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You would think that automakers can only make white, black, or silver vehicles. With an occasional dull red added into the mix. That’s all you see on the highways and byways. The other colors must be terrible for depreciation. But they do offer a cornucopia of colors. Some you might not want to order, as enticing, as they might seem. That is if you’re looking ahead to its resale value. 

Some colors affect depreciation, though to what extent is a bit hard to determine. But iSeeCars did a study to see how much color has to do with value. It is recognized that on average, vehicles lose 15 percent of their value after three years. 

What paint color affects depreciation the most?

1970 Aston Martin
1970 Aston Martin DB6 MkII Vantage | Getty

So, looking at the three most popular colors from below, a silver vehicle depreciates 14.8 percent. That indicates a silver color has no impact on depreciation. White vehicles depreciate 15.5 percent, and black ones see a 16.1 percent dip. So these three most popular colors have little negative effect on value. 

Car color study
Car color depreciation study | iSeeCars

The two worst colors for resale were gold and then brown, with almost 18 percent depreciation. So brown is the worst, but still not a deal-breaker. What is surprising is the colors that actually increase value. Hint: it isn’t silver, black, or white. 

OK, then what paint color depreciates the least?

Lamborghini Adventador
Lamborghini Aventador SV | Getty

Believe it or not, the best color around is yellow. Yes, yellow. The old wives tale says to stay away from bright and garish colors. Yellow definitely defies that adage, with a 4.5 percent decrease in value. 

That means it is actually enhancing the value after three years. And in the case of yellow SUVs, they actually appreciated after three years. But that is partly due to the crazy used car market we’re in right now. 

The next two are also surprising. Number two is orange, and number three is purple. You rarely see vehicles painted in those colors, which could mean one of two things. Either, the ones you see are special orders, or they’re so rare that those who want these colors will pay up for the privilege. 

Why do so many cars have silver paint?

1974 De Tomaso Pantera
1974 De Tomaso Pantera GP4 | Getty

Some of it also might be that it is supposedly easier to sell a white, black, or silver vehicle, so that is what the dealerships order for cars on their lots. And in the case of coupes, orange is the least depreciating for all coupes. Purple and red are the next two best colors. 

And the worst three colors for coupes are gold and then brown. Gold coupes lost 16.7 percent of their value in three years, and brown cut 17.8 percent out of the price. So again, keep yourself from ordering a gold or brown coupe, unless you just can’t live without it.


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