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UK love affair with white cars continues for third year

One in every five new cars sold in 2015 came in white, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

More than 2.6 million cars were registered in 2015, 21.4 per cent of which came in white – an increase of two per cent on the 2014 figure.

That’s despite only two models out of the Britain’s ten best-selling cars offering white as a no cost option (the Audi A3 and Mini Hatchback), with the rest charging a minimum of £250 for the privilege.

The cheapest car to upgrade to white was the Ford Fiesta (£250), which sold 133,434 cars in 2015, making it the biggest seller in the UK. Ford charges the same amount to have a white Focus, which was the third biggest seller.

Second place in the sales chart, with a total of 92,077 cars, was the Vauxhall Corsa, which comes in red and blue as standard while white costs £275. Going white in the VW Golf needs an extra £260.

The cheapest car to upgrade to a metallic white was the Mini Hatchback, at £475, followed by the Ford Fiesta, at £495. The most expensive was the Audi A3 and Nissan Qashqai, costing an eye-watering £550 extra.

The 2015 result means white was the most popular colour for a third year running, suggesting UK motorists are happy to spend more time cleaning their car.

Free car valuation website Cap HPI compiled the results. Managing consultant Mark Norman said of the trend: “It’s interesting to see that manufacturers have noticed the rising popularity of white cars here in the UK.

“As it’s become more desirable, it makes business sense for manufacturers to start charging extra for the snowy tones.”

White may be the in colour, but Norman Norman warned buyers to steer clear of fashionable colours as it could make reselling more difficult at a later date:

“Buyers should be wary of paying extra for more unusual tones, just because they’re on trend now – for example the SMMT has reported that mauve, orange and yellow cars are in demand – as it could make your car difficult to sell once that colour goes out of fashion.

“The trick is to avoid being caught out at the tail end of a colour trend, leaving you trying to sell a car in a colour that nobody desires anymore.”

While it may seem a bit cheeky spending extra for a colour that was once horrendously unpopular, Norman said it’s can be an investment – although timing is everything.

“Here in the UK, those that spent that extra £250 spent on a new Ford Focus or VW Golf two or three years ago, will get that back if they decide to sell in the current used car market, making it a sound investment.

So white is a safe bet? Not quite. He added: “However, with so many white cars on the road today, that may not be the story by 2018.”

The UK isn’t the only country where popular paintjobs cost a premium. In Spain, blue is free while red and white cost €200 extra. Italy lets you have red for free, meanwhile, while blue will cost you €300.

Motorists who own a white Audi diesel are said to be the worst drivers. You have been warned.


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