How Much More Would You Pay To Get The Color You Want On Your Car?

For a lot of people who are car shopping, the color is often just as important as the features. Of course, you want a car that fits your aesthetic tastes, but how much more would you be willing to spend to get the right color on your next ride?


A lot of manufacturers will charge you a premium for certain colors. If you want Mazda’s Soul Red on your MX-5 Miata, that will set you back an extra $300, which isn’t too bad. Most of your luxury brands will paint your car black or white at no charge, but an upgrade to a metallic hue could be in the ballpark of $500-$600 or even a few grand for a special color or matte paint. Now if you are really fancy, you could pay upwards of $97,000 to paint your 911 this hideous shade of metallic green.

I can understand dropping serious money to paint your expensive exotic and make it unique, even if that means putting a Transformers theme on your Bugatti. But what if you just want a regular car, at what point is a paint premium not worth it?

Recently, I was working with a client who wanted a Toyota Highlander XLE Hybrid in white over ash. Hybrid Highlanders are not easy to find to begin with, and narrowing down the color combo reduces the available inventory even more. I was able to locate only one car within the region that had the right color combo. Even though I got a quote from a competing dealer for a silver-colored Highlander that was $1,800 cheaper, the store with the white Highlander refused to budge. But this customer had to have the white car. So I told him if that is the color he wanted, he was going to have to pay more for it.

I was baffled that someone would spend an extra $1,800 for a white Toyota over silver. Now Toyota’s white pearl metallic is a very nice, but in my opinion, not $1,800 nicer. After all, it’s just a Highlander.

Have you ever sacrificed color to get a better deal? How much more have you paid to get the color you wanted?

Tom is a contributing writer for Jalopnik and runs He saves people money and takes the hassle out of buying or leasing a car. (


Stef Schrader

Whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa, point of order.

That green is gorgeous. Not sure if it’s $97K gorgeous, but I love it.

Also, silver is 99.9999954351395% of the time boring butt as a car color.