You may have chosen the color of your car for aesthetic reasons, but upon resale, its shade may be the thing that gets you paid.
A recent report from vehicle research site iSeeCars.com indicates that a vehicle’s color can help or hurt its resale value.
In its analysis, iSeeCars determined the average depreciation rate by color over three years by comparing the prices of more than 650,000 recently sold three-year-old used vehicles. The vehicles included in the analysis were used 2019 models sold between August 2021 and May 2022.
Which Colors Help and Hurt Your Car?
Here are the key findings from the report:
- Overall, vehicles lose 15% of their value in three first three years you own them.
- Popular colors, such as white, black, and silver, make little difference, “meaning they won’t hurt resale value but they also won’t help a vehicle maintain its value,” the report says.
- With only a 4.5% drop in value over three years, yellow cars depreciate the least.
- Brown vehicles (17.8%) lose their value the most.
“A vehicle’s color is among the primary considerations after shoppers have decided on a make and model,” iSeeCars Executive Analyst Karl Brauer says in a news release. “With depreciation being the largest cost of vehicle ownership, consumers should carefully consider their color choice–especially if they plan on selling their vehicle.”
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 4.5% $3,155 0.3x
2. Orange 10.7% $3,825 0.7x
3. Purple 13.9% $5,461 0.9x
4. Red 14.0% $5,399 0.9x
5. Green 14.0% $5,596 0.9x
6. Blue 14.3% $5,582 1x
7. Gray 14.3% $5,635 1x
8. Beige 14.4% $5,960 1x
9. Silver 14.8% $5,499 1x
10. White 15.5% $6,490 1x
11. Black 16.1% $6,993 1.1x
12. Gold 16.7% $6,719 1,1x
13. Brown 16.8% $7,642 1,2x
“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.