IT’S OFFICIAL – the old motor trade joke about ‘doom blue’ cars – undesirable blue models that are worth very little and can be hard to shift – could be coming true as blue drops out of the favourite three colours sought by car buyers, says Buy-a-Car.co.uk
Analysis by the online car supermarket reveals that 2020 has seen the motoring world turning monochrome, with black, white and grey now occupying the top three places for cars sold to – AND searched for – by consumers. While it’s 21 years since blue was the most popular car colour of all, blue consistently remained in the top three choices until recently.
And BuyaCar.co.uk’s number crunchers say the gap between the monochrome group of colours and blue is widening fast.
Blue dropped out of the top three colour searches and sales for most of 2019, but managed a rally at the end of the year as the third most frequently chosen shade of car. But when the coronavirus crisis brought the car market to a virtual standstill, blue fell out of favour and shows little sign of recovering.
The resurgence of the market in recent weeks has seen growth in searches for blue cars dwarfed by those for black, white and grey. It means that between February and May interest in cars from the monochrome group of colours or shades has grown at three times the rate of that for blue cars.
While blue is now firmly replaced as a top three colour choice by grey, the battle for top spot is still not settled between black and white. Although black consistently came first for searches and sales throughout 2019, white has returned to top sales position since March this year on BuyaCar.co.uk.
Christofer Lloyd, editor of BuyaCar.co.uk, said: “Although consumers often talk about the practicalities of the cars they buy, the fact remains that image and emotion still comes into it, so colour is still an important part of the equation.
“Motor trade professionals know this and that’s why they have their own vocabulary for colours, most of which are unfit to print, which reflect how easily they believe they will achieve a sale.
WHAT ABOUT ACCIDENT DAMAGE, WHICH COLOURS SUFFER MOST?
A study by ChipsAway found that silver cars needed the most attention, with this colour accounting for 24 per cent of paintwork jobs the company carried out.
Second on the list of car colours most likely to be involved in a minor prang was black, with the colour accounting for 21 per cent of total repairs. In third place was blue. Grey was fourth on ChipsAway’s list – it accounted for 14 per cent of repairs. Meanwhile, number five on the list was red.
“Ironically, many of these in-jokes are applied to the most popular shades or colours probably because they are common and sellers worry that the cars won’t stand out. Some, meanwhile – like a dark, flat blue – can simply seem drab and unappealing.
“So even though white is refusing to relinquish the most popular position without a fight, it has often been known as ’60 day white’ in the belief that it will take two months to sell a white car – a long time in the industry.
“But in the case of so-called ‘doom blue’ it certainly does seem to be past its heyday as searches and sales dwindle in comparison with rapidly surging interest in black, white and grey cars.”