Psychology: Personality `reflected in car colour'

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Choice of car colour says more about someone's personality than the clothes they wear or the house they live in, according to a survey yesterday.

Research carried out by the RAC found that owners of pastel-colour cars were eight times more likely to suffer from depression than people with bright coloured cars, while drivers of white cars were distant and aloof.

The survey found owners of silver or metallic blue cars were the happiest drivers on the road, while owners of cars in the newer pastel colours of lilac and lime were twice as likely to be the victims of road rage. On average they were ill three more days per year than other motorists.

Psychologist Conrad King said: "Drivers may think that they are cocooned when they are behind the wheel of their car but in reality their choice of car colour sends a clear signal to other motorists. A poor choice in car colour for pastel car owners mimics a number of other poor life choices which, in turn can lead to more stress and depression. The colour of the car can be a symptom of an underlying personality problem ... Colour preferences can indicate a definite psycho-social pecking order on the roads, with the owners of black and red cars struggling for dominant position."