The color of your car can make a $5,000 difference in how much you sell it for, according to a new automotive report.
Vehicle research site iSeeCars determined the average depreciation rate of used cars by looking at each model’s inflation-adjusted manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) and comparing it to the car’s list price. The report’s results were based on an analysis of more than 1.6 million used 2020 models sold between August 2022 to May 2023.
“Yellow cars continue to represent the greatest disparity between how many are produced and how many people want one,” iSeeCars Executive Analyst Karl Brauer says in a news release. “While not many people want a yellow car, there are clearly more people who want one than exist, which is why yellow performs so well on the secondary market. The same can be said of orange and green, colors you don’t see often but are obviously in higher demand than supply.”
Which Colors Help and Hurt Your Car?
Here are the key findings from the report:
- Overall, vehicles lose 22.5% of their value in the first three years you own them – except for yellow cars, which only lose 13.5% of their value – a $3,000 difference – over that time.
- Along with yellow cars, beige, green and orange vehicles lose less than 20% of their value over the first three years.
- The cars that lose the most value – more than $10,000 after three years – are gold, brown and black.
Ready to see which car colors are the most “valuable”?
Here Are the Best and Worst Car Colors for Resale Value
Rank/Color 3-year % Depreciation Dollar Difference from MSRP Compared to Overall Average
1. Yellow 13.5% $6.588 0.6x
2. Beige 17.8% $8,411 0.8x
3. Orange 18.4% $7,023 0.9x
4. Green 19.2% $8,719 0.9x
5. Red 20.6% $8,538 0.9x
6. White 21.9% $9,695 1x
7. Blue 22% $9,216 1x
8. Gray 22.5% $9.425 1x
9. Purple 22.7% $8,840 1x
10. Silver 23.2% $9,218 1x
11. Black 23.9% $10,867 1.1x
12. Brown 24% $10,305 1.1x
13. Gold 25.9% $11,546 1.2x
Overall Average 22.5% $9,674 --
“The reality is that those two players have changed the game so much that what I recommend is that you start by getting a price from both of them,” Clark says. “Once you have that, then you know how much additional money you would want to make selling it yourself [to determine whether] it’s worth the pain points of doing that.”
Want more money-saving tips? Read Clark’s Car Selling Guide.