Spot the flakes
Expert says metallic paint prices shouldn’t vary so much
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