QOTD: Does Color Affect Resale Value?

Jason R. Sakurai
by Jason R. Sakurai

Color counts when selling or buying a car. But which colors help or hurt? iSeeCars.com, a car search engine, performed exhaustive research on this topic, recently publishing the results.

Their research confirms what we had heard previously from paint manufacturers. White, black, and silver are among the most popular colors. But that also means these colors have minimal impact. They’ll neither hurt nor help resale, because there are a lot of vehicles available in these colors. Did you know the highest depreciating color loses more than twice that of the lowest?

Comparing prices of more than six million cars between 2017 to 2020, iSeeCars.com determined which colors help, hurt, or have minimal impact on resale value.

“A vehicle’s color is a primary consideration after deciding on a make and model,” said iSeeCars Karl Brauer. “Resale value is the biggest factor in vehicle cost. Consumers should consider their color choice.”

What we didn’t realize was that popularity doesn’t always equate with higher resale value. Take for example special colors Toyota has used on Tacomas. Limited to the TRD Pro edition for 2020, army green was made available on all Tacomas in 2021. Brauer said, “Because Toyota pickup trucks hold their value, and olive drab is a novelty, it helped green pickups maintain their value.”

White, black, and silver, are the safest colors with the greatest appeal. But do they help a vehicle maintain its value?

“Many consumers pick mainstream colors not because they like them, but because they assume everyone else does. They appear to be in demand, yet our analysis confirms obscure colors hold their value better,” Brauer said.

Take a look at the color charts, and you’ll see. Some colors work better for one type of vehicle and not another. Fascinating research into one aspect of selling or buying a car we don’t take into account.

[Images: Jeep, Nissan, Toyota, iSeeCars.com]

Jason R. Sakurai
Jason R. Sakurai

With a father who owned a dealership, I literally grew up in the business. After college, I worked for GM, Nissan and Mazda, writing articles for automotive enthusiast magazines as a side gig. I discovered you could make a living selling ad space at Four Wheeler magazine, before I moved on to selling TV for the National Hot Rod Association. After that, I started Roadhouse, a marketing, advertising and PR firm dedicated to the automotive, outdoor/apparel, and entertainment industries. Through the years, I continued writing, shooting, and editing. It keep things interesting.

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  • 28-Cars-Later Seville - LS400Bhp 295 250Ft-tq 280 260Reliable No Yes
  • 28-Cars-Later No, and none of you should be either.
  • Arthur Dailey No.
  • Arthur Dailey My father had multiple Northstar equipped vehicles. He got one of the first Northstar equipped STS's in Canada and continually drove STS's on one year leases for nearly a decade. One of them did 'crap out' on him. It went into 'limp' mode and he drove it to the nearest GM dealer. The vehicle was about half way through its lease, and he was in cottage country (Muskoka). GM arranged to have it flatbedded back to Toronto. He rented a vehicle, drove it home and then took delivery of a new STS within about 4 days. There were no negotiations regarding repairs, etc. The vehicle was simply replaced. Overall he was pleased with the performance of these vehicles and their engines. We also found them a pleasant environment to be in, with more than enough power.
  • Bd2 If they let me and the boyz roll around naked in their dealership I'll buy a Chinese car.
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