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Motor Mouth articles 2012

White is right for car values

White is right for a car when it comes to holding its value

COLOUR prejudice can prove expensive when it comes to selling your car.

If it’s white, you could be quids in – but if it’s maroon or turquoise, the chances of finding a buyer are much diminished.

Not only will the car fetch less money but potential buyers will also realise that you have seriously dubious taste.

I actually quite like maroon cars, but turquoise? I guess the sort of people who would go into a new car showroom and order a brand new turquoise car are the type who put stone cladding on the front of their Edwardian house and speak loudly into their mobiles while on the train.

I digress. This colour business is far from new but it has just been reinforced by car pricing experts called CAP, who have produced a report on the impact of colour on depreciation values.

White is best for helping a car hold its value, apparently, although frankly there are so many white cars about that I’m rather surprised it’s still so popular.

Next on the chart of added-value comes indigo but after that it gets a little surprising. Purple, pink and yellow are value enhancers, while grey, brown and black also have a positive impact on residual values.

Maroon and turquoise are the most negative colours, says the report, but other hues that can hit second-hand values are, in order, green, gold, blue, orange, red and silver.

The CAP study says white cars typically hold around five per cent more of their value than the market average.

“The trend marks a complete turnaround from the days when dealers used the name ’60-day white’ to reflect the tendency of white cars to outstay their welcome on the forecourt. But blue cars still earn the trade’s disdain with the popular label of ‘doom blue’.

The analysis covered hundreds of thousands of vehicles over five years old and concluded that, for mainstream cars, white was consistently the best performer. After three years a white model can be worth several hundred pounds more than an identical blue one.

A CAP spokesman says: “On the face of it, the strong performance of colours such as indigo, pink, purple and yellow may be somewhat surprising but this reflects the niche and often sporty cars wearing them. They are therefore not representative of the run of the mill mass market. 

“The lesson for motorists is, when you’re choosing the colour of your new car consider how it will look to prospective buyers when you come to sell it as a used car.

“Of course, it works the other way too – for the used-car buyer there are real bargains to be had if you pick a less popular colour because most of the depreciation has already occurred and you could save serious cash.”

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