OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhile I virtuously stride out my permitted twenty minutes on the treadmill at the gym, I amuse myself by counting cars. You heard me: counting cars. Or, rather, the colour of the passing cars. Yes, I know. Small things amuse small minds – yeah, yeah. Other folk chat to friends, catch up with e-mails on their Blackberries, listen to their i-pods, etc , but I’m an  eccentric old bat, and I count cars.

Let me inform you, South Africa has finally overcome it’s love affair with the white vehicle. For years the vast majority of cars were white.  It was an official statistical fact that motor manufacturers issued at least three-quarters of a new range in white duco.  One theory being that white duco repels heat better than any other colour. South Africa is a hot country. On the downside, white shows up the dirt, but that’s a minor detail. Another handy fact is that statistically, white cars are less likely to be involved in vehicle accidents, because they’re more easily visible.  Which sounds reasonable, don’t you think?

But now, in 2012/13 I can report, after months of careful observation, the predominance of white is being whittled down by the emergence of the silver or grey vehicle.  Silver/grey vehicles, on most days, appear in almost the same number as white vehicles. Trust me, I have counted them. It helps that my gym has positioned the treadmills at a great height, upstairs, with a vast glass wall fronting the street. What could be easier?

And, this revolutionary move away from white duco does not stop at the silver. No, it does not. A close second contender is – wait for it – black!  I suppose with the majority of cars now offering air con as a standard feature, you can splash out and opt for black, and forget about  being cooked alive in your mobile oven. Clearly these drivers don’t give a hoot about potential fender-benders.

The next most common colour is … go on – guess!  Red. Followed by blue, and then on occasion – but only occasionally – by green, brown, and yellow.  Very very occasionally I spot a burnt orange vehicle, and maybe once every six months, a purple car. I’m still waiting to spot a pink vehicle.  I seem to remember that way back when one of the big-finned, long, American sedans came in pale pinks, pale blues, turquoise, and cream  but right now the ice-cream range of colours are not available for car finishes.

So there you have it folks. A completely arbitrary report on the most popular colours for cars in Cape Town. You must admit, my blog does offer you a little bit of everything.  Drive on, McDuff!




  1. Who knew?! Your blog is indeed a mine of useful information, Alison.

    So what colour is your car, Alison? My mom’s and my hubby’s cars are a responsible and respectable white (though admittedly do get dirty quickly), whereas my car is a cheerful and feisty red. 🙂



    Interesting facts as my son worked at ” car paint supplier” BASF. Colour cars used to b cheaper as AFTER fender benders moredifficult to match colour for repair. The worst colour being RED. Then white and black obviously the easiest. Nowadays (wait for it). No repair – the company being paid by ins company just replace “whole” boot/ bumper/bonnet as easier to match colour. Whole panels just replaced!
    So (it seems with human parts). Knees r broken – don’t repair – replace! So with hips hearts and so forth. Except ; it seems; the human brain and how it evolves!

    Take care. Just on a personal note- I also “do” cars! Number plates/ colours/makes!
    Methinks its from our youth when we drove in cars with parents and were bored and mom used to tell us (five children) to count cars etc. BEFORE the days of “in car” dVD players attached to back head rest of mom or dad and an array of DVD choices for child to choose from.

    The said brain /mind boggles!

    Have a lovely Sun

    Judy B.

    Ps. I have a 61 year old hubby going in on fri for “panel beating”. Full knee replacement and 4 to 6 weeks rehab at home! Say no more.

    Hugs. Judy B
    Sent from my BlackBerry®


  3. love your article!


  4. My idea is to introduce paisley colored cars: the pattern would hide scratches and there’d be no problems finding your car in a parking lot.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Brilliant idea! and in water scarce Cape Town, where we’re displaying our Water Warrior status with pride in our dirty unwashed cars, the dirt wouldn’t show at all would it?


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