Vehicle Colors that Grant the Highest Resale Value

By Mike Richards Posted: 12/28/2017

Often, when we buy a car, we don’t think about the color we choose other than to consider our aesthetic tastes. If you like blue, you get something blue. If you like a nice neutral gray, you decide to get a silver or white vehicle. What you may not know is that the color of your vehicle can influence the resale value of the car. There are many factors that contribute to this including retired color schemes, where you live and drive the car, and changing tastes in color among the general public.

Most Popular Paint Colors

When it comes to the most popular colors of cars, it may not be super surprising that they consist of white, black, silver, and gray. This is based solely on the United States market, but it’s worth knowing that white also makes up the most popular color in Europe, South America, and Asia.

However, that doesn’t mean those are the only colors that sell. When it comes to the used car market, orange, yellow, gold, and beige also sell relatively well. What’s interesting is that while they do sell great as used cars, they make up less than three percent of new car sales. The reason they do so well as used cars is because there are simply less of them. People will always enjoy various colors, but some are going to be harder to locate than others.

According to research by iSeeCars, vehicles in yellow and orange depreciate the least among all colors over the first three years of ownership. Gold depreciates the most of all colors, which may be partially due to being a big seller among sedans, rather than other types of vehicles. If you plan to resell your car at some point, you’re best off to pick anything other than a gold car.

Patriotic Paint Colors

The most popular paint colors for sports cars are red, blue, and silver. Performance sedans also are quite popular in red, but minivans are not. White, which is the most popular color in all vehicles, can be easy to clean and is also less likely to show small marks. On top of that, touchup paint is effortless to find so small blemishes can be easily covered up. You often don’t even need a perfect match from the manufacturer if it’s not available.

However, when it comes to luxury vehicles, even SUVs, there is a tendency for using special effect paints, like those that are metallic or feature a tri-coat.

Location Matters

We mentioned above, but the location has a significant impact on the resale value of your vehicle, as well as the operating costs. In places that are warm and sunny, white and silver cars are more efficient than the other colors because the paint color reflects the light. That makes a situation where the air conditioner doesn’t have to do as much work. This, in turn, leads to a car with a better fuel economy than a car with a darker paint applied to it.

Dealer Knowledge

Manufacturers retire, add, and update colors on a regular basis. This may be a name change, an added metallic version, or a whole new color altogether. One way to find out what’s happening with a particular car is to speak with a dealer. They can often tell you how long a color has been available. By choosing a color that has been around for a while, there’s a chance that the color will be removed at some point, which makes finding paint for touchups more difficult and can bump prices on repairs a bit.

Paint Color and Safety

Something else to be aware of is that vehicles with certain color paints have been found to be safer than others. Research shows that drivers in silver cars are 50% less likely to get in an accident than those in another color. This may be because silver better reflects light and is more visible or it may be due to another reason. In either case, when safety matters, lighter cars might be the better choice.

The resell value of your car, based on the paint, is important to know but it may not be the only thing to consider when choosing your next car. Make sure you purchase a used or new car that fits your style and taste but keep some of the foregoing facts in mind for when it comes time for the next vehicle.