Do black cars get hotter than light colored cars? If so, how much hotter? Hypothetically, wouldn’t your poodle fry just as crispy at 120 degrees as 125 degrees? Does it cost more to cool the car with A/C if it’s black? How about a white car with black interior? Is that a nice balance?

What are the facts?

P.S. I love black.

I seem to remember reading a Popular Mechanics article a while ago that concluded that black vehicles get slightly warmer than light coloured ones. I don’t remember how much, but it was measurable. Perhaps try asking at - those guys seem to know everything!

Well from a scientific point of view the color black absorbs energy rather than reflecting it, so in theory the cars should be warmer. I find white cars with light interiors to be cooler than black on black cars in the summer. The hottest car I know of is my GF’s car- black with a black leatherette interior and a sunroof with no sunshade. It gets so hot in the middle of summer you could cook food inside haha.

I tried to register and it seemed successful, but I couldn’t login after 4 attempts and two new passwords. GeeWhiz!

My first car, a 69 Buick Skylark, was white with an black vinyl interior. It got real hot, I don’t think the paint color made much difference one way or the other.

Ed B

Yes, darker cars get hotter inside. Dark interior also heats the car but is less important than the exterior color. Yes, it does cost more to cool a dark car, but not a lot more. There have been tests posted on line where folks actually measured the difference.

If you love black, buy black, but heat is not the biggest problem with black. It is a rolling mirror so it has to be immaculately clean at all times, and the body has to be perfect as every door ding and body shop imperfection is visible from a block away.

Sure. It will be hotter when you get in on a sunny day, but not all that much different and today we have something called air conditioning. Of course it does not help when you are wearing shorts and you are sitting down on those black vinyl seats that have been in the sun for the last three hours.

It is not something that would keep me from buying a black car.

You’re really splitting hairs if you’re concerned about the extra (trivial) expense of running the A/C on a black car Vs. another color. A black, dark blue, or gun metal colored vehicle will get slightly warmer than a white or light colored vehicle. But not enough so that it should have any bearing on your choice of vehicle

A black car may get hotter faster but not more hot than any other color.

There is a limit to how hot it can get inside the car in relation to the temperature outside the car.

After a while the metal of the car will get as hot as it’s going to get, and the color isn’t going to make any difference.

Drive the car at night and the color won’t matter.

My experience has been that the GLASS area (and clearness/tinting) has more effect on solar gain (think greenhouse effect) than interior color or body color (in roughly that order). Body paint is relatively minor, while interior color has a much larger effect.

Before we bought a Lexus in sunny, sunny El Paso, Texas, I called the dealer to see if they had any insights into this arena. Now they advisor could have been feeding me bull, but here is what was said:
Tinted windows to max allowed by law brought the coolest temps in any color combination. Hence a black car with black interior and tint, was cooler than
a white car with light interior and no tint by a couple of degrees.

They said the next biggest predictor of high heat was the interior color, where an untinted car with dark interior, was hottest regardless of the body color. So, a black car with light interior is cooler than a white car with dark interior.

Best soloution is tint whatever car you have, or buy white body and light interior and tint it. BTW, please don’t try to save $50 on cheap tint … buy 3M as it lasts longer without bubbling and turning purple and has better clarity from the start.

MrPhil has made a good point.

I can actually answer this from a real world perspective. I owned a silver 2000 Accord for five years before my ex-wife totalled it. I then replaced it with a 1999 Accord (same exact body style as the 2000) but it was black. I have to tell you that the silver car stayed MUCH cooler and when it did get hot it cooled down much faster. I find myself using much stronger cooling settings on the AC in the summer now than when I had the silver car. The flip side is my car is much warmer on cold winter days that are bright and sunny.