Car colours in South Africa are almost infinite. You can probably order a car that matches your nail polish, like pink, orange or yellow. In South Africa, black remains a popular colour but pales into insignificance when compared to South Africans’ most popular colour choice – white.
According to IOL’s motoring staff’s observations in April 2021, the best car colour (and especially for a new car colour) on South Africa’s roads is white: 45% of the cars financed in South Africa are white, with silver coming in at nearly 25%.
In addition, Axalta’s Annual Global Automotive Colour Popularity Report concurs this consumer choice with white being the most popular colour globally. In Asia, Africa, and South America, white proved to be especially popular. In Asia, white cars sold made up 49%, in Africa 46% of cars were white, and 42% in South America were white.
White is a popular car colour for many reasons – it’s better in the heat compared to darker colours, it retains its resale value, and it’s easy to repair (more forgiving). A 2011 study, conducted by Berkeley Lab Environmental Energy Technology Division, proved that light-coloured cars reflect 60% of sunlight compared to dark-coloured cars. Darker cars also show a 2% higher fuel consumption due to the greater use of air conditioning.
The second-best colour in South Africa remains silver, followed by grey, blue and red. Global preferences differ with black as the second most popular colour, followed by grey, silver and blue. In South Africa, black ranked in the 6th position.
Green cars are also mostly sold in global countries but don’t feature on South Africa’s list. Purple cars show the highest depreciation. Gold, green, maroon and turquoise caused their owners between 4% to 6% losses in resale value.
Gumtree commented when asked about the resale value and the impact of colour, that they buy cars with the heart. It should be a specific brand, body variant, engine and gearbox type, accessories, and colour. According to them, white and silver are easy to sell, compared to darker colours.
The local trend is also hues of silver such as grey. The buyers prefer white, silver/grey, black/blue, red and then variants of yellow, brown and green.
Here are 5 tips when you choose your car colour:
Maintenance and appearance: White and silver cars don’t show dust and micro-scratches to the extent darker tones do. In wet weather, however, road dirt and mud show up more, but there is a balance. These car colour tones need less washing, less polishing, and less fading.
Visibility: Lighter coloured vehicles are safer because of their visibility on the road, in scenery and among traffic.
Cost and availability: Your options are limited when you are particular about colour when buying and metallic paint on new cars is often extra. You might end up paying more than a comparable neutral colour. White-painted vehicles also attract lower insurance premiums.
Insurance: Your car colour paint does affect your premium. According to a King Price representative, Wynand van Vuuren, it’s all about how visible your car is on the road, and how that affects your chances of being in an accident. Navy, black and darker vehicles are slightly more expensive to insure (up to 10% more), because they’re harder to see on the road, and therefore have a statistically higher chance of being in an accident.
Repair: There is a lower risk with lighter colours because panel beaters don’t have to match and blend colours to repair the car.
Resale value: Lighter cars have stronger resale value because the pool of buyers for popular colours is larger.
So, while you’re searching for your next dream vehicle, make sure you consider what colour you would like to commit to as there is more to it than meets the eye.