New Car Owners Have Fewer Free Paint Job Options Than a Decade Ago

By Gerald Lynch on at

If you've got your heart set on a particular colour for your new car, you're going to have to put aside a fair chunk of money to realise the dream. A new report from consumer watchdog Which? shows that car manufacturers are offering far fewer free colour options than they once did.

Looking at 60 of the UK's most popular cars, Which? found that 29 were available with only one colour as a no-cost option and, of that 29, 20 only offered an uninspiring, dirt-collecting white. Looking specifically at the Ford Fiesta (the top selling car in the UK), picking one of its four optional colour options can add as much as £725 to your overall bill. It's a trend seen right across the industry, with metallic and pearlescent jobs carrying ridiculous premiums -- a "special metallic diamond white" finish on a Mercedes C-class will set you back £1,125.

While the last example is an extreme luxury on an already premium-priced vehicle, new car owners' free options are significantly reduced from a decade ago. Which? found manufacturers offer far fewer free options than ten years prior: the Ford Fiesta now only comes in red for free compared to three non-metallic options in 2004, and the same goes for the Renault Clio, down from three options to just a single white shade. [Which?]