How Much Does Car Colour Matter?
As it's announced that white is the most popular car colour in the world for what's now a tenth consecutive year, have you ever wondered how much the colour of your car really matters? Do you just go for a colour you like, do you choose a colour you think will look cleaner longer, or do you think about how much the colour you choose will affect the eventual resale value?
Another global whitewash?
Relax this isn't an excuse to delve into political conspiracy theories about some sort of ˜reset˜ or ˜new world order.˜ The whitewash we're talking about here is the fact paint supplier, Axalta has recently revealed that white is once again the most popular vehicle colour in the entire world for what's now a tenth consecutive year.
The company's research shows that an astonishing 38% of the vehicles on roads around the world are white, while black comes in second place a long way behind with just 19%. Grey might not be the most exciting colour for vehicles, but it is a pretty safe bet and makes it into third place with 15%.
Although the world is supposed to be getting ever smaller, the global picture is quite different from what we see when we look at the popularity of different colours for vehicles in different parts of the world. For example when it comes to luxury vehicles in Europe, 62% are either grey or black. In China, white is the most popular colour by some way a massive 57% of all vehicles being painted that way, but in Europe white only accounts for 25% of all vehicles.
Something else to consider is the fact these numbers are for all vehicles, and the vast majority of commercial vehicles are white. Also, white has always been a popular colour in hot, sunny countries because it reflects the sunlight and helps keep interiors cooler than dark colours like black.
Does colour matter?
If you're leasing a car you can choose any colour you like because the only consideration will probably whether you like it or not. After all, you’re just going to hand it back at the end of your lease so resale value is irrelevant. However, if you buy a used car or a new car on a finance deal where the resale value will be a source of some concern to you at some point in the future, you might want to take a moment to think about which colour you choose.
White may be popular at the moment, and even here in the UK it's been pretty popular for several years now, but it wasn't too long ago that white was the kiss of death for resale values. When it comes to getting the best price possible in the used car market, the colour really does matter and two identical used cars could command very different prices if they are in different colours.
Let's say you have a pair of early Range Rover Sports for sale that are of the same age, mileage, conditions and trim level. One of them is Metallic Black and the other one is Lugano Teal, so guess which one will be more expensive but will still almost certainly sell quicker? The Black one will cost at least a few hundred pounds more but it's still going to sell faster unless you just happen to come across the needle in the haystack that wants an obscure colour.
Here in the UK, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has found that grey is the most popular colour with 22.6%, although black and white comes in a close second and third. That either shows we're a pretty pragmatic lot here in the UK who choose a safe option to retain as much resale value as possible for the future, or it shows we're all just a bit boring.
Outlandish colours are not always a bad choice for resale values though. Although you'll have buyers running away from you faster than Usain Bolt if you have a Vauxhall Insignia in Orange or Canary Yellow to sell, it might be the complete opposite if you were trying to sell a Lamborghini Huracan in one of those colours.
What you need to remember is that if you like an unfashionable colour and you’re not bothered about what effect it might have on your eventual resale value, then that's the colour you should get. However, if you do go out and buy pink Range Rover (probably from a footballer's other half) then don’t start moaning when you come to sell it and you’re offered ten grand less for it than you'd have got if it had been black or grey.