Car colors: White to blend in, green for rebels

(CNN) -- When it comes to choosing the paint color of automobiles, drivers really are predictable.

The top paint color choice in 2012 for U.S. car buyers is white (21%), matching similar findings almost 10 years ago; black (19%) is a close second, followed by silver and gray (16% each).

If you're driving anything painted green, celebrate your uniqueness, you rebel. Only 2% of drivers said they'd be caught behind the wheel of a green-colored vehicle.

Worldwide, white ranks first (22%) and silver is second (20%), followed by black (19%), gray (12%), red (9%), blue (7%), green (2%) and other colors (1%), according to the study released Wednesday by automobile paint manufacturer PPG.

Customers shopping for sports cars, SUVs and high-end luxury cars said choosing the right color was more of a priority than did customers buying less expensive rides.

The vehicle paint colors people choose are also having an effect on the design of other products, researchers found.

"Color is one of the first characteristics noticed in product design, and it is increasingly being used in everyday items, from cell phones to large appliances, based largely on automotive trends," said PPG's Jane E. Harrington in a release announcing the study's findings. "The palette being developed for the automotive segment continues to be influenced by culture, nature, fashion, interior design, color popularity and new pigment technology."

The paint manufacturing company introduced 64 new exterior shades to automotive designers for consideration in designs of the 2015-2016 model years. These included colors such as Al Fresco, a silver metallic with fresh green tint; Victoria Grey, a classic gray with an iridescent highlight of gold metal; Opulence, a refined red pearl with intense jewel tone; Glacier, an icy graphite gray with a slight violet blue tone; Sunshine, a bright high-sparkle intense yellow; and Elixir, a metallic mixture of silver and magenta.

Customers say they want more paint options, but color preferences haven't changed much during the past decade. In a similar survey conducted by DuPont in 2004, white, silver, black and gray topped the list.