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An image of a Lamborghini Aventador SVJ parked outdoors in one of the worst car colors for resale value.

Worst and Best Car Colors for Resale Value – Playing It Safe Costs You Big Time

When buying a brand-new car, picking the safest color doesn't always pay off. In fact, a new study found that going with some of the brightest colors around could pay off big time. Additionally, picking the safe choices could cost you in depreciation. This isn't just for sports cars and supercars. The best color for an SUV is Yellow.

When buying a brand-new vehicle, it’s quite easy to get wrapped up in optional extras, body styles, and powertrain options. However, choosing between the best and worst car colors available could seriously impact its resale value. That’s where a new study by iSeeCars comes into play. Oddly enough, the best colors for your wallet aren’t the dull ones.

Additionally, iSeeCars‘ study breaks down these best and worst shades by vehicle segment. As a result, before you pull the trigger on yet another white, black, or silver daily driver, your wallet might thank you for being adventurous.

Worst car colors for resale value

An image of a McLaren 720S parked outside.
McLaren 720S | Mike Kemp/In Pictures via Getty Images

Let’s start with the worst car colors you should definitely avoid if resale value is important. The worst of all is gold. That’s because vehicles finished in this color depreciate on average 45.6 percent over the first three years. For context, the average depreciation rate between all of the colors in this iSeeCars study is 37.6 percent over the first three years.

Next up, we’ve got brown with 42.1 percent and purple with 41.2 percent. While these depreciation rates are still quite bad, it is worth noting that very few brand-new cars are finished in Brown or Purple.

One of the most interesting findings of this study covering car colors is where dull colors fall. If we take some of the most purchased colors such as white or black, they are still at the bottom of the list with higher than average depreciation rates at 38 and 38.4 percent respectively.

Silver doesn’t do much better, still suffering an average depreciation rate of 37.6 percent over the first three years.

Best car colors for resale value

An image of a Yellow Ferrari LaFerrari parked outdoors.
Ferrari LaFerrari | Photo by Martyn Lucy via Getty Images

If you want to get more of your money back when you inevitably sell or trade-in your next daily driver, you’ll want these car colors. At the top of this iSeeCars study, you’ll find one of the rarest colors around: yellow. That’s because the study indicates that this bright shade depreciates just 20.4 percent on average over the first three years. According to iSeeCars, buyers in the used market are willing to pay up to have this unique color.

Next up, you’ve got beige at 22.8 percent, orange at 27.1 percent, and green at 31.3 percent. While beige certainly isn’t the world’s most interesting color, the other colors at the top of this list tend to be some of the brightest.

iSeeCars found that buyers often pick colors they think the secondary market will like, not what it actually does. As a result, picking that safe and boring color for your car isn’t doing anyone any favors.

How about by vehicle segment?

An image of a Black Porsche Taycan parked outdoors in one of the worst car colors for resale.
Porsche Taycan | Martyn Lucy via Getty Images

As you might imagine, these car colors also vary greatly depending on what type of vehicle you’re buying. If you’re looking at an SUV, a coupe, or a sedan, you’ll want to stick to yellow since it beats the other colors by a considerable margin. Oddly enough, the best color for a minivan is blue.

If you’re looking at buying a brand-new drop-top for the summer, you’ll want to make sure it’s red, blue, or yellow. These bright shades depreciated significantly less than other dull colors. Lastly, if you’re looking at a pickup truck, the best color by a massive margin is beige. While this color might be a bit boring, it could save you loads of cash when it comes time to sell.


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