Two cars sit in the dealer’s lot. For all intents and purposes, let’s say they’re equal in performance, wear-and-tear, and trim. These cars have the same mileage, the same weird stain on the passenger side floor boards, and yes—the same price.
In fact, the one way they differ is in color. One is a classy black (your favorite?) and the other is…well, I wouldn’t say it’s a lemon but you get the picture.
Once, I found myself in a similar situation. I needed to decide which car to blow my college savings on (stay in school, friends) but I wasn’t sure I could stomach that overly cheerful shade of yellow.
You can guess what I chose, and I’m going to tell you why you should make the same, sunny decision…if only for financial reasons.
1. Only an Idiot Would Steal Your Car
People like to steal cars, despite the fact that the majority of us have decided that sort of extracurricular activity is kind of unacceptable.
The FBI says about 230 people out of 100,000 got carjacked in 2012. While that translates to roughly a .23 percent chance in getting carjacked, certain cities are a little bit more jack-happy than others. CAR-jack-happy, I mean. Get your mind out of the gutter!
For example, an FBI report shows about 380 of every 100,000 people in Albuquerque, New Mexico would experience motor vehicle theft in 2010. So depending on where you are, your chances of finding +1 gun in your face and -1 car in your possession may fluctuate.
But okay, you say, why would anyone want to steal my P-O-S 1996 Honda Accord? The exhaust pipe is halfway attached and the paint’s flakier than my squad on movie night.
Thieves aren’t looking to secretly sell a slick GTR at the local black market. Those kinds of cars are a little bit too conspicuous for their liking.
Thieves want something that blends in, looks normal, and could be any old Joe’s car weaving around the neighborhood streets. An Altima sits in every parking lot, so if the cops are looking for a stolen one, they’re going to have a hard time finding the right guy.
Which is exactly why a YELLOW car works as a great deterrent. Sure, a Ford Focus isn’t exactly a rare find, but one that shines brighter than police sirens? A carjacker would have a hard time keeping that one under wraps.
2. Any Idiot Can Find Your Car
Okay, so in the event someone DOES actually steal your sporty little banana, the good news is someone will find it.
A study by Progressive Insurance (thanks, Flo) shows less than half of all cars stolen in the United States make it back home. That’s exactly why going yellow is a good thing—for your car and for your pocketbook.
When cops know to look for a bright yellow Ford Focus hatchback, they’re gonna be alert the moment they see one on the streets. A plain ole silver one might not do the trick, but the second they see a flash of yellow their minds easily drift to the last time they heard someone talking about a car that bright…and then they’ll remember it’s probably stolen.
Someone took my own beautiful Ford Focus at gunpoint, but within 48 hours cops located it. After vigorously dusting the interior for fingerprints, they handed the keys back to me. And I was never more thankful for having chosen a color a little bit less popular than red, blue, or silver.
So don’t be afraid. Take the plunge and go yellow! We can ride down the street in our yellow whips together, unashamed of our resemblance to baby chickens, macaroni, and dandelions.