Why wouldn't you want to choose any color you want?
Over the past few weeks, we have covered the coolest paint colors from a number of manufacturers. Some keen-eyed readers have noticed that not all of the colors that we have featured are made available when you order the car. For example, in our top five Audi colors list, we featured Glut Orange and Riviera Blue which were both special order colors. Colors like these are part of programs offered by several manufacturers most commonly referred to as paint-to-sample, allowing you to get almost any color you want.
Some car companies have a different name for ordering a custom color, like BMW's Individual program. For the sake of consistency, we will refer to all of these programs the way Porsche does as paint-to-sample. Basically, you pay anywhere from $5,000-$10,000 (depending on the manufacturer), and instead of only being able to choose from the limited selection of offered colors, you can choose almost any color you want. Some companies will limit the colors that you can choose to be within reason, but even then you still have dozens to choose from. On certain cars, you can even specify special colors for the leather and contrast stitching on the inside. Like getting paint for your house, some companies will even match the color on an item that you bring in.
We wonder why more people don't take advantage of programs like this. When you are spending upwards of $100,000 on something like a Porsche 911, why wouldn't you want the car to be special? Anyone can go into a Porsche dealership and buy a black 911, but ordering one in bright green shows that your 911 is special. One reason that wealthy individuals may not do paint-to-sample is that the resale value just isn't there. On the 911, Porsche charges $6,950. While this option will make your car more unique, it may also make it harder to sell. People may not like your taste. Perhaps there is a reason why most people don't buy bright green 911s. You'll also have to wait for the car while Porsche makes your custom color.
Another potential problem is that their preferred color might be untested. When a company like Porsche or BMW picks the colors for a new model, it factors in what will sell well, look good, and wear well over time. If you order a color that no one has ordered before, it's difficult to predict how it will look before you get to see it in person. Most of the cars that can be ordered with paint-to-sample are expensive luxury cars and exotics. You won't be able to walk into your local Hyundai dealership and ask them to make you a purple Sonata. Even though paint-to-sample is expensive, we think it is one of the coolest options that are available on cars today.
As a treat, we have linked to 'Rare Cars For Sale Blog' which has some links to some really cool paint-to-sample Porsche cars for sale. We have also linked to a PDF guide of BMW Individual colors and some awesome BMW Blog posts of cars with BMW Individual colors. What makes paint-to-sample even cooler is that it allows for intra-company color sharing. For example, you can order an Audi with a Porsche color (both under the VW umbrella). In certain cases, you can even order other company colors like a BMW in Ferrari red. Some of these colors look like they were meant to be on these cars. We absolutely love paint-to-sample and wish that more people did it.