• Sign in
  • |
  • Sign up

Car Buying

Does Color Affect Resale Value?

RELATED READING
RESEARCH BY MAKE
Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs
Acura cars, trucks and SUVs Alfa Romeo cars, trucks and SUVs Aston Martin cars, trucks and SUVs Audi cars, trucks and SUVs Bentley cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Buick cars, trucks and SUVs Cadillac cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Chrysler cars, trucks and SUVs Dodge cars, trucks and SUVs Ferrari cars, trucks and SUVs FIAT cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Freightliner cars, trucks and SUVs GMC cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs Infiniti cars, trucks and SUVs Jaguar cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Kia cars, trucks and SUVs Lamborghini cars, trucks and SUVs Land Rover cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Lincoln cars, trucks and SUVs Lotus cars, trucks and SUVs Maserati cars, trucks and SUVs Mazda cars, trucks and SUVs McLaren cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs MINI cars, trucks and SUVs Mitsubishi cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Porsche cars, trucks and SUVs RAM cars, trucks and SUVs Scion cars, trucks and SUVs smart cars, trucks and SUVs SRT cars, trucks and SUVs Subaru cars, trucks and SUVs Tesla cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Volvo cars, trucks and SUVs
RESEARCH BY STYLE
AWD/4WD
Commercial
Convertible
Coupe
Hatchback
Hybrid/Electric
Luxury
Sedan
SUV/Crossover
Truck
Van/Minivan
Wagon

author photo by Doug DeMuro July 2013

If you're shopping for a new car, you might be tempted by all the bright colors offered by automakers. You may also be eager to get away from colors such as silver, white and black that are so common on today's cars. But before you order your next car in purple, we have a few words on how your car's color can affect its resale value.

Popularity Matters

Are standout colors a bad buy? That's definitely possible. Kelley Blue Book (KBB) says a whopping 50 percent of all new cars are silver, white or black. That's a big figure, and it proves most drivers would rather choose a traditional color than experiment with a new one.

In other words, when you go to sell your bright yellow car, you might find a much smaller pool of shoppers than you would if your car was a more common color. Thus, it could take longer to sell your car -- and could easily lower the selling price.

Not Always Silver, Black or White

You don't necessarily have to get silver, black or white to preserve your resale value. While KBB says half of today's cars are those colors, some market segments are open to other options.

For instance, dark red and dark green combine for around 15 percent of SUV, minivan and light truck sales. Roughly 15 percent of luxury cars are either dark blue or dark red. And nearly 20 percent of sports cars are either medium blue or bright red. That means car colors offer a little variation beyond the standard choices, if you pick the right color and the right model.

When Is Wild OK?

In some cases, it's totally acceptable to choose a wild color such as bright green, orange or yellow. One example is if you decide to lease your car instead of buy it. While some dealers will groan at taking back an unusual color when the lease ends, leasing is one worry-free way to have a bright car.

You're also in the clear if you own your cars a long time. While unusual colors may see a resale value penalty after the first few years, drivers who keep cars for 10 year or more likely won't be affected when it comes time for a new car.

Of course, shoppers who simply don't mind the resale value drop can also choose a wild color. If you know you might lose some money -- and you're okay with it -- you can pick just about any color you want. Just be sure it's one you won't get tired of in a few months.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Close 
Does Color Affect Resale Value? - Autotrader