car colors

Car colors and the risk of damage

1 March 2022

Does black as the car colour bring bad luck? Or perhaps a different colour signifies high probability that a car could’ve taken part in an accident? AutoDNA checked the relation between the car colors and the statistical risk of damage found in the vehicle history. 


Car colours, or how to check the car paint by the VIN number

The VIN number allows checking a range of information coded by the car manufacturer. How to check the car paint colour by the VIN number? To check the basic information about a particular car, including the car colour, all you need to do is type the VIN in a free browser, such as at

Black is often linked with negative values, which is best illustrated by the black cat superstition. If we cross paths with a black cat, according to folk beliefs, it brings bad luck and undoubtedly some misfortune befalls us. Is it the same with the car? 

As it turns out, the black car color does not necessarily mean the highest risk of damage found in the vehicle history. According to the autoDNA data, only brown cars are more unlucky than the black ones. As a contrast, white, red, graphite and pear were reported at the end of the TOP10 table of cars for which users of autoDNA in 2021 found damage in vehicle history reports by their VIN numbers.


Car colours and the risk of damage

In the case of brown cars checked in the autoDNA’s base in 2021, 19% of the VIN searches returned a report informing about the damage. Black and grey were located on the subsequent positions. Blue was fourth in the ranking of the car colours with the highest chance of damage found in the reports. Medium risk was reported for white, green and silver. The TOP10 ranking was closed by red (6.3%), pearl (4.8%) and graphite (1.6%).

What’s important to stress is that the risk might be distributed differently, according to the popularity of colors in a car fleet. In Europe, according to the report by Axalta, the world leader in the paint materials, it is grey that dominates as the paint colour (according to the 2020 data, 25% of vehicles was in this colour), on a par with white, where 23% was plain white, and only 2% of the whole fleet consisted of cars in pearl. 21% of cars chosen by clients were in black. 

So what about brown, the infamous leader of the autoDNA ranking? In Europe in 2020, it consisted of only 2% of the cars registered for the first time. Then, as it turns out, it’s not always the case that the most popular colours indicate higher risk of damage. Brown and graphite are at opposite poles. Both are rarely found, but the “safer” one is definitely graphite. 

 In any case, it is worth checking the car colour by the VIN number, to make sure if there are any additional surprises. 

car colors info

car colors TOP 10


Car colors and the risk of damage
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Car colors and the risk of damage
AutoDNA checked the relation between the car colors and the statistical risk of damage found in the vehicle history. 
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