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Car makers are charging over £500 extra for grey paint on new models

Grey is the new favourite colour for car buying Britons.

According to the latest official stats, more than a fifth of all models registered in 2018 were grey.

But exclusive research by This is Money shows there’s a high cost to pay if you want to be on trend. Britons have to fork out over £500 in most cases for grey paint on the most popular models.

Fifty Shades of Grey: Black was replaced as the nation’s favourite new car colour in 2018, though it will cost customers over £500 in general to have grey paint

It’s the first time since records began that grey has been the most popular colour choice over an entire year.

It dethroned black and white, which have been the favourite choices for new car buyers in Britain for the last nine years.

Almost half a million grey vehicles were purchased by UK motorists last year – a total sum of 495,127 to be exact.

But many of these buyers would have had to pay extra to have their new vehicle finished in that colour.

In fact, analysis by This is Money has found that motorists are likely to have to pay an additional £500 for grey paint.

Of the 20 best-selling models of 2018, just four – three of them Volkswagens – are available with grey paint at no extra cost. 

The Golf, Polo and Tiguan – number two, six and 14 in the sales chart – are all sold with Urano Grey paint as standard while the Fiat 500 (20 in the sales chart) has Tech House Grey as a free colour.

For most of the remaining vehicles, bar the Ford Focus and Kia Sportage which don’t have a grey option at all, customers are expected to pay extra for the privilege of a grey paint job.

Of the 20 top-selling models in the UK last year, the vast majority demanded over £500 for grey paint

Of the 20 top-selling models in the UK last year, the vast majority demanded over £500 for grey paint

The Fiat 500 was one of four models in the top 20 where grey came as a standard no-cost option

The Fiat 500 was one of four models in the top 20 where grey came as a standard no-cost option

Grey cars made up more than a fifth of vehicles bought last year. Another fifth were black

Grey cars made up more than a fifth of vehicles bought last year. Another fifth were black

And it’s quite a lot extra.

Almost all manufacturers want more than £500 extra for a grey metallic paint finish, in some cases meaning that paint alone makes up around five per cent of the total value of a new model. 

For instance, Ford charges an extra £500 if you want a Fiesta – the UK’s best seller for a decade – in a tone called Milano Grigio.

If you want your VW Golf painted metallic grey, it’s a £580 optional extra for Iridium Grey metallic, and Vauxhall is charging £565 for Satin Steel Grey metallic paint for a Corsa supermini.

Of the top 20 best sellers, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class – number 11 in the standings – had the most expensive grey paint.

Called Designo Selenite Grey Magno, customers need to pay £1,795 for it.

Popular new cars: How much is grey paint and which colours come for free? 

1. Ford Fiesta

Grey: Milano Grigio (£595)

Free colours: Blazer Blue, Race Red

2. VW Golf

Grey: Urano Grey (free), Iridium Grey Metallic (£580)

Free colours: Urano Grey

3. Vauxhall Corsa

Grey: Satin Steel Grey Metallic (£565)

Free colours: Aegean Blue

4. Nissan Qashqai

Grey: Gun Metallic (£575)

Free colours: Flame red

5. Ford Focus

Grey: n/a

Free colours: Race Red

6. VW Polo

Grey: Urano Grey (free), Limestone Grey Metallic (£570)

Free colours: Urano Grey

7. Mini hatchback

Grey: Moonwalk Grey (525), Emerald Grey (525), Thunder Grey (£525)

Free colours: Pepper White 

8.Mercedes-Benz A-Class

Grey: Mountain Grey Metallic (£595)

Free colours: Polar White, Jupiter Red

9. Ford Kuga

Grey: Milano Grigio (£250)

Free colours: Blazer Blue, Race Red 

10. Kia Sportage

Grey: n/a

Free colours: Copper Stone 

11. Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Grey: Selenite Grey Metallic (£685), Designo Selenite Grey Magno (£1,795)

Free colours: Polar White 

12. Vauxhall Mokka X

Grey: Satin Silver Grey (£575)

Free colours: Aegean Blue

13. Vauxhall Astra

Grey: Cosmic Grey (£575)

Free colours: Aegean Blue

14. VW Tiguan

Grey: Urano Grey (free), Indium Grey Metallic (£580)

Free colours: Urano Grey

15. Audi A3

Grey: Monsoon Grey Metallic (£575), Nano Grey (£575)

Free colours: Brilliant Black, Ibis White

16. Toyota Yaris

Grey: Decima Grey (£515), Manhattan Grey (£515) 

Free colours: Chilli Red

17. BMW 1 Series

Grey: Mineral Grey (£560)

Free colours: Alpine White

18. BMW 3 Series

Grey: Mineral Grey (£670)

Free colours: Alpine White

19. Hyundai Tucson

Grey: Micron Grey (£665), Olivine Grey (£665)

Free colours: Polar White

20. Fiat 500

Grey: Tech House Grey (free), Electroclash Grey (£550), Groove Metal Grey (£550)

Free colours: Tech House Grey 

Expect to pay almost £600 for grey paint on an Audi A3, though it was one of a few new cars in the top 20 sellers to offer two free colour options - black and white

Expect to pay almost £600 for grey paint on an Audi A3, though it was one of a few new cars in the top 20 sellers to offer two free colour options – black and white

Why has grey overtaken white and black?

For the four-year period between 2013 and 2016 when white was the most popular colour, some said it was down to the Apple phenomenon as the iPod generation took over.

However, the likelihood is that many opted for white because it was then the most common free colour choice offered by manufacturers.

That was also the case for black – last year’s colour pick for new cars – however it’s no longer the state of play today as manufacturers look to cash in on popular colours.

Black and white has dominated the sales charts in the last nine years, SMMT stats show

Black and white has dominated the sales charts in the last nine years, SMMT stats show

Orange, bronze and beige are all surprise entries in the top 10 car colours, though make up just 3% of all models bought in 2018

Orange, bronze and beige are all surprise entries in the top 10 car colours, though make up just 3% of all models bought in 2018

Of the top 20 cars bought by Britons last year, just one – the Audi A3 – has black as a standard, no additional cost, paint colour.

As for white, just seven of the models were available in this tone for free.

Alex Buttle, from car buying comparison website Motorway.co.uk, said: ‘From a practical point of view, black, grey and white cars tend to hold their value better because of their broader market appeal. 

‘And us Britons are nothing if not practical, especially at times of low consumer confidence.’

The colours most commonly offered to motorists without a charge today are red and blue.

While they remain popular, demand for these non-metallic paints has dropped in recent years, meaning customers are likely to spec a more desirable – pricier – paint job. 

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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