New study reveals the best car colors for trade-in value

Yellow Mustang

When buying a car, many prospective car owners have to grapple with the same question, which is, “How well does this hold its value?” A study cited in this article from 2019 indicated that most drivers keep their cars for about six years. And as the used car market has continued some unexpected ups and downs in recent years, the principles underlying the reselling of a vehicle have remained the same.

A new study at iSeeCars ventures further into the question of how a car’s color affects its resale value. The company analyzed the colors of 650,000 used cars of three years old and what effect these had on depreciation. The results point to some interesting conclusions – starting with the fact that the color in the top spot on the list was yellow.

According to the study, the depreciation rate for yellow cars was 4.5%, compared to 14.3% for blue cars, to name just one example. It is followed by orange.

The study calls the average depreciation over three years 15%. It is worth noting here that most of the colors in the survey are within a percentage point of the mean. Blue, gray, beige and silver are all slightly below average, while white is just slightly above. Black, gold and brown cars have the highest depreciation levels, with the latter leading the list with a 17.8% depreciation over three years.

According to analyst Karl Brauer, the presence of yellow and orange cars on the list is due to their relative rarity. “Because yellow vehicles are so new to the used market, people are willing to pay a higher price for them,” he said. But he also pointed out that gold and brown cars are also relatively infrequent. “Rarity alone does not equal value,” Brauer said. “If a color doesn’t resonate with enough used car buyers, it will hurt the resale value, even if it’s unusual.”

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