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Car colours

A rainbow of car coloursAlthough an important factor for some, colour is often put on the back burner when choosing a car, and specifications, trims and engine sizes must come first for most. However, colour can become a factor in the resale value of a car, and choosing a particularly wrong colour could make it hard to get a good price when selling.

A popular extra that you see offered with many new cars is metallic paint. There is no denying that it increases the look of a vehicle, but it can also serve you well in the future. In a study by a collection of automotive business services, it was found that for an average of £500 paid for paintwork with a metallic finish, when coming to resell the vehicle a year later, you may see your car being worth a couple of grand more than one with flat finished paintwork. This return on investment can be even higher when reselling convertibles or sports cars, with metallic paintwork adorned vehicles selling for up to £4,000 more than one with a flat finished paintwork after a year.

Silver tops the charts

The earliest commercially-available cars, popularised by Henry Ford, were famous their lack of colour choices. "Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black" was what he wrote in his autobiography. Nowadays the full spectrum of colours are available to adorn your precious motor, but you'll no doubt see that there is only a small selection of colours that you regularly see on the road.

A survey was performed a couple of years ago and asked motorists of all ages what their current car colour was, along with what colour of car they really wanted. The results of the survey gave the information that many motorists are driving around in a car which is not the colour they wanted.

A third of drivers aged 35 and below wanted a black car, but only around 17% actually had one. 13% of these youngsters wanted a silver car, but in actual fact over a fifth of them had one.

Survey results for colour of car owned

Silver:25%
Blue:23%
Black:14%
Red:11%
Grey:9%
Green:7%
White:4%
Gold:2%
Yellow:1%
Brown:1%

A silver car for the silver haired?Silver is overall the most frequent colour seen for UK cars. Many feel that silver looks cleaner and is easier to remove dirt from. It is also the most popular colour amongst drivers aged 55+.

With a public preference for more conservative colours, most manufacturers also stick to the usual shades. You'll most often see new cars available in silver, black, blue and grey, with many carmakers offering different shades of silver with names like 'gun metal' or 'graphite'.

Should a customer want a specific non-standard colour, this is usually possible, but can take weeks or months to source. They are more likely to opt for a silver car as they can drive away with it the same day.

Do colours suit certain vehicle types?

Certain colours are tied to certain vehicles in the public eye, and going against the trend can mean reselling will be hard. For example, a red Ferarri is what most people will expect, so why did you choose green? Brighter, more vibrant colours will suit convertibles and sports models, but for a company car or an executive saloon they'll look absurd. Most newer cars are designed with a specific range of colours in mind, and so going against the norm may mean you're driving around in an eyesore.

Something else to think about when choosing your car's colour is what trim you will be opting for. A darker coloured trim may not offer much contrast on a dark coloured car, but it may help to hide any wear or dirt.

Like a red rag to a bull

It is often thought by some that a car's colour may make it more of a target to thieves. The reality is that popular colours are more likely to be stolen simply because there are so many of them around. If a thief wants to steal a car to sell for parts, then of course they'll choose a popular car as the parts will be easier to get rid of. A bright pink vehicle may indeed be extremely off-putting to a criminal, but there is no real reason for you to base your colour choice on it's appeal to thieves.


Car colour is not the be-all and end-all, but for resaleability it is worth paying attention to. Choose a popular colour and you are more likely to sell it easier later on. Nobody wants to see you driving round in a bright pink mini no matter how 'quirky' you are!

Latest Valuation: 2011 White Mini One Hatchback 3 Door

Interesting Info

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