Silver is now the colour of choice for nearly a third of new car buyers, latest SMMT figures reveal. The number of new silver cars sold last year was up 119 per cent on 1998, knocking blue off the top spot.
Neutral colours like blue, black and grey have increased in popularity in the last five years. But since 1998, red and green have fallen out of favour, while white has dropped out of the top six altogether with sales of less than 21,000 units last year.
SMMT chief executive Christopher Macgowan commented, ‘The new car market is still running at near record levels with diesel cars, convertibles and 4x4s driving much of the growth. But one of most dramatic changes to buying choices, although probably the least talked about, is our taste in car colours. We seem to be getting less adventurous. Seven out of 10 new cars are now silver, blue or black.’
Psychologists argue that choices may be influenced by self-perception. A buyer may feel that a red car signals strength and aggression, black shows sophistication while blue signals calmness. However the truth is that hard economics probably play a greater role in most buying decisions.
Research from used car price experts at Glass’s shows the right colour can help sell a car by adding significant value. This is particularly important for fleet buyers who make up around 50 per cent of the new car market.
Jeff Paterson, Glass’s Senior Car Editor commented, ‘New and used car buyers are now much better informed about the desirability of certain colours and it’s no surprise that in recent years many people have been opting for silver.
‘These moves are not without merit as the resale price of cars can benefit substantially from the right choice. Our research shows that colours like metallic silver can add around £250 to the value of many of the most popular superminis, up to £450 to family saloons and more than £500 to many prestige executive models.’
From January to October 2004, 2,250,822 new cars were sold in the UK. This was just 0.2 per cent down on the 2,254,539 units sold during the same period in 2003. By the end of last year, the new car market reached a record total of 2.58 million units.