Skip to main content

Let’s face it; car colors have gotten worse. There is no shortage of people who believe things were better back in the vague “good old days.” In almost every metric, cars are objectively better today than ever before in history. However, one of the few ways they aren’t better is the paint colors. Car colors have gotten so boring in recent years that the two colors that can raise the value of used trucks are still boring. What’s the best used truck color and the best car color for resale value? Let’s take a look at the study.

What colors give used trucks the best resale value?

Yellow pickup truck parked on the street - used trucks in this color could have a higher resale value
Yellow Ford F100 pickup truck | Dünzlullstein bild via Getty Images

Despite the patchwork of white, silver, and black cars blanketing parking lots across America, picking certain colors when you buy your new truck can increase your resale value. A recent study by iSeeCars shows that beige and orange are the two colors that offer the most resale value for used trucks. 

Don’t get me wrong, I like a coffee-shop-parking-lot-tan truck as much as the next person, but it’s a little upsetting that such a mild color is so preferable to used truck buyers. While this might feel like hearsay, there are some hard numbers to back up the claim. 

iSeeCars says the average car loses around 22% in value after three years. The study found that trucks painted in beige or orange lose only an average of 7.9% and 10.9% of their value, respectively. Trucks painted in beige or orange lose less than 20% of their value. Whereas trucks painted in black or silver lose an average of over $8,000 over three years. The dollar difference here is about double what one in yellow or orange will lose off the original MSRP.

Used truck color matters 

A 2023 Hyundai Santa Cruz, one of the best midsize pickup trucks.
Hyundai Santa Cruz | Eric Boman, MotorBiscuit

If you get a car, truck, or SUV in yellow, it only loses you an average of $3,000 over three years, and a gold car or truck can lose you an average of $11,546 over the same period, it’s clear that car and truck colors really matter. 

For used trucks, specifically more off-road-focused models, Beige takes the crown for the color that will retain the highest resale value. However, that isn’t true for all segments. 

The most interesting part of this study is that color choice and depreciation change based on the vehicle segment. “It’s interesting to see how color rankings change across vehicle segments, reflecting the shift in preference based on the type of vehicle someone is buying,” said iSeeCars Executive Analyst Karl Brauer. “Even more interesting is the consistently low ranking of supposedly popular colors like black and silver.”

“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.”

What is the best color for SUV resale value?

A Yellow Maserati SUV in a showroom - this SUV could have higher resale value due to its unique color.
Yellow Maserati Grecale Trofeo SUV | Martyn Lucy/Getty Images

As far as the best car color for resale value goes, SUVs group alongside convertibles and coupes; yellow paint has the highest resale value. Yellow is an uncommon color for SUVs, which is part of the value. Other uncommon colors that also retain value are Green, Orange, and Purple. Even still, Yellow only loses 9% of its value on average. The other colors are closer to a 20% value loss. 

What is the best color for sedans? 

As the sedan segment slowly dies, a funny thing has happened. In previous years, brown sedans would lose the most value. Now brown is in the top spot for retaining value. The idea is that brown is a subtle and non-flashy color that blends in but isn’t super common. 

So, when you go to buy your next car, truck, or SUV, consider the color like you might consider other value factors like condition, mileage, and trim package. Color greatly affects resale value, and it’s time that we start including it as a real factor. At the end of the day, people fancy what they fancy. But if you want the best car color for resale value you may want to start with bold colors like yellow or orange.