It's Not Easy Being Beige: Vehicle Color Affects Depreciation, Study Shows

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
it s not easy being beige vehicle color affects depreciation study shows

Owners of orange or yellow cars should consider themselves blessed, especially if they’re planning on selling.

A study of 1.6 million three-year-old vehicles by reveals that a vehicle’s paint color has a big effect on depreciation and the amount of time it takes to sell.

The study found that orange vehicles depreciate the least after three years (21.6 percent), followed close behind by yellow at 22 percent. That’s 27.4 and 26.2 percent less, respectively, than an average vehicle.

Obviously, you’re thinking. Orange and yellow cars are usually sought-after exotics or muscle cars.

True, vivid colors often show up on droolworthy vehicles, but there’s something else working in their favor — rarity, and less wear. Orange and yellow vehicles make up just 1.5 percent of the market. The two colors topped the “least depreciation” list in almost all body styles and market segments.

“Cars in orange, yellow, and to a lesser extent, green, are primarily sports cars and muscle cars,” said Phong Ly, CEO of, in a statement. “Not only do these colors appeal to many of the buyers in these segments, but these cars are driven less, most likely because they are not used as daily drivers.”

Green, brown and red round out the top five colors with the least depreciation. Gray, white, blue and black, among the most common paint choices, are near average.

Silver and beige, the go-to colors of the 1990s and 2000s, have higher depreciation rates, but nothing is worse than gold. With an average depreciation of 33.9 percent, gold vehicles are dead last. Oddly, it’s the third-fastest-selling color in the study, behind gray and black.

While vivid colors hold their value, it doesn’t reduce the amount of time the vehicle sits on the market. Yellow and red are second and third from the bottom in that part of the study. At an average of 55.8 days on the market, beige vehicles take the longest to sell.

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  • Art Vandelay Art Vandelay on Aug 12, 2016

    What about the hue of Green that was on Jack Baruth's Audi? I'd pay extra for that all day and will one day paint an NA Miata that color. I see Brown was on the desirable list...something I attribute to this forum and the good people at the Brown Car Appreciation Society!

  • Jeff S Jeff S on Aug 12, 2016

    If this article is true then I will look for good used silver vehicles since they are less desirable and cheaper. I prefer silver anyway.

  • Kwik_Shift A manual bug eye WRX wagon (2001-03) would interest me more.
  • El scotto Ferrari develops a way to put a virtual car in real time traffic? Will it be multiple virtual players in a possible infinite number of real drivers in real time situations?This will be one of the greatest things ever or a niche video game.
  • El scotto It's said that many military regulations are written in blood. Every ship's wheel or aircraft joystick has a human hand on it at all times when a ship or aircraft are under power. Tanks, APC's and other ground vehicles probably operate under the same rules. Even with those regulations accidents still happen. There is no such thing as an unmanned autopilot, ever. Someone has to be on the stick at all times.I do not think MB understands what a sue-happy nation the USA is. The 1st leased MB in a wreck while this Type 3 "Semi-Autonomous" driving, or whatever it is called, will result in an automatic lawsuit. Expect a class action lawsuit after the 1st personal lawsuit is filed. Yes, new MB owners can afford and ever are lawyers.Mercedes Benz; "The best wrecks or nothing!" Oh and has anyone noticed that Toyota/Lexus and Honda/Acura, the gray suit with white shirt and striped tie, automobile companies have stayed away from any autonomous driving nonsense?
  • Merc190 Very streamlined but not distinctive enough for a Mercedes. And besides, the streetcar of the early 20th century seems a far more efficient and effective method of people moving in essentially an autonomous manner. A motor car is meant to be driven with proper attention to what's important in every situation. To design it otherwise is idiotic and contradictory.
  • Abqhudson Passenger seating in recent accords has been unacceptable with my 5’2” wife forced to look at the dash while sitting in the hole provided.