Your car's color could hurt or help its value, believe it or not
New data shows the best colors for cars if you're worried about depreciation.
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
Avoid a gold-colored car if you play the long-game when it comes to your vehicle's value and perhaps think about gray if you want to play it safe. Those are just a couple takeaways from new iSeeCars data released Wednesday that tracked the best and worst paint colors for a car when it comes to their value and depreciation factors.
Upfront, it's important to note a car's color is not a deciding factor. In fact, there are good explainers for why some of the colors rank higher than others, and the best example is yellow. It actually places first, with the average yellow-painted car holding its value way better than other paint colors with 20.4% of value lost over three years. The study looked at six million cars between 2017 and 2020.
However, yellow isn't a common a color and often finds its way to lower-production vehicles, like sports cars. These cars, in general, may be more desirable and hold value better. Orange and green (27.1% and 31.3% depreciation) fall in a similar category. A yellow
, for example, is much more desirable than a yellow
. So, keep that in mind when you read the results.
Beige is the interesting outlier in the results, which the study used as an umbrella color to cover off-white and light brown colors. It places second with an average 22.8% of a beige car's value lost in three years. "Safe" color choices, like gray, silver, black and white hang around the middle of the chart near the overall average depreciation of a three-year-old car. Gray does the best in fifth place, while other common colors like blue and red also due an above average job of holding value. With the vast number of cars on the road painted one of these hues, it's no surprise they're all about average.
Down at the bottom are, well, decidedly off-trend colors: brown and gold. The latter comes in dead last with the average gold-colored car losing 45.6% of its value. While gold and brown, like yellow and orange, hold a much smaller share of the paint color pie chart, they depreciate at way quicker rates. They may also be choice colors for luxury cars, that often depreciate quicker in general. Rare colors don't automatically trigger more value, essentially, but the right color on the right car can be a recipe for higher values. Check out the full results in the table below.