Fleet News

Off colour means out of pocket

PENNY-pinching fleet managers are costing their companies hundreds of pounds by opting for vehicles which are unpopular at sale time because of their colour and trim. Colours and trims are increasingly becoming deciding factors in the used car market, says CAP Motor Research.

An article in the September edition of CAP Used Car Values says: 'For the trade, trying to match car to customer - at the right price - is the Holy Grail. Top of the list is the make and model itself, but values of cars today are becoming more and more dependent on colours and trims. Body colour is of great importance in a pre-owned car.

'Fleet users continue to order cars in 'nightmare' blue or '90-day' white. However, often a poor colour is the result of an attempt to save a few hundred pounds on the original purchase cost. This is a short-sighted view. The initial outlay can easily be recovered on disposal, not only in the enhanced value but the likelihood of a faster turn-around.'

The perils of poor colours can be seen most dramatically in the prestige sectors, where a poor choice can make a difference of up to £5,000 in the value of some models. Garish special metallic colours are also a problem, says the guide and it adds: 'It may be British reserve but more conventional metallic colours in shades of silver, red and blue remain more popular for used cars although the number of silver cars around is beginning to look a touch like overkill. Most buyers are conservative with a small 'c', and that is exactly the way a vehicle should be appraised if it looks like a style nightmare - otherwise your pocket, as well as your eyesight could suffer.'

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