As we wave goodbye to possibly the last of the Summer’s hot weather think about this:  When buying your next car, what will you take into account? Whether it qualifies for an exemption on London’s congestion charges like we discussed in an earlier blog? What about the colour?  Would you pick a car in your favourite colour? Or are you more likely to pick one that is cooler in Summer?

We’ve been exploring whether car colours affects the interior temperature – is a white car cooler inside than a black car when left in the midday sun?

The Science viewpoint

From the various studies that you can find on the internet (Phys Org, and, it appears that the interior temperature of cars, regardless of the colour only varied by 5-6 degrees, so hardly cause to avoid certain car colours.  However cars with darker paint colours have hotter exterior temperatures than their lighter-coloured counterparts.


Environmental blogs take a different standpoint and believe that white cars are cooler than darker coloured cars as they reflect the heat thus not having to run the air conditioner as much. Apparently white or other light-coloured cars reflect about 60% of sunlight.

accident-repair-medium_shutterstock_12187999Researchers at the Berkeley Lab Environmental Energy Technologies Division (EETD) say that cooling your car down with air conditioning decreases fuel economy and increases exhaust emissions thus contributing to the air pollutants.  And if you have a lighter colour car, the cooler the interior, less of a need to run the air conditioning. For a full explanation on how air conditioning works, check out our blog on the subject!

Green Blizzard also reckon that their white Toyota Prius is cooler and takes much less time for the air conditioning to cool it down initially and keep it cool.

Things to consider

  • “Cool coloured” materials stay relatively cool by reflecting the invisible components of sunlight
  • Solar-reflective paints can “soak” up the temperature of the hot car
  • Tinted windows will reduce the amount of solar radiation that enters the vehicle
  • Leather seats are going to get hot, very hot regardless the exterior colour of your car
  • Leaving the window open a crack doesn’t do anything to the interior temperature

So, whatever car or car colour you choose, we can service your vehicle when the time comes and make sure your air conditioning is in tip-top condition.

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