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REMARKETING: The colour of money

Date: 16 October 2014   |   Author:

It might not be the most important factor that used buyers consider when purchasing, but specify an undesirable colour and it can impact resale values, reports Tom Seymour

Colour holds no influence over a car's capability to perform its primary role, but choosing the right paint can have a lasting impact on values down the line.

The outdated image of a fleet of cars would be a car park full of dull-grey saloons. However, there is now a much greater choice of suitable segments and models in a kaleidoscope of colours available for company car drivers, and, according to remarketing specialist BCA, choosing something individual might not have as big an impact on future values as you might expect.

BCA's latest 'Used Car Market Report' shows that when motorists chose their last used car, price was the most important factor (37%), with 'make/model' and 'low mileage' the next most important factors.  Colour was only cited by 7% as being an important factor, which suggests fleets actually have greater flexibility to choose colours that please drivers, rather than having to go for something more pedestrian.

Simon Henstock, BCA operations director, says: "Fashions come and go, but generally motorists prefer to stick with the tried-and-tested colour schemes.

"And while colour is a critical factor for new car buyers, our research shows it doesn't rate nearly as highly with used car buyers when it comes to making a purchase decision.
"This is not to say that colour is unimportant - far from it - but it is not the first thing motorists consider when buying a car."

Henstock believes fleets generally provide a good mix of colours across the range of cars being offered.
With greater numbers of upper-medium and executive models coming from fleet and lease sources, there are naturally larger volume of metallic blues and silvers, which are popular with that segment, according to BCA's own volumes.

There are still volumes of utilitarian colours, however, and this reflects fleets' tendency to play it safe, despite it not impacting on a used car buyer's purchase decision

While BCA's data suggests there is more flexibility in colour choice, Roger Woodward, CD Auction Group's MD, advises fleets against over-reacting to fashion trends.