More than meets the eye
Choosing a car colour can sometimes be a bit of a tricky process, particularly when you're optioning-up your brand-new car where the colour choices are plentiful.
Obviously, your personal preference is the main thing, but also some things you may not think your choice of colour could affect, like residual value and what your colour choice says about you, might be things to consider, too.
Your own personal preference is perhaps the most significant factor to consider when deciding what colour of new or pre-owned vehicle to go for.
Choosing a colour you really adore will enhance your ownership experience and the enjoyment you get from your car. Don't underestimate how much more you'll love your car if it's in your favourite colour, or a colour that really suits it.
With this in mind, luxury car manufacturers offer a wider range of colours than ever before, especially on their sports-inspired models. Colours like Toronto Red (as found on high-performance BMW M cars such as the M3 and M4) and Sun Yellow (as seen on the Mercedes-AMG A 45 S) are examples of premium car makers pushing the boundaries with their colour options.
Residual (Resale) Value
While personal preference is of course a hugely important consideration when choosing a colour, many people may not realise that the colour of a car can affect its residual value.
This is all to do with the desirability of vehicles on the used market. The most popular new car colours (grey, black and white) generally make for the most popular used car colours too, meaning that buyers may pay a premium for a colour they really want. This is balanced out a little bit by the fact there are more grey, black and white cars to begin with, but you can expect to pay more for a white used premium car over a red one, because white is more desirable to more people.
At the extreme level, specifying your new car in bright pink could affect its resale value as fewer people will want to buy it as a used car.
Some colours suit certain cars better than others
You could quite easily file this one under "personal preference", but this phenomenon can be so significant that it deserves its own consideration.
(Very) generally speaking, large saloon cars such as the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and SUVs like the Range Rover Sport look better in more traditional colours such as black, grey or even white. Small or sporty cars like the MINI Convertible or BMW M2 tend to suit brighter colours like Long Beach Blue or Sunset Orange, although Hockenheim Silver is also a popular colour, which takes the basic silver colour and adds a unique finish.
Of course, you may consider this a load of nonsense and you prefer your big saloons and SUVs visible and conspicuous, and that's perfectly okay. If you'd rather go against the grain and stand out from the crowd, we say go for it.
Consider what your car's colour says about you
Some people believe that your choice of car colour says something about your personality.
For instance, people who choose a 'power colour' like black are thought to be wanting to convey an elegant and sophisticated edge, while those who opt for dark green are likely to be more traditional in their values.
Thinking of choosing blue? It could be that you're a confident, calm and stable person with a relaxed persona. Grey is decidedly balanced and neutral, while silver can be seen as prestigious and even futuristic.
White is modern and fresh, while you're generally considered to be outgoing, dynamic, happy and joyful if you go for a stand out colour like red, yellow or gold.
The most popular car colour choices on new cars are revealed each year by the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders, and in 2020 the UK's top 10 colour choices and how many were sold (% of new car sales) were:
- Grey - 397,197 (24.4%)
- Black - 324,630 (19.9%)
- White - 283,285 (17.4%)
- Blue - 276,057 (16.9%)
- Red - 147,222 (9.0%)
- Silver - 122,214 (7.5%)
- Orange - 20,584 (1.3%)
- Green - 14,460 (0.9%)
- Bronze - 6,816 (0.4%)
- Beige - 4,003 (0.1%)
If you want to stand out, make sure you avoid the top 6 colours that take up a combined 94.8% of the new cars on the road.
Find your perfect car in your perfect colour at Stratstone
Considering making a new or used car purchase soon? Think carefully about your choice of colour, especially when buying a new car. Make sure it's a colour you love - the kind of colour that makes you look back at your car after you walk away from it.