Spot the flakes

Ex­pert says me­tal­lic paint prices shouldn’t vary so much

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News -

be­cause you have to put a clear coat over it, other­wise me­tal­lic paint goes dull,’’ he says.

How­ever, Mazda, Lexus and Subaru do not charge any ex­tra for me­tal­lic or ‘‘ mica paints’’.

Mazda Aus­tralia spokesman Steve Maciver says it has ‘‘ al­ways done it as an ad­van­tage for our cus­tomers’’.

‘‘ We ob­vi­ously know how much it costs to use me­tal­lic paint but we made a busi­ness de­ci­sion.’’

Subaru Aus­tralia spokesman David Row­ley says it was a ‘‘ value-added’’ de­ci­sion made sev­eral years ago.

Yet Knight says car com­pa­nies are within their rights to charge more for the paint be­cause it costs more. ‘‘ It can be more ex­pen­sive. ‘‘ It de­pends on the colour. Some colours are more ex­pen­sive than oth­ers,’’ he says.

‘‘ For ex­am­ple, the bright blue me­tal­lic paint used on a Holden Com­modore is one of the most ex­pen­sive you can buy.’’

How­ever, prices charged to buy­ers do not al­ways re­flect the cost of me­tal­lic paint.

Holden charges a flat $500 for me­tal­lic paint.

This, de­spite us­ing one of the most ex­pen­sive me­tal­lic paint colours in its pal­ette.

Knight says prices shouldn’t vary ac­cord­ing to the brand.

‘‘ A Porsche, Land­Cruiser or a Com­modore could use the same can of paint,’’ he says.

Yet some car com­pa­nies, such as Audi, BMWand Porsche charge up to $2000 for me­tal­lic paint.

Most charge be­tween $250 and $500 for me­tal­lic or pearles­cent fin­ishes.

But even within one man­u­fac­turer, me­tal­lic paint prices can vary sub­stan­tially.

BMWcharges $1940 for me­tal­lic paint on a 3 Se­ries Sedan, but no ex­tra for an M3 Sedan, says prod­uct spokes­woman Lucy McLel­lan.

‘‘ On most of the high-end prod­ucts, me­tal­lic paint is stan­dard and with the mod­els where it’s op­tional, the prices do vary,’’ she says.

Porsche charges $1950 for metal-flecked paint on a Boxster and Cay­man but $2190 on Cayenne mod­els.

It’s a no-cost op­tion on other Porsches.

Porsche Cars Aus­tralia spokesman Paul El­lis says the price vari­a­tion is re­lated to the sur­face area of the ve­hi­cle.

Aus­tralian Competition and Con­sumer Com­mis­sion spokesman Brent Re­becca says busi­nesses are able to set their own prices for op­tions such as me­tal­lic paint, pro­vided their ad­ver­tis­ing cre­ates an ‘‘ ac­cu­rate over­all im­pres­sion’’.

Sparkle: Holden Com­modore in me­tal­lic blue

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