Your car’s color could hurt or help its value, believe it or not

Yellow? A good choice, especially for a sports car. Tim Stevens/Roadshow Avoid a gold-colored car

Yellow? A good choice, especially for a sports car.

Tim Stevens/Roadshow

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 Honda S2000, for example, is much more desirable than a yellow Dodge Neon. 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.

Vehicle Depreciation by Car Color

Rank Color Avg Price New Avg Price Used 3-Year Depreciation %
1 Yellow $37,742 $30,027 20.40%
2 Beige $28,487 $22,004 22.80%
3 Orange $30,714 $22,400 27.10%
4 Green $35,012 $24,052 31.30%
5 Gray $35,096 $22,331 36.40%
6 Red $35,295 $22,255 37%
7 Blue $35,061 $22,100 37%
8 Silver $35,026 $21,847 37.60%
Overall Average $37,144 $23,187 38%
9 White $39,167 $24,279 38.00%
10 Black $39,447 $24,309 38.40%
11 Purple $36,159 $21,263 41.20%
12 Brown $42,369 $24,517 42.10%
13 Gold $39,868 $21,693 45.60%