Excited to be in the market for a good used vehicle, I begin searching for one which will not only be small, zippy and reliable, but will also express my personality, be an extension of me, showing a bit of style – like my handbag or shoes. I’m tired of searching for my car in a sea of grey and white vehicles at the supermarket car park. I fancy myself behind the wheel of an indigo car or a shimmery mauve one, which would be easier to spot. Sadly, I discover, indigo and mauve vehicles are rare.

It is soon evident that most cars are painted in shades of off-white, silver-grey or black. Admittedly, there are some good deals going in these shades, but they just don’t feel right to me.

Googling ‘car colours’, I discover a spokesperson for PNG Automotive Coatings who says colour is an important factor for 77% of consumers looking to purchase a vehicle. While people might be attracted by brighter colours, she says, cars are a huge investment, so most people opt for conservative choices when actually parting with their money. Interest in others colours is growing, however, with 40% of participants in a survey done by this company saying they’d like more choice.

Nancy Lockhart, Du Pont’s Colour Marketing Manager, is aware of a resurgence of green and earthy shades, but says they are still minor players in the car colour popularity stakes. White has been a consistent favourite among car colours for many years, she says, followed closely by black, silver and grey, with red taking fifth place. White cars are more likely to hold their value on resale over other colours and black is considered luxurious, implying status.

Advances in paint technology now allow manufacturers to create shimmery effects and colours that ’travel’, with subtle shade changes according to the light and the position of the observer.

I finally find a pretty red Tiida that I’m happy with. Unfortunately, there are a lot of red cars parked at the supermarket in a variety of makes which all look very similar   to mine.

Perhaps we’ll soon become a little more courageous with colour, and our roads and car parks will be more colourful in future.

The safest car colour, according to the AA

There are many studies with different opinions on this subject but, generally, bright, light colours are easier to see when driving. Colours like silver, white, yellow are more visible than black, dark blue and dark green.

Reported by Lyndsay Lockie for our AA Directions Spring 2020 issue

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