Mike Waters' blog: 10 August 2011 - Not to everyone's taste
10 August 2011
Mike Waters is senior insight & consultancy manager at Arval, the leading vehicle leasing and fleet management company.
Apparently Leeds has the highest proportion of pink cars in the country with more than 100 pink vehicles registered in the city in the past five years. Silver remains the most popular colour in the UK while the big growth area has been white, with 7% more white cars around as the colour has come back into vogue.
These are the findings of some new research from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders into the 31 million cars currently registered on UK roads. They give an interesting overview of purchasing behaviours in both the new and used car markets and a great insight into what's hot and what's not!
So for those of you who have a taste for the garish or unusual, it's just a colour right? Well actually from a cost perspective its not.
While at least 100 people in Leeds favour pink as a colour, the majority of drivers would be turned off by it which will have a major impact on its value in the used car market. By selecting a colour that has narrow appeal, drivers and companies are vastly reducing the number of people who would be willing to purchase the vehicle when they come to sell it on.
This is simple supply and demand: if less people want to buy it, it will take longer to sell and the value will fall. So selecting an unpopular colour can mean that it will depreciate far more during its life than the same car in a more desirable colour.
While the colour of the vehicle provides a good example of how residual values can be affected by the options taken, there are many other areas of vehicle specification that will also have an impact. Things like air conditioning, electronic stability control, metallic paint, alloy wheels and leather seats (to name a few) are all things that used car buyers look out for and not having them can have a negative effect on the vehicle's value.
While key features like the ones I just mentioned often make a car more desirable, unusual specification, including unusual interior and exterior colours, often make it less desirable.
Its great to be original and to stand out, but when it comes to purchasing a car, it can be as important to consider what the mass market finds desirable as what you do. So if you are going to go for an unpopular choice, be aware that you may pay for it in the longer term.
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