Your car’s colour might make its value plunge

car's colour

You could well pay for choosing a wacky colour like this (Picture Volkswagen)

Experts say you should think carefully before choosing an outlandish shade for your car’s colour. That’s because your motor’s paintwork has a bigger influence on its value than you might think.

Recently, reality TV star Katie Price put her Barbie pink Range Rover up for sale. However, experts reckon that its colour alone could have knocked as much as £3000 off its estimated £22,900 value. If you’re buying a new or used car, what impact will its colour have on the price you pay and what you sell it for? Read on to find out.

Which car colours lose value?

Loosely speaking, any colour that the majority of buyers won’t fancy is likely to knock pounds off a car’s resale value. That is why most mainstream car makers only offer cars in very conservative colours.

Why do some colours lose value?

It’s no accident that the best-selling colours tend to be the least offensive. In 2017 the most popular car colour was black, followed by grey, white, blue and silver. According to industry body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, around three in five new cars sold last year were either black, white, or grey. Prior to that, white was the most popular colour for four consecutive years, followed each time by black.

The reason for this is simple economics: supply and demand. More people want less outlandish colours which increases demand and keeps prices high. Fewer people want to stand out for, arguably, the wrong reasons. That makes demand for bright colours weaker and has an impact on price.

When asked about Katie Price’s pink Range Rover, consumer specialist at Cap hpi, Mark Bulmer explained: “Metallic silver, grey, black or white would enhance this car and I would say that the decision to go with Barbie Pink has wiped another £3000 off its value.”

Car's colour

Buyers expect a Range Rover to be in sober colours such as the black and silver of this version (Picture Land Rover)

What difference does a car’s colour make?

The colour can have a significant effect on a car’s price. Buy a car in an unpopular colour and it could knock between 10 and 15 per cent off the price. According to Cap hpi’s valuation team, a five-year old Ford Fiesta sized supermini that’s done 30,000 miles would sell for £4525 in a popular colour. In a less popular colour, it would be £3995.

“Black, grey and silver have been in the top five most popular colours for a decade or more, so they’re always likely to be a safe bet,” Mark Bulmer added. But it does depend on the size of the car. Buy a brown supermini and you might find that it has a negative effect on the value of the car. However, buy an executive or luxury model in brown and the colour may have no impact whatsoever.

This can work in favour of car buyers. If you’re buying used, you might get a bargain because a car is an unusual colour and you’re the only person willing to buy it. Just remember that when it comes to selling the car, you won’t be inundated with buyers and will probably have to sell for less than similar, more conservatively coloured cars on the market.

What can you do to stand out?

Drivers who want their car’s colour to ensure they stand out but don’t want to have an impact on its value have another choice. They could have the car wrapped. Vinyl wrapping goes over the existing paintwork and can be specified in any shade or pattern. It doesn’t damage the paintwork – in fact it protects it in many instances – and can be removed before resale.

But having a car wrapped isn’t cheap. Depending on the size of the car, having a proper job done can cost between £1500 and £2000. In Katie Price’s instance, that may well have saved her money. But on a cheaper model it’s unlikely to.

3 comments on “Your car’s colour might make its value plunge

  1. m.roberts 03/09/2018 9:56 AM


  2. RICHARD STAMPER 03/09/2018 10:46 AM

    Has anyone ever seen one of those terrible Nissan Micra Convertibles in PINK. I think that says it all. Body wrapping sounds fine but consider this – my friend body wrapped a Porsche Boxter – it looked fabulous and to be honest, it was done so well you couldn’t tell. On the downside, after 3 years the wrap faded so he decided to take it off and in doing so the paint was damaged and no amount of buffing revived it – it now needs paintwork.

  3. Carrosserie 08/09/2018 11:59 AM

    Thanks for sharing the article, really worthwhile.

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