Traditionally only a fool notices the colour of a new car. When you're buying you need to consider things like fuel consumption, insurance costs and reliability - rather than falling for the shiny red one.
However, a new report reveals that the colour of the car you buy can make a huge difference to its resale value. So what colours hold their value best - and which will lose their value before you even drive them off the forecourt?
Best valueValuation experts CAP measured the relative value of second hand cars after they reached five years old. They compared the same makes and models, and found wide variations in value simply because of colour.
The cars which held their value best were white, followed by indigo, purple, pink and brown.
This flies in the face of popular opinion. Traditionally white were known in the motor trade as being tough to shift. Not only were they impossible to keep showroom white, but they tended to out-stay their welcome at the dealership. As little as two years ago, the experts at What Car were warning that a prestige white model could lose up to £1,000 a year more than colours like silver and grey.
FashionHowever, the CAP research revealed that they tend to hold their value more nowadays - and are worth around 5% more than the average comparable car after five years. There are two possible explanations. One is fashion. After years of being roundly mocked, white cars are now back in fashion, and because there are fewer of them available on the second-hand market, they attract a premium.
The other is that this piece of research includes all sorts of sporty models, which influence the results. They come in unusual colours, and sell well on the second-hand market. This explains why indigo, pink and purple tend to outperform too. It's unlikely to mean your bog-standard family hatchback is better bought in pink. Take a Fiat 500, for example, a white model is likely to remain a classic, and hold its value.
Worst coloursAt the other end of the spectrum, the colours which lost value the fastest were Turquoise, maroon, green, gold and blue. They suffer from being neither popular (like silver and black which perform averagely) or exciting and sporty (like white and indigo). As a result, they can be hard to shift second hand.
This is good news for the second-hand car buyer. If you want a real bargain, you may find that a green, maroon or blue car is significantly cheaper.
The best and worst performers1. White