Chrysler Neon

Can the colour of a car increase the chances of it being stolen or written-off? According to vehicle history experts, HPI, it most certainly can and green cars are at the greatest risk.

Used car buyers who conduct an HPI Check on green cars are more frequently told they are either registered as stolen with the police, have a mileage discrepancy that needs investigating, or are recorded as an insurance write-off. But before any owners of green cars rush outside armed with a spray can, there is some good news. Green cars are the least likely to have any outstanding finance when they come to be sold.

Amazingly, 1 in 4 cars checked with HPI has outstanding finance against it, putting buyers at risk of losing the vehicle and the money they paid for it. As the finance company remains the rightful owner of the car, there’s a chance it could be repossessed. In case you’re wondering, white cars are most likely to have outstanding finance against them.

Colour me bad

HPI identifies 41 vehicles per day as being reported stolen, with green topping the list of cars thieves like to target. Quite why this is the case remains a mystery, although perhaps the ne’er-do-wells have the mistaken belief that British Racing Green will give them a greater chance of outrunning the police. Grey cars are the least likely to be stolen.

Other statistics revealed by HPI include:

  • 1 in 5 cars have received a plate change, often to disguise a darker past
  • 1 in 20 vehicles have been clocked, with buyers paying over the odds for what they believed to be a lower mileage car
  • 760 vehicles a day are uncovered as being previously written-off, meaning motorists could be driving in cars that aren’t fit for the road

Neil Hodson, deputy managing director for CAP HPI, said: “We urge used car buyers to stay vigilant, regardless of colour. There are no hard and fast rules for spotting a car with something to hide, which is why heading to hpicheck.com is the best way to avoid being duped by a dodgy deal.”

The table in full:

Colour most likely to hit HPI’s at risk registersColour least likely to hit HPI’s at risk registers
GreenStolenGreyStolen
WhiteFinanceGreenFinance
BlackPlate changeRedPlate change
GreenMileage discrepancyWhiteMileage discrepancy
GreenWrite-offGreyWrite-off