenance.
Pros and Cons of Owning a Black Car
- Black cars have an above-average resale value due to their popularity, and like white cars, they tend to depreciate less.
- Black cars offer an incredibly glossy finish, but they need to be kept in good condition to achieve this shine.
- Black paint is better at hiding stone chips, which appear as dark grey marks, making them less noticeable.
- Black cars show dust and dirt quickly, so frequent cleaning is necessary to maintain a glossy finish.
- Swirl marks from improper washing are more noticeable on black cars and can cause them to lose their gloss faster.
- Black paint gets very hot in the sun, which can cause water spots and chemical stains during washing, and is more prone to fading.
- Black cars are less visible on the road than lighter-colored cars and are statistically more likely to be involved in accidents.
- The cost to insure a black car is the same as any other color of vehicle, as insurance companies do not use the car’s color as a factor in calculating insurance premiums.
- Black is a popular color for sports cars, SUVs, saloons, and hatchbacks, making it a versatile color option.
- Investing in front-end paint protection film (PPF) can help prevent stone chips and scratches, but it is not completely foolproof in protecting the paint.
Pros And Cons Of A Black Car: In Conclusion…
Those are the pros and cons of a black car. To recap, a black car looks great, disguises ugly design features in an otherwise beautiful car, and it holds the resale value of the car. The downside is that they get hot quicker since black absorbs more heat. This leads to a higher interior temperature which isn’t pleasant, so you have to be wary of where you park your car on a sunny day.
And the biggest downside is that they’re harder to maintain since scratches and swirl marks are more visible on a black car. So, you’ll have to invest a lot of time and money to keep your black car looking good.
I hope this article about the pros and cons of a black car has been helpful and will help you make an informed decision the next time you purchase a car.