The process of choosing a colour when buying a new or used car doesn’t necessarily rate as a tedious process compared to filling an expansive options sheet.
In fact, it could be argued that the majority of buyers would select white as it is the easiest colour to clean, comes with the inherent benefit of being cheaper when insuring and won’t show marks in the same way as a pastel or metallic colour. As it turns out, this is no longer the case.
Based on a survey conducted earlier this year by US automotive analytics firm iSeeCars.com, white, although the most popular in the States, was judged to be one of the factors for speeding-up vehicle deprecation with a total value loss of 15.5% after three years.
The top rated colour in South Africa last year ahead of silver grey, blue and red based on research picked up by buycentre.co.za, the advantages of white, as indicated, stems from its ease to maintain, which contributes to the lower cost of insurance, and its ability to diffuse heat better than a silver or black car, which in turn improves fuel consumption by a reported two percent as result of less reliance on the air-conditioning.
Despite these attributes, the iSeeCars.com survey identified yellow as the colour that contributes the lowest to a car’s overall deprecation after 36 months.
With 4.5%, yellow comfortably placed ahead of orange (10.7%), purple (13.9%), red (14.0%), green (14.0%), blue (14.3%), grey (14.3%), beige (14.4%) and silver (14.8%).
Unsurprisingly, brown finished last of the 14 colours and 650 000 cars surveyed with a value loss after three years of 17.8%. Above it came gold (16.7%), black (16.1%) and white.
The caveat, however, resides in the overall impression of a yellow car and the colour itself as explained by iSeeCars.com’s Karl Brauer.
“Yellow is among the least popular car colours with the lowest vehicle share and is commonly a colour for sports cars and other low-volume vehicles that hold their value relatively well. Because yellow vehicles are so novel in the second-hand marketplace, people are willing to pay a premium for them.”
The same applies to second place with Brauer remarking, “orange comprises a small overall share of vehicles and is most often found on low-volume sports and muscle cars”.
Of the worst performing colours, Brauer stated: “If a colour doesn’t resonate with enough used car shoppers it will hurt resale value. Many consumers choose these grayscale colours not because they like them, but because they assume everyone else does.
“Because these are the most common colours they aren’t in short supply, and choosing these colours won’t help or hurt resale value much.”
For a detailed breakdown on the most popular car colours survey by iSeeCars.com, click here.