Resale Value – How Does Car Color Affect Price?

Everyone has a favorite color. You may like the brittle vibrancy behind light neons or the gloomy shades of grey. Regardless of your taste, we live in a world full of vibrancy. It’s pretty amazing. Isn’t it? But what about cars? Automobiles come in a plethora of colors. Some ugly, some tasteful. When you are going to sell your used car, does the color affect the resale value?

It can be difficult to measure what exactly your car is worth in a current used car market filled with peaking and bizarre prices. In fact, some used cars are worth more than new ones. No, really. So, if you are in the market for moving your used vehicle, it can be difficult to find what exactly it’s worth.

Furthermore, knowing the effect of your car’s color can be a small crux in your asking price. How does car color affect resale value? Let’s break it down.

Does it Really Matter?

If someone wants to purchase a used car, they expect the dings and scratches that come with miles of driving. While mileage, cosmetic damage and overall function reign supreme in determining a car’s value, where do colors stand?

Will your neon green car really net you less than the silver ones on the market?

Well, yeah. It’s more impactful than you may imagine. As we stated, it’s not the most important factor (if even in the top-10), but it does affect value. For example, a 2020 research study by iSeeCars found that yellow vehicles have a 20.4% 3-year depreciation value. Meanwhile, gold vehicles have a 45.6% 3-year depreciation value. Yikes!

“There’s a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy going on here, with many consumers picking mainstream colors not because they like them, but because they assume everyone else does,” iSeeCars executive analyst Karl Brauer told Forbes. “This makes white, black, and silver appear to be in high demand, yet our analysis confirms that more obscure colors tend to hold their value better than common and popular colors.” 

While there are more plain-colored vehicles on the market, the desire for odd colors is still high. Simply put, there are enough people that look for the color yellow compared to the number of yellow cars. This supply and demand only raise the value. Meanwhile, not many people desire gold cars, while there are plenty on the market.

Ultimately, color does play a role in the resale value of a car. If the color is desirable (like yellow) and the supply is low, prices will be higher than common colors. That’s just economics!

Wild Color Doesn’t Equal Higher Resale Value

There’s a bit of a paradox here. Sure, yellow cars being desirable and less common call for an increase in value, but this doesn’t mean every wild color leads to an increase in demand.

Every year, PPG looks over the popularity of each car color. In 2021, brown and purple were the least common car colors. Both paint tones fell below 2% of all the cars on the road. Now, let’s circle back around to the iSeeCars study. Purple cars had a 41.2% 3-year depreciation value and brown saw 42.1%.

It doesn’t take a mathematician to see the fallacy in the concept here. Just because a color is less common does not mean it’s desired. There is a reason car manufacturers don’t keep brown, gold and purple in their common car lines. No one wants them.

Depending on your opinion of color, wild colors are all across the board on resale values. While yellow and orange have a lower depreciation value, green and purple plummet. It’s a weird world and tastes change often.

What About Neutral Colors and Resale Value?

If green or purple vehicles will garner you less profit, what about normal colors? They have to be the middle ground. Right? Make it make sense, Sell My Car Colorado.

Unfortunately, we cannot. As stated, the taste of the mass market change at random intervals. Your maroon car may be more popular now than it will be next year. It’s impossible to predict the future of the apple in the car buyer’s eye.

Regardless, let’s look at the statistics. Ultimately, your beiges, greys and whites sit at the national average of depreciation, but it depends on the model. Let’s look back at the yellow example. How many yellow Toyota Corollas have you seen? Right.

Overall, some colors fit different models better. Your reds, yellows and greens will sell better with flashy sports cars. Someone in the market for a reliable and lowkey city car (i.e. a Corolla), probably isn’t looking for bright hues. Will you find a taker? Of course. Once again, the reliability and affordability of a Corolla will always overcome the color. The resale value may not be as high as the overall statistics reflect. Yellow having low depreciation does not mean every yellow car rolls this way.
Brauer said “Rarity alone does not equal value. If a color doesn’t resonate with enough used car shoppers it will hurt resale value, even if it’s uncommon.”

Buying a common car with a common color is a safe bet for resale. Will it lead to the best possible profit? Not necessarily, but it’s a safe bet to keep depreciation low. Furthermore, buying a common car with an uncommon color may harm value. Buying an uncommon car with an uncommon color is also a safe bet. Uncommon car consumers often like uncommon colors.

Does that all make sense? Got it?

Darker Colors Are Harder to Keep Clean

While this tip may not have much to do about the color market, it is important to note.

When speaking of resale value, the condition of the exterior is much more important than the actual color. Keeping your car clean and chip-free is the best way to maintain its value. Darker colors are harder to keep clean and show off impurities vividly. Henceforth, if you are purchasing a car with resale in mind (even if far in the future), going for darker colors may not be the best move.

Along with the ability to show imperfections, darker colors don’t depreciate well in general. For example, black and blue vehicles have a 3-year depreciation value of over 35%. With a higher depreciation value and higher cleaning needs, darker cars should be avoided.

Need Help Selling Your Car?

Is this all too much for you? Are you having a hard time navigating the ever-changing used car market? Can’t find someone to buy your pink Corolla? We’ve got you.

At Sell My Car Colorado, we will offer you $100 more than the competition, guaranteed. With just a click of a button, one of our experienced car dealers will reach out with a reasonable offer. If you accept, then we will pay you immediately and pick up your vehicle, free of charge.

Pink, purple, junked, or broken? We will buy your vehicle. Contact us today!