Weird but Bold Car Paint Can Actually Raise Resale Value

When you go to buy a new car, resale value is a practical factor to consider. Motor1 reports that buying a common color like black or white could end up costing you later if you try to sell the car in the used car market. Surprisingly, rare car colors like orange––and especially yellow––can actually raise the resale value of your car. They tend to depreciate a little less per year than the more popular car paint options.

Supply and demand

It all comes down to supply and demand. While first it’s almost shocking to think that yellow or orange car paint could increase a vehicle’s resale value. But when you actually think about it, it makes sense. There are far fewer bold and bright colors in production, which makes them rarer. In fact, these colors can add a lot of value to collector cars in terms of rarity. Car paint does affect the value of your vehicle. Just maybe not the way you may have thought.

A Ford Ranger in a shiny orange color on display at an auto show.
Ford Ranger | Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

In a study posted by US News and World Report, it’s explained that some rare colors such as Lexus’s “daybreak yellow” even cost a little more new than the more common colors because the car in that particular model has be sourced. Not ever dealer will have models in stock with the bright orange or yellow car paint a specific buyer is looking for.

“Surprisingly, iSeeCars reports that vehicles in orange and yellow depreciated the least of any color in the first three years of ownership (21.6 percent for orange and 22 percent for yellow).”  

US News and World Report

Orange and yellow car paint help the most

In an article on the MoneyTalk News website, yellow and orange are listed at the top of the list of car paint colors that help boost resale value. The percentage of depreciation in 2017 is posted 27% for yellow car paint and 30.6% for orange. Conversely, the common colors black and silver have depreciation percentages of 33.6 and 34 respectively.

“Yellow is the color of money”

According to this article on, iSeeCars CEO Phong Ly said “our analysis shows that yellow vehicles have the lowest depreciation of any color for lower-volume cars like convertibles. Interestingly, yellow is also the color with the least depreciation for popular body styles like SUVs and pickup trucks.”

A yellow Mitsubishi Mirage on display
A Mitsubishi Mirage on display at an auto show | YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/GettyImages

This means that––across every vehicle style––yellow has lower depreciation numbers than any other color. In fact, yellow car paint raises the resale value by 18.5% and orange follows with a 7.8% resale value increase. Because these colors are so rare, they are often sought after.

RELATED: Here Are America’s Most and Least Popular Car Colors for 2019

“It’s a well-accepted axiom that condition and mileage are among the biggest determining factors with regard to a given car or truck’s resale value, but a recent study of over 2.1 million used car sales conducted by the used-vehicle site found that a vehicle’s color can also help boost or bust its return down the road.”

Jim Gorzelaney |
yellow car paint can increase the value of your used car
Yellow Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 4MATIC | Mercedes-Benz Media

Rare = resale value

If you go to sell your vehicle a few years after you bought it, you better hope you bought a model with yellow or orange car paint rather than black. The more rare a car color is, the better the value it retains. It’s easy to conclude that in terms of car paint, rare equals resale value.