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How the Colour of Your Car Affects its Value

Katie Price Pink Range

If you’re in the red, don’t opt for a pink car like Katie did warns expert

When buying a new car, buyers have the luxury of choosing a fashionable colour that fits the moment.  But if you’ve got that choice, should you take it?  Five years down the line will your shocking pink motor still be on trend or will it be worth less simply because of its colour?

As Katie Price, owner of a Barbie pink Range Rover faces a big loss on her vehicle, automotive data and valuations expert HPI is warning against choosing an outlandishly coloured vehicle or modifying it in such a way that will serious limit its appeal to future buyers, especially if money is needed desperately.

Mark Bulmer, consumer specialist and SUV analyst at cap hpi comments: “Katie Price famously owned a Range Rover 4.4TDV8 Vogue which also reportedly featured a diamond encrusted clock worth £25k as well as 22-inch alloys, larger pumpers and round side steps. Although Range Rovers do sell for more money usually, most Range Rover purists would want a standard car with a reasonable level of specification rather than a vehicle that has been personalised to such an extreme extent.”

Katie Price’s Range Rover was modified to her design by a conversion specialist. At new a standard Range Rover would have cost around £70k but this variant is likely to have been in the region of £90-£100k. Basing a valuation on an 11/11 vehicle with 70,000 miles on the clock (average mileage for the year), Mark estimates the car would have a current retail value of around £22,900 retail and £17,900 trade.*

Added Mark: “This vehicle is definitely an acquired taste. The colour doesn’t really help the car even though it does make it unique. For someone like Katie Price who needs money quickly, it’s all about finding a buyer with £23k and who wants to spend it on a pink Range Rover.

“Metallic silver, grey, black or white would enhance this car and I would say that the decision to go with Barbie Pink has wiped another £3,000 off its value. However, had the car been wrapped in pink it would have been easier to put back to an original colour and not impact its resale value or appeal.

“When choosing a car, exterior colour with a matching interior colour is key. Some manufacturer enhancements do add real value and make it easier to sell the car as the car ages. Leather trim, larger alloy wheels and panoramic sunroofs usually add value, enhancing the car’s exclusivity and desirability.

“Less popular colours that don’t enhance the vehicle, along with a poor choice of interior colour combination only narrow the chances of selling the vehicle as it ages. In addition, when cars are available in large numbers all looking the same also makes selling it even hard work.”

If you’re buying an ‘average’ car, the bottom line is that middle of the road colours make the safest investment.  Says Mark Bulmer: “Black, grey and silver have been in the top five most popular colours for a decade or more, so they’re always likely to be a safe bet.”

So if you plan to keep your brightly coloured car for more than a couple of years, be aware that its value might not stay as bright as its paintwork. There will always be buyers for rarer colours and cars, but since they’ll be fewer and harder to find it’s likely a dealer will offer you less when it comes to trade-in time.

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*based on Mark Bulmer’s professional opinion as the vehicle’s reg plate is not real so accurate valuation could not be verified via cap hpi.