Does your car’s colour determine its resale destiny?

Posted on Monday, September 14, 2015 - 15:36

Do red cars go faster? Are white cars safer? Can you clean black cars less often? All those points are debatable, but there’s a curious notion sweeping the automotive world right now – does the colour of your car determine how much you can get at resale? Does colour determine how long you might have to wait before a buyer bites? 

According to Redbook, the Australian authority on automotive vehicle pricing and specification, a car’s colour can determine its resale value, for better or worse.

According to Ross Booth, Managing Director of Redbook, conservative colours such as white or silver can result in a quick sale, while bolder colours such as red or metallic colours might take longer to sell, but often sell for more.

Around the world, 22% of new cars are coloured white. 20% were silver, followed by 19% black, 12% grey and 7% blue. Other niche colours only had a 1% share of the colour wheel. It seems that the “tried and true” colours are the clear frontrunners when it comes to colour choice.

This lends credence to flashy colours being rarer. This often results in higher prices due to their relative scarcity. Booth also warns people that these bright and snazzy colours bend to the winds of fashion. “Tastes change over time, so a bright bold colour might be popular now as a new car, but may not be as fashionable in five years’ time when you go to sell it,” Booth said in an interview with Motoring.com.au.

Data from PPG Industries, sellers and makers of protective automotive and marine paints, show that 77% of respondents to a recent survey said exterior paint colour was a factor when purchasing a vehicle. The data also showed sports, luxury and premium SUV vehicle buyers put a premium on buying their desired colour.

PPG are releasing new pigments and hues, keeping in line with colour popularity, design and new discoveries in paint technology. Some of PPG’s new colours include a silver metallic paint with fresh green tint called Al Fresco, a classic grey with iridescent gold metal highlight called Victoria Grey and a cool graphite colour with a hint of blue violet called Glacier. These are still quite traditional colours, but add a bit of flair to the old monochromatic paints.

Even if these new colours are all the rage now, they may be “old hat” in five years’ time, as Ross Booth says. Should you go for traditional or radical colours? That choice, of course, is in the taste of the car holder.

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