British Car Auctions (BCA) has released new data on the most popular colours for used cars sold at auction at the beginning of 2012.
Analysis of a substantial sample of 40,000 vehicles sold during January 2012 reveals that silver remains the most popular used car colour, accounting for 29.5% of the total, ahead of black at 25%.
Ever popular blue cars accounted for 20%, with grey in fourth place at 13%. Red cars represented 8% of the total, with white and green each accounting for just under 3%.
More esoteric colours such as yellow, orange, bronze, mauve, turquoise and even pink also featured in the sample but with very low volumes.
Of the more popular colours, white cars achieved the highest value on average, selling for £9,752, compared to the overall average of £6,040, reflecting that white is a fashionable choice on higher value executive cars.
The white cars in the sample were also younger (37 months) and lower mileage (43K) than the average of 60 months and 58,000 miles.
The current high-impact white finishes are extremely popular but relatively limited, selling in the hundreds, compared to the many thousands of black, grey, blue and silver cars sold.
Supply and demand could also, therefore, be a factor, with white cars achieving the best performance against guide prices. On average white cars went for 103% of the guide price at BCA sales at the start of the year, compared to silver cars which, on average, went for 96.88% of guide price and black which averaged 97.60%.
"Anyone who has ever bought or sold a used car very quickly learns to appreciate the importance of colour and the effect it can have on the price when you sell it", explained Tim Naylor of BCA.
"There's reliable silver - looks good on most cars - and black, which is often favoured for its menacing looks on performance models and for a sleek understated look on luxury saloons. There are also value differences between metallic colours - very saleable - and flat, non-reflective colours which are usually less desirable.”
"Colour may not be the first thing motorists think about when choosing their next car, but it is definitely one of the key factors," concluded Naylor. "The BCA data underlines this and shows that colour really does count."