3 Colors That Can Ruin Your Car’s Resale Value

Young female driver
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If you want a vehicle to hold its value, buying a model in white, black or silver is a safe bet.

Or, if you are more adventurous, yellow and orange can be even better — if also bolder — choices.

Those are the findings of an iSeeCars.com survey that zeroes in on which colors help, hurt or have minimal impact on resale value.

The website compared the prices of more than 6 million new and used cars between 2017 and 2020.

It found that a vehicle’s color has a surprisingly large impact on its resale value, with “the highest depreciating color losing more than twice the value compared to the lowest.”

The worst three colors — and the amount they depreciate over three years — are:

  • Gold: 45.6%
  • Brown: 42.1%
  • Purple: 41.2%

By contrast, some unexpected colors tend to hold their value much better. They depreciate at a much lower rate:

  • Orange: 27.1%
  • Beige: 22.8%
  • Yellow: 20.4%

According to iSeeCars, white, black or silver tend to depreciate more slowly than some colors because they are safe picks that appeal to a wide segment of drivers.

Yet, as a general rule, more obscure colors hold their value even better. Take yellow cars, which depreciate less over three years than vehicles of any other color. In an analysis of the study, Karl Brauer, iSeeCars executive analyst, says:

“Yellow may not be a widely desired car color, but there are enough people who want yellow, versus the number of yellow new cars being ordered, to make yellow cars more desirable than others on the used market. In fact, yellow is among the colors with the lowest vehicle share, and is most commonly a color for sports cars and other low-volume vehicles that hold their value relatively well.”

Orange also appears on a small overall share of vehicles, and — like yellow — is most often found on low-volume sports and muscle cars.

Beige cars make up less than 1% of all vehicles. Although beige is often thought of as boring, some drivers may like that it “encompasses a spectrum of hues from off-white to a light brown and stands out in a parking lot while still being a neutral color,” Brauer says.

But it is a mistake to simply assume that all rare colors are good choices. Brauer notes that three rare car colors — purple, brown and gold — prove that some uncommon colors hurt resale value:

“Rarity alone does not equal value. If a color doesn’t resonate with enough used car shoppers it will hurt resale value, even if it’s uncommon.”

The full iSeeCars list — with average three-year depreciation — is:

  1. Yellow: 20.4%
  2. Beige: 22.8%
  3. Orange: 27.1%
  4. Green: 31.3%
  5. Gray: 36.4%
  6. Red: 36.9%
  7. Blue: 37%
  8. Silver; 37.6%
  9. White: 38%
  10. Black: 38.4%
  11. Purple: 41.2%
  12. Brown: 42.1%
  13. Gold: 45.6%

Here at Money Talks News, we always suggest buying a used car instead of a new one. Before you shop, check out:

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