Does car colour affect resale value?

What does your car colour say about you? After three years of grey trending, white is becoming the car colour of the moment. Car registration data from the DVLA analysed by RAC Insurance, reveal that as of March 2020 white car registrations rose by 269,314 compared to 2019. So white must be everywhere, right? Wrong. White cars still only make up 13.5% of cars on our roads, with black the most popular at 6.5 million (20.1%). Silver and blue are in 2nd and 3rd place with 17.6% and 17.1% respectively. Grey takes 4th place with 15.2%.

RAC Insurance spokesman Simon Williams said: “While black continues to top the car colour popularity chart, the appeal of white is still very much on the up. In fact, today there are 1.5m more white cars on the roads than there were in 2016.

“Silver’s appeal is waning, and blue is also out of favour, with just under 90,000 fewer registered cars on the road than the same time in 2019.

“It’s always interesting trying to work out at what point a colour goes out of fashion. Clearly, this is what happened with silver, which was the number-one choice in 2017 but fell back into second a year later and has remained there ever since.”

Do you follow the crowd?

If you want to turn heads, choose a maroon, turquoise, cream or pink car. All rank at the bottom of the popularity table just above multi-coloured cars.

When we think of red, we think of speed and action, yet it holds a disappointing sixth spot behind white with 3.5m cars on the road.

We are also not a nation of pink car lovers it seems. Despite the influence of Barbie dolls and Pink Panther films in our formative years, pink is the least popular car colour in the UK with just 22,728 vehicles on the road — beaten only by multicoloured cars with 6,724 registered.

The wrong car colour can be a costly mistake

Experts agree that metallic silver, grey, black or white are stable choices that will help a car retain value over time. Katie Price, former glamour model turned reality TV celebrity, was told that her Barbie Pink respray had wiped £3,000 off the value of her Range Rover when she filed for bankruptcy. Outlandish colours and personalised modifications can seriously limit a car’s appeal to new buyers — especially if a quick sale to raise cash is required. By choosing a popular colour you should see a better part exchange return next time around.

If you have a burning desire to express your personality through your car colour, consider getting it wrapped instead of sprayed. It’s easier to put it back to its original colour and shouldn’t have quite as much impact on resale value or appeal.

Choosing the right car colour for the future

Which colour is predicted to trend in 2021? We predict that metallic blue could see a boost in popularity and metallics generally will remain a top choice. Now that white is trending, we can expect to see it included in most new ranges. However, any of the established favourites; black, white, grey and silver should future-proof your resale value.

Last year, Top Gear urged fans to shake off the gloom and embrace a bright colour: “We at Top Gear are big advocates of buying cars in an actual colour. Just think of how much brighter your mornings would be if your car were a different colour from the sky above and road below, your neighbour’s car, his neighbour’s car and all the cars you drive past on the way to work.”

Perhaps white is the brightest colour the UK is comfortable with. For now.