Another Bad Year for Yellow Car Paint-or Is It?

The most popular car paint colors in 2022 are no colors at all. White, the absence of color, is the number one paint choice almost universally throughout the world. Number two goes to black, which is the “sum of all colors.” And third is silver or gray, a combo of black and white. A quarter of all cars are white, and almost the same percentage for black ones. Adding silver and gray as separate colors, or lack thereof means 80 percent of cars produced account for these three colors. 

Yellow Jeep
Yellow Jeep Wrangler Rubicon | Getty

White is easier to maintain, which is why some think it is so popular. And truck fleets are mostly painted white, which adds a lot to the overall numbers. But contrary to that, black is one of the hardest colors to keep up. And it is just below white in popularity. 

Black is also a premium luxury color. Many expensive cars are painted this color, so it is a status thing. Not being practical, but wanting an aura of prestige is why some go to the middle ground of gray or silver. 

Why do car buyers like grayscale cars more than ones with color?

Taxis
Taxis line up at a parking lot | Getty

But everyone loves color. Even in this age of houses with white interior walls and black accents, color is used in splashes. Otherwise, it would look and feel like a morgue. Color is seen in every part of nature. So why car buyers go for no color is hard to determine. 

What is interesting is after the blacks, whites, and grays, blue and red make up 18.1 percent of all cars. Those two happen to be two of the three primary colors. Below that, we get into the dregs of color, at least when it comes to cars. Those would be brown, green, orange, beige, and purple. 

But there are still two more on the list. Those are gold, at 0.2 percent, and lastly, yellow, at 0.1 percent. They are two really unpopular color choices for cars. 

How can yellow-painted cars be a good thing?

2003 Lamborghini Mucielago. Artist: Unknown | National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty

But guess what? Yellow cars have less depreciation than any other color. According to a study by iSeeCars, Yellow cars depreciate at 4.5 percent over a three-year period. It amounts to 0.3 times factored into overall depreciation. How can this be?

A yellow vehicle is such a rare beast, it gets snapped up in the secondary market. There are so few around that they go for higher prices, even though a lot fewer people are looking for them. That’s how they barely factor into overall depreciation. 

Yellow DeSoto
Vintage illustration of a yellow 1956 DeSoto | GraphicaArtis/Getty Images

But confounding that are brown and gold cars. They have the worst depreciation numbers of any other colors. Yet, they are slightly more popular than yellow. So why don’t the reasons that Yellow is a good color on the used car market apply to gold and brown vehicles? And why do brown trucks depreciate less, at 11.7 percent, than do cars, at 17.8 percent? These are the color mysteries nobody dares to venture into, so far. 

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