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Most Popular Car Paint Finishes

Last Updated: 1st May 2018
Most Popular Car Paint Finishes

24th June 2015

Choosing a car paint finish is more important than you may think when purchasing a car. It will not only enhance the overall look of the car, but can benefit your pocket when it comes to selling your car in the future. Also, most cars available for lease in the UK have the option of getting any paint style that you wish.

Standard Paint

Aside from major luxury brands, almost all cars that are up for lease in the UK can be and are painted with the standard paint, which most commonly come in white, black, red, and blue. It is a single application of colour with a clear lacquer top coat which is used to protect the paint from chips and scratches. If it were to get scratched, this type of paint can be repaired easily and with low cost by using a touch-up pen. Because it doesn't add to the cost of your vehicle and can easily be touched up, standard paint is the most popular choice for car owners. The only downside is that it isn't as luxurious as other paints and has limited colour options.


Metallic is another type of paint that uses the same formula and process as standard paint, except they add a small amount of powdered metal to the mixture, and use two top coats to make it more resistant against damages. The use of metal powder makes the car have a shinier finish, because the metal reflects incident light, making it stand out amongst the standard paint job. The shine also helps hide minor damages such as chips in the paint from a distance. However, if it is majorly damaged and you need it touching up, you may have a problem given that metallic paint colours are almost impossible to match correctly.


The pearlescent paint job is also the same as a standard paint, except they add particles of ceramic crystals which resemble the sheen of a pearl. These crystals not only reflect light, but refract it too. This process splits it into different colours, giving the vehicle not only a glow, but when viewed at different angles, a change in colours. If you are on a budget, then this option may not be as suitable, given as it is slightly more expensive, with some manufacturers charging £500-£2000 for the upgrade.


In the past, car owners and automakers have competed to have the shiniest and glossiest car, until recently. There is a new trend that is making an appearance on roads today: matte painted cars.  These cars are the least common of paint jobs, and are seen as luxurious, as the paint is purely for cosmetic reasons. To achieve the non-reflective and dull effect, they use a high epoxy primer coat, high PVC in the actual paint, and add a flattening agent to the finishing coat. This complicated mixture comes with a hefty price tag of around £3000 along with lots of maintenance. If you ever choose to get a matte paint job, the most important thing to know is that if you get even the smallest scratch, it will most likely be permanent, making it the toughest paint to upkeep.

Although some of these paint jobs come with heftier price tags, you get back what you pay for in the long run. When selling your car back, it will be seen as more desirable and valuable if it has a nice paint finish. Don’t forget to ask if you’re leasing a private car, whether or not you have different paint options available.

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