If You Don't Want Your Car Stolen, Make It Pink

New research from the Netherlands finds that thieves are less likely to steal brightly colored cars because of their lower resale value. If you really want to ensure your car isn’t stolen, go pink. Of the 109 pink cars in the research sample, none were stolen. (Insert your own Dutch joke about orange soccer jerseys here.) “If the aversion to driving a car in an offbeat color is not too high — or if someone actually enjoys it — then buying deterrence through an uncommon car color may be at least as good a deal as buying deterrence through an expensive car security device,” writes Ben Vollaard, who conducted the research. [%comments]


or maybe it can easily spotted, making the getting away more difficult


Mary Kay - Car Security Expert


This argument sounds curiously vulnerable to the Lucas Critique. That is, the argument is that thieves don't go for pink cars because buyers don't go for pink cars (hence the lower resale value). Encouraging people to buy pink cars would increase their vale, making them more attractive to thieves, and invalidating your initial argument.

I smell a paper topic. How about the market for Pink Lemons?


However, do not park it at Jiffy Park. Lord knows what will go on in that car.


That's not the case in the US. The vast majority of cars stolen in the United States are stolen for parts. (In some regions, this hovers around 90%.)

The reason for this is that the retail resale value of a car's stolen parts is worth vastly more than the car is as a whole, working unit.

In fact, there are still some cars (the harder to find ones) that are stolen for a *single* part, with the rest of the car dumped somewhere that it's not likely to be found.

And, no one cares what color the body panels are. They're going to get painted over before they're used, anyway.


Or perhaps the number of cars with vibrant colors is very small in the sample, which may give the impression that they are less targeted by thieves than common-colored cars...


However, one should take in to account that resale price of this car will be lower, as the market for brightly colored car is less liquid; therefore, it is harder to sell it for adequate money afterward. So, I don't think that this advice is of any value...

Drill-Baby-Drill Drill Team

Curious thing about color and MASCULINITY in America: Men are insecure with the color PINK.

They will not drive a pink Cadillac. They will not drink a pink beaverage. They will not eat green eggs and ham on a pink china. Or wear a pink jacket or a pink cowbow hat or pink underwear. They will not sit on a pink toilet seat. Paint luggage, a briefcase or a laptop computer pink, leave it unattended and the worst felon will not abscond with it. And Men Steal 99% of the Cars.

And we call Caucasians "White." Really without clothes the truest color match is PINK --PINK FLESH like in your 64 box Crayolas. A TRUE WHITE PERSON --white as a bedsheet--would be unnatural(ghastly, ghostly or a zoombie. ) We should have PINK PRIDE!

In other countries of the world, PINK is a perfectly acceptable color. A lot of young people my age live in absolute fear of theft of their precious BICYCLE--Carbon Fiber, Titanium and worth more than most used cars.
I advise them if you want it left alone: PAINT IT PINK.



My buddy in high school was stuck driving a white car with a big blue racing stripe down the sides and... giant glitter stars all over it. It used to belong to his sister and you do not want to know what we called that car.

I think he would have been happy if it had been stolen.

Matthew R.

Don't butterflies do something like this to avoid getting eaten by birds?

Eric M. Jones

I stole your car and had it painted pink.


I bet pink car insurance doesn't go up because of this, but black car insurance will.

Re: part cars being ditched: It would make better economic sense to put the car some place it would be recovered. That would keep the demand for that part up. :)

John Flyg

-I've had the luck and slight misfortune of owning a set of PINK bicycle rims. After many occasions of leaving my bike overnight in in some rather iffy areas of Portland OR I noticed that the color has definitely detoured thievish happenings.

It's a shame that I still fill a little embarrassed in certain crowds about the color of a bike part. But hey, I believe strongly about function over fashion.

Christopher Strom

@8: When I was in college, I knew a guy who painted his tricked out high end mountain bike, painted it pink (very sloppily, too), and casually locked it up outside his dorm.

On a campus with several thousand (reported - at the time) bicycle thefts each year, his bike was never touched.

I expect that a pink car would be a similar deterrent to recreational car thieves who will steal a car to joy ride and ditch.

Pros who will flip a car to a chop shop probably wouldn't care about the color at all.

Alex M

Perhaps the bright color cars were less desirable cars regardless of color. A person shelling out the money for a new Mercedes is less likely to make it look like four wheeled cotton candy than the buyer of a '88 Honda.

Barbara Schaffer

I had my 1985 Volvo painted lavender and blue (two tone). In Mexico they always wave me through police and army roadblocks. No self respecting drug dealer or arms smuggler would be caught dead in this car, plus it would be hard to steal. People do want to buy it from me, however, so maybe I should worry.


And it lowers the resale value, right off the bat!


Or buy a car with a manual transmission. No kids -- and car thieves are mostly kids -- know how to drive one.


But aren't many stolen cars re-painted anyway? Perhaps the thieves themselves don't want to be seen in them (even by passersby who don't have any idea who they are)?


I worked with a gal who had a very distinctive car. You couldn't sell it, so it was not stolen for sale, but a couple of times a year it would be stolen by joyriders and it would turn up somewhere in town with an empty gas tank.