White has become the fastest growing new car colour, whilst once-popular silver cars are fading out of fashion, thanks to the “Apple Effect”.
Black may be the most chosen colour for cars leaving the showroom, but the colour white, once associated with Essex girls and a favourite in the 1980s, is enjoying a rebirth in popularity.
Design experts have attributed this trend to computer giant Apple, whose sleek, white iPods and iPads have made the colour trendy again.
White paint on cars has surged in popularity by more than 800% in the past six years*, a study by Halfords, which sells 48,000 variations of touch up and spray paints, found.
The growing popularity of white cars is being fuelled by new pigment paints and quality finishes which mean white cars retain a forecourt garage look and surprisingly don’t show the dust and scratches as readily as darker colours.
They also have lower fuel bills, as the colour reflects the sun’s heat, lessening the need to switch on the air conditioning and their environmental impact.
Car manufacturers believe white makes models look more streamlined and attractive to buyers. They are increasingly used in advertising campaigns and at this year’s major motor shows in Detroit, Geneva and Barcelona, there were more white cars on display than any other colour cars.
White has been making a comeback on the catwalk too. Spring and summer fashion shows were dominated by white and the colour is a favourite of the Katherine Duchess of Cambridge who has been seen in white at both the Derby and Ascot and the Trooping of the Colour where Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall was also in white.
Top London interior designer Louisa Keating said: “White and lace are definitely the buzz words this year. Interior design mirrors the catwalks and the trend has extended to household objects. People want brightness and you can’t get brighter than white.”
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said white has become more socially appealing. Its figures reveal that in 2004 just 21,000 new white cars were bought. By last year this had risen to 188,000, a 795% rise, rivalling red in popularity and accounting for one in ten of all new cars sold.
Ironically, some police forces have switched from white to silver cars after finding in the past that white cars had a poor resale value.
Today, black is the most popular colour car, replacing silver, which was the top colour since 2001, mainly as a result of company drivers wanting sober colours. Experts predict beige renamed cappuccino is also poised to make a comeback.
Halfords Car Maintenance Expert Kate Walsh said: “We are able to match paint to every model on the road, so whatever the colour of your car, we can help you.
“Keeping a car well maintained helps preserve its value and if you are thinking of re-selling your vehicle, clean and tidy paintwork will make it more appealing to potential buyers.”
Halfords Autocentre, the UK’s leading independent tyres and MOT network found that while new owners deny they are influenced by colour, 3% of men and 5% of women admit they chose a model because of its colour.
Notes to eds:
*Figures from SMMT
Top colours of new cars 2010 from SMMT:
1: Black Cars sold: 465,249
2: Silver Cars sold: 402,537
3 Blue Cars sold: 310,331
4: Grey Cars sold: 270,863
5: Red Cars sold: 192,335
6: White Cars sold: 188,463
7: Green Cars sold: 20,735
8: Beige Cars sold: 17,237
9: Yellow Cars sold: 7,621
10: Brown Cars sold: 6,967
Top selling Halfords spray and touch up paints.
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Notes to Editors:
With 240 centres nationwide, Halfords Autocentres is the UK’s leading independent car servicing, repair, tyres and MOT network. Now part of the Halfords group, our name may be new, but our centres have been a feature of the towns and cities of Britain for a decade or more.
Halfords Autocentres provides dealership quality work at affordable prices to over 600,000 customers every year, with over 8 out of 10 saying that they would recommend us to a friend. Our expert service is backed with both a quality and price guarantee: work is guaranteed for 12 months or 12,000 miles, and we promise to match any price quoted locally like for like.
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