10 Popular car colours with high resale value in SA

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.

AutoTrader analysed cars sold on the automotive digital marketplace in 2019, and George Mienie, AutoTrader CEO, said that white is by far the most popular car colour in the country. “It accounts for more sales than the second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth most popular car colours combined,” he said.

According to Axalta’s 2019 Annual Global Automotive Colour Popularity Report, white was also 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 popular for many reasons – it’s better in the heat compared to darker colours, it retains its resale value, and it’s easy to repair. 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 for 2019, was 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 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.
  • Repair: There is 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.