According to the manufacturers of paint, white is the most common tone in the world with 40% of sales, against 17% for black, for example. And in France, one in three cars is white.
– In your opinion, where does this passion for white cars come from… the fact that they are less dirty?
Strangely, white is back in fashion. 20 years ago, it was mainly utility vehicles that were systematically white and fleet vehicles. Today, young people especially find it “modern”.
Nevertheless, white cars are no less messy. Simply, dust clings to it less and dirt is less visible.
– What do you think this phenomenon is due to?
Mainly to staticity. Staticity is a phenomenon that we encounter in bodywork depending on the different supports that make up the vehicle: scrap metal or plastic for example. The paint is made up of flakes of disparate sizes and shapes that do not deposit evenly on the supports. Plastic generates more static electricity than metal, which causes an uneven deposit that results in very slight color disparities. Differences almost invisible to a layman, but which professionals notice.
It is also a “background” phenomenon. If you take a white sheet and a black sheet and deposit dust, it will be more “marked” on a dark background.
Also, white is the only color that reflects light instead of absorbing it. In hot climates, the choice of the tint of bodywork is strategic. A white heats up less quickly. However, the “heat” given off by a support acts like a magnet or like a repellant on certain dirt, again generating a phenomenon of staticity, exactly as for painting.
– Do white vehicles have other qualities compared to colour?
Overall they are less expensive to repaint. A scratch, a small snag on a white bodywork can be repaired locally, without having to redo an entire fender or door.
In fact, all “opaque” paints that are glitter free and contain no pearl or metallic, are still easier to paint. We can make invisible touch-ups, whereas on a vehicle with metallic or pearl paint, the latter will be seen as the nose in the middle of the face and we will be obliged, for a scratch on a door, to repaint the entire surface. We can even do poly-varnish touch-ups to camouflage micro-scratches on white opaque vehicles.
– White is not considered a color so we can consider that anything that is not color works well?
Indeed, where we have problems are on pastels, especially on light grays, which require a lot of research to find the original color.
You should know that the color number indicated by the manufacturer never gives the variants that are declined. Depending on the origin of the vehicle, the factory where it was assembled and painted, the variants differ. The paint will have neither the same shade nor the same glitter, hence the obligation to use a spectrophotometer, to carry out test plates and sometimes a lot of research. This is why at coachbuilders who are not sufficiently equipped, we sometimes see “chameleon” cars whose door has been repainted in the referenced color, but without taking into account the essential nuances of the composition of the paint.
In fact, the more original the color of a vehicle, the more it will cost you in touch-ups, whereas a white vehicle is simple, less messy and less expensive.