White has become an increasingly popular colour choice for cars in the last couple of years, but used values show that only a minority of cars can get away with wearing it.
According to car valuation experts EurotaxGlass’s, white works best on exclusive models when specified with sports styling kits and big alloy wheels. But in most instances white remains a major turn-off for used buyers, with ordinary cars finished in it tending to suffer from a major residual value penalty.
According to Eurotaxglass’s Richard Crosthwaite, an Audi A4 S-Line in white performs strongly on the used market – but a white version of the standard A4 is worth up to £1000 less than an otherwise identical car in a more desirable colour.
Some models do extremely well in white, including the Audi S3, Audi RS4, Audi R8, BMW M3, Porsche 911 GT3 and Porsche Cayman.
But for other prestige saloons and SUVs, white can be the kiss of death – shaving up to £3000 from the value of the car compared to one finished in a more popular colour.
“The recent favourable reception for selected white vehicles on the used market has, in part, resulted from more vehicle manufacturers using white cars on their press launches, generating widespread national media exposure,” says Crosthwaite, “white car values have also been supported by low levels of supply... Our assessment is that, if supply increases significantly, or if white falls out of favour with fashion-conscious buyers, values could fall sharply, even on those sports derivatives where they currently perform well.”