Skip to main content

Taxis are yellow for a reason. Maybe it’s so they’re easy to spot. Or maybe, it’s because a recent study shows yellow cars have unusually high resale values. Compared to other models, yellow cars experience less depreciation. Additionally, they often sell for more than your standard black or silver SUV would. iSeeCars compared the prices of millions of new and used cars between 2017 and 2020 to determine this, as well as which colors can hurt the resale of your ride.

Odd colors hold value better than traditional ones

A yellow Ford Focus ST on a dealer lot
A yellow Ford Focus | Justin Sullivan Getty Images

If you live within sight of any road, go outside for a moment and watch the cars pass. Odds are, you saw a mix of silver, white, and black cars and trucks. These colors are on the road because they are seen as the “safest” in terms of popularity by buyers. No one is going to be vehemently opposed to a white Toyota RAV4 SUV. But if that same RAV4 were pink, or bright green, the owner may have a hard time selling it.

It is this logic that leads to the number of bland-colored cars on the road. However, according to the study, this logic is flawed. More unique color choices, like a yellow car, do in fact command more of a premium both online and at the dealership. Take the new Civic Type R LE, for example. In Phoenix Yellow, some examples go for almost $60,000 just because of the iconic Honda paint color.

Yellow cars and trucks are at the top of the list

A yellow Jeep Wrangler Rubicon parked streetside
A yellow Jeep Wrangler | Robert Alexander via Getty Images

Now, this is not to say that yellow cars and trucks are free from the woes of depreciation. They do in fact, still depreciate. This has more to do with make and model than anything. A yellow Lamborghini isn’t going to depreciate the same as the new Jeep Wrangler seen above. However, on average, yellow cars depreciate more than 17% less than the next most “stereotypical” color on the list: silver.

A silver car will, on average, depreciate around 37% compared to a yellow car’s 20%. It only gets worse for the less adventurous colors from there. Black and white cars depreciate around 30%. Even a loud color like orange will do better depreciation-wise, dropping only 27%, still far better than the parade of dark-colored cars you see on the way to work every day.

The time to sell is now

A yellow open-roof Honda S2000
Peak yellow car: Honda’s S2000 | Bring-a-Trailer

What Your Car’s Color Says About You

With this in mind, it may be time to sell your yellow car. The semiconductor shortage has driven the used auto market to record highs lately, and anything you can do to add value to your ride will help. What’s more, brighter or less conservative colors are more likely to capture the attention of enthusiasts. These people may in some cases be willing to pay far more for a more unique car in a rare color, like the Honda S2000 seen above in Phoenix Yellow. So, next time you go to buy a car make sure to choose something out of the ordinary, it may just save you a little money in a few years.