Buyers' Guide: Does vehicle colour play a part in buying a car?
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If you’ve come out of the supermarket on a busy weekend and struggled to find your car in a sea of black, white and silver vehicles, you’re not alone.
So when your lucky day comes to purchase a new car, how important is colour in your purchase decision?
Sure, if you’re buying secondhand, your options are limited, but it sure beats the early days of the Ford Model T where you had the choice of any colour, as long as it was black.
Colours around the world
Each year Axalta Coating Systems in America publishes its global automotive colour popularity report — the largest and longest of its kind in the automotive industry.
It is the only report that includes global automotive colour popularity rankings with regional trends from 11 leading automotive regions of the world.
The report breaks down the top 10 vehicle colour spaces, and even breaks down colour popularity by vehicle segment.
In 2017, Axalta provided an in-depth review of vehicle choices around the world by region and segment type.
Unsurprisingly, and for the seventh year in a row, no frills, no thrills white leads the world in popularity, at 39 per cent of vehicles.
A part of this popularity comes from “white pearl” — which gives the classic colour a modern appeal. Japan has the highest preference for pearlescent whites, so New Zealand will certainly see an on-flow of these in the import market. Although white proved popular in most regions, no other region produced more white cars than China with 62 per cent of its fleet coated in white.
Black takes the runner up spot, with a 16 per cent share. Black is most popular in Japan (22 per cent) and Europe (21 per cent), while only 3 per cent of new cars in India sport the colour.
Does vehicle colour affect safety?
According to research by Monash University in Melbourne, it does, and it’s all to do with visibility.
After analysing vehicle colours from crash data, white came out as the clear winner for safety.
According to the study, white cars are 12 per cent less likely to get into an accident than black cars, regardless of the time of day. Cream, yellow and beige ranked closely behind white.
Besides black, the more at-risk car colours are grey (11 per cent higher risk), silver (10 per cent higher risk), blue (7 per cent higher risk) and red (7 per cent higher risk).
Keep in mind, though, all cars face a potentially higher crash risk when there is less visibility, no matter what colour they are.
A lot of thought goes into buying a new set of wheels — safety, technology, space and even small things such as cup holders which you hope for once might hold a Powerade bottle.
Though colour may not seem terribly important to some, for others it’s a deal breaker — whether it’s to express your personality, hold resale value, or now you’ve read this article — safety.