RAC Cars News


Singing The Car Rainbow

By raccars Published

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Judging by British car buyers' choices, we're a monochrome lot, opting for a minimalist palette of white, black and grey - on the road anyway. Hopefully, there's a little bit more colour in evidence in our homes!

However, 55% of all new car registrations in 2014 were in these three shades, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Red, blue and silver were the next most popular colours, each accounting for a 13% market share. Only 6% of new car registrations were in any other colours. Boring? Maybe, but there is also some logic behind the choices.

'Do you like the colour?' may be the much despised chorus of sexist salesmen when faced with female car buyers, but the colour of the paint job isn't just about personal preference. The colour of car you choose can affect its resale value in future years.

For some years now white has been British car buyers' favourite, with its market share going from 1.1% in 2007, to 10% in 2010, up to 20.9% by 2012. In 2010, silver was the second most popular choice, accounting for 21% of new car registrations, but its market share has since declined to 13%. The smart money is on white being supplanted by another favourite within the next few years, but which colour will replace it?

If you are planning to buy a new car and want a colour which will be popular in a few years, you may as well try to predict next week's winning lottery numbers. However, you can use a bit of common sense and try to identify prevailing trends based upon SMMT statistics.

Once popular metallic colours have been falling out of favour, to be replaced by block colours in bright hues. Blue, orange and red are on the up, in the kind of shade variations that were previously popular in the Seventies but are now working well on modern cars.

Black still works well as a safe choice. A quarter of new car registrations in 2010 were black, the most popular colour that year. It's currently in second place with a 19% market share. Like the little black dress in fashion, it always looks stylish even if it's not the most adventurous choice.

It's great to see the wackier and more unusual cars on the road sometimes just to break the monotony. So if you're sure you want metallic hot pink or neon green, then by all means go ahead. Just remember that these colours could make the car somewhat harder to sell a few years down the line.

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