Do Black Cars Get Hotter Than White Cars In Hot Days?

Do black cars get hotter than light-colored vehicles during the summer days? Well, you will know about it if you’ve ever owned a black car. How does it feel when you open the car’s door after it’s parked in the sun on a hot day? It must feel like you are setting foot into a sauna, right?

Is it actually true that black vehicles feel much hotter than other cars? Or, it is just a myth? What does the science say? Let’s get to the bottom of these queries.

Do Black Cars Get Hotter? A Scientific Study

If you park a car under direct sunlight, it will heat up faster and retain the heat for a long time than a car parked in a garage or under a shade. The thing is if you keep two vehicles – one black and the other white – under the sunlight, the first one will get much hotter and take more time to cool down.


The Berkeley Lab Environmental Energy Technologies Division discovered in a 2011 study that light-colored automobiles reflect almost 60% of sunlight compared to dark-colored ones. It means that black vehicles absorb more sunlight and heat than other cars and reflect less.

black car vs white car temperature
Light-colored cars will be cooler. (Photo Source: hqwalls)

The researchers used a silver and a black Honda Civic for this study. They found that the light pain color improves the efficiency of the car by increasing fuel economy by 2% and lowering the carbon emission by almost 2%.

Black Car Vs White Car Temperature

Are black cars hotter than light-colored cars? Yes. How much hotter do black cars get? Well, it depends on the weather conditions.

The Mythbusters experiment can be a good example when comparing the temperature in white cars vs black cars. They pitted a white car against a black one and put a thermometer inside them. After a certain time, the white car temperature reached 125°F and the black car temperature was 10 degrees more than that.

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The Barkeley Lab Environmental Energy Technologies Division also did the same experiment on a hot day in Sacramento, California. They left the cars in the sun for an hour and then found the black’s interior 10 degrees hotter.

The Autoradar also did the test on a Georgia summer day. After a few hours, the temperature inside the black vehicle was 17 degrees more than the white one. Also, it took more time to cool down after turning on the air conditioner.

Do black cars get hotter? Definitely yes as the findings of these experiments suggest so. The temperature difference is nothing to be worried about because the AC will cool down the car anyway.

But, it could be uncomfortable if you live in an area with a high humidity. click here for a short trip will be the most torturous as the AC won’t have enough time to cool the air. Also, a light-colored vehicle will save on fuel and release less harmful gases than a black vehicle.

do black cars get hotter
You can still keep the black car in hot weather. (Photo Source: khodrocar)

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What To Do With Your Black Car?

These studies may convince you to trade in your old black car for a white one. Well, it might be unnecessary. Take care of a few things and you can still keep it.

  • Use tinted windows
  • Install a windshield sunshade
  • Always park in a garage or under a shade