What Color Retains a Car’s Value the Best? The Answer May Surprise You

Picking the right color for your car is important as a car’s color can reflect your personality. However, when it comes to resale value, not all colors are created equal. Some car colors are more sought after than others, which in turn can make your car worth more in the long run. But which color retains a car’s value the most?

When it comes to car colors, the brighter the better

When perusing a few dealer lots, or just driving by one, you may have noticed a yellow car sitting in the corner of the lot and wondered, “Who would ever buy a car in that color?” As it turns out, whoever does buy that car might actually keep some cash in their pocket if they decide to resell it. According to a study done by iSeeCars, the color yellow tends to retain a car’s value the most over a three-year period.

They analyzed over 2.1 million used car sales and came up with statistics on each car color. According to their findings, the average car depreciates 33.1 percent in the first three years of ownership, however, those painted yellow hold their value the most and only depreciate by 27 percent. The colors that follow are orange, which depreciates by 30.6 percent, and green, which depreciates by 30.9 percent.

XI’AN, CHINA – DECEMBER 25: Workers spray paint a car body shell at the BYD Automobile Company Limited Xi’an plant on December 25, 2019 in Xi’an, Shaanxi Province of China. (Photo by Yuan Jingzhi/VCG via Getty Images)

What about the more popular colors?

If you’re more of the “plain Jane” type and would rather avoid loud colors, then you might want to stick to white, as that color depreciates by 32.6 percent over three years. But if you want darker colors like silver or black, then you can expect a steeper depreciation as they ranked in at 33.6 percent and 34 percent, respectively, which is higher than the average rate of depreciation for a car.

The colors blue and brown both came in a little lower at 33.5 percent each, and if you happen to have the Midas touch and are really into the color gold, then unfortunately your car would be at the bottom of the list as that color depreciates at 37.1 percent.

Phong Ly, the CEO of iSeeCars stated:

“Across almost every body style, gold color vehicles have some of the worst depreciation rates of any color. We speculate that mileage alone can’t explain the color depreciation pattern and that gold’s near-universally poor depreciation may reflect lower consumer demand for the color — given the choice, consumers may just prefer the more common colors or flashier colors.”


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Choose wisely

We wouldn’t necessarily advise anyone to pick a car color based on future values, however, it’s something to keep in mind if you’re a fan of obscure paint hues. But either way, your car’s color is a reflection of your personality and lifestyle, so just go with whatever suits you best. Just remember that if whatever car you choose happens to be yellow, you might be luckier the next time you go to sell it. Apparently, that color isn’t just made to stand out on dealership lots.