When purchasing a vehicle few of us consider depreciation and resale value down the road, but with the price of new cars and trucks so high and gag-worthy interest rates, it might make sense to factor vehicle color into the equation - because data shows it can make a significant difference 3-6 years down the road, when you put it on the market.

According to J.D. Power: the color of a car can have an effect on its resale value. Many buyers choose to buy white, black, gray, or silver cars because they retain their value better. If your car is a flashier color, you may have difficulty selling it.

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Excuse me, where can I find a gray Aston Martin? Credit: Paul Douglas
Excuse me, where can I find a gray Aston Martin? Credit: Paul Douglas
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Anecdotally, it does seem like more consumers are playing it safe and buying vehicles in various gray shades or white these days - there are fewer cars and trucks with wild paint jobs out there than there were 20 years ago. Fewer pink Jeeps, for instance:

If Barbie owned a Jeep. Credit: Paul Douglas
If Barbie owned a Jeep. Credit: Paul Douglas
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There are exceptions to every rule, of course. For some reason minivan buyers prefer green, and yellow is very popular for convertibles, as well as midlife-crisis red.

According to Money.com, gold and brown are the two worst colors - and resale values down the road may be affected. They go on to say the above-average colors for resale value are yellow, beige, orange, green, red, white and blue. These could be good choices if resale value is a top concern. They confirm the color of a vehicle matters quite a bit and can make a difference of several thousand dollars when it’s time to sell.

BMW Z8. Credit: Paul Douglas
BMW Z8. Credit: Paul Douglas
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iSeeCars.com looked at the data and had this conclusion:

  • The average car loses 22.5 percent of its value after 3 years, but yellow cars only lose 13.5 percent, which equates to saving more than $3,000 compared to the average vehicle
  • Yellow, beige, orange and green cars all lose less than 20 percent of their value
  • Gold, brown and black cars drop the most in value, losing over $10,000 after 3 years

A vehicle’s color can impact its value by up to $5,000, according to new research by iSeeCars.com.

Personally, I have loved all my vehicles over the years, but I tend to go with silver or white (easier to keep clean) and I've shied away from wilder colors. A black SUV or pickup truck looks amazing (when it's clean) but it's the first color to show dirt and dust.

As always, your results may vary. My takeaway in all this: avoid a brown or gold vehicle at all costs. Consider the color of your next ride before you sign on the dotted line.

You'll thank yourself down the road.

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