IF YOU’VE never had the luxury of buying a brand spanking new, pristine, never been used car direct from the dealership, then you’re missing out on one of life’s great pleasures.
That first time you sit behind the wheel of your new toy, touch the shiny metal and chrome surfaces, smell the new paint and leather (or 1970’s vinyl), turn the key, press the accelerator and drive away from the forecourt into the sunset, or probably straight into a traffic hold up is a feeling you never forget.
Nowadays, tell someone you have a new car and, after establishing the make and model, the next question they’re likely to ask is: “What colour is it?”
Sure, the petrolheads might ask about power output and torque, but to most of us what the car looks like is what’s really important. And a car’s colour says much more about the owner than the power under the bonnet.
A white car? You have taste and elegance. Black? You’re sophisticated. If you drive a grey car, you don’t want to stand out, while blue projects stability, truthfulness and serenity, and red is a way of “flexing muscles on the road”.
The top selling colour for new cars registered last year was white, according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.
White as a colour for cars has had a remarkable turnaround in popularity in the last 12 years; in 2004, just 0.68 per cent of new cars were white, compared with 21.4 per cent in 2016.
The trend is thought to be down to several factors, including the “Apple effect”, where car makers jumped on white being the colour for products that were trendy and futuristic, such as iphones and ipads.
Another reason given is the fact that the sharper creases of car design now are better suited to white than the curvier shapes of the past.
Then there’s the influence of aspirational models such as the VW GolfGTI, BMW M3 and Audi TT, which brought white back into the minds of buyers.
And on a more cost conscious level, metallic hues almost always carry a price premium, whereas white has taken over from red as the colour that most often comes at no extra cost, making it particularly attractive to fleet operators.
The full list of top colours are:
As proof that there are still people out there with some imagination when it comes to choosing the colour of their new car, brown, orange and mauve cars all made the top 10 list with increases in popularity of more than 20 per cent compared with 2014.
Unusually, yellow has dropped right out of the top ten and silver has slipped right down the pecking order.
With more and more manufactures offering wilder and vibrant colour combinations for their models such as the BMW Mini, Fiat 500 and Opel Adam, the top ten list for next year could be very different.