Fleet News

Colour change may not be such a good idea

##CAPsml--left####Martin Ward--right##IT is not often that I have time to read a Sunday newspaper, but last week I had the luxury of sitting in my garden with one of the popular tabloids. One story in particular took my interest.

It was reported that a police force is planning to replace all its patrol cars with silver ones. It reckons it will gain an extra £2,000 at disposal time over the more traditional white ones. It is true that silver is very popular at the moment and white has never been flavour of the month. It has, of course, often been regarded as being an ex-police car colour, so you have to commend such a move by this particular police force.

But there is a downside to this. The person who has decided on such a move must have read all the information relating to colour choice and its effect on used values. He must also have realised that silver cars are very popular and do make more money than white. But with all due respect, we are talking about ex-police cars here. Regardless of colour, they are still ex-police cars and will make ex-police car money.

Of course switching to silver may also alienate one of the traditional markets for ex-police cars. Being used to having people in and out of the back of them, they are often bought by taxi drivers and used to transport paying passengers, rather than unwilling ones!

The danger is that with so many new cars going on the road in silver, these extra ones will do nothing to help everybody else's residuals and just a few hitting the market could upset a delicate balance of supply and demand. It is the responsibility of all fleet managers to achieve maximum residuals and keep running costs to a minimum.

However those who are tasked with operating specialist vehicles in the public's interest should probably keep with tradition and let the rest of the industry provide the trade with desirable, retailable stock, with a more regular history. Presumably the money this police force intends to make on the extra income from used cars will be put to some good, like buying more speed cameras!

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