2021 Study Suggests Your Boring Silver Paint Job Is Hurting Your Resale Value

Illustration for article titled 2021 Study Suggests Your Boring Silver Paint Job Is Hurting Your Resale Value
Image: Jaguar

Choosing the color of your car is a very personal thing, and I don’t know many people who select their color based on how it will affect their resale value. It turns out the color you can impact your value, and the colors that do the best may surprise you.


Personally, I am a sucker for dark blue cars. Out of the six cars I have ever owned, four have been dark blue. My wife’s Odyssey is also dark blue, but technically that’s not my car. I had one black car, and while it looked sharp after a fresh wash, it didn’t look so great at any other time. I can’t even imagine myself in a red or yellow car unless I was buying a Ferrari, but it turns out those “loud” colors might mean higher resale.

Our friends at iSeeCars analyzed over 700 thousand sales and aggregated the resale by color within various segments, the data shows that colors like yellow and orange help retain value the best, but the logic behind this is interesting, as the article lays out:

Mainstream colors, including white, black, and silver, are popular because they are seen as the safest colors with the widest appeal. But are those the best colors for helping a vehicle maintain its value?

There’s a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy going on here, with many consumers picking these mainstream colors not because they like them, but because they assume everyone else does,” said Brauer. “This makes white, black, and silver appear to be in high demand, yet our analysis confirms that more obscure colors tend to hold their value better than common and popular colors.”

Illustration for article titled 2021 Study Suggests Your Boring Silver Paint Job Is Hurting Your Resale Value
Screenshot: iSeeCars.com

Furthermore, there is also the issue of demand. iSeeCars explains that there are far fewer cars available in yellow and orange, so the buyers that really want an orange or yellow car may be likely to pay a little more to get that color. Of course, it is a bit strange that beige takes the number two spot since that is not really an “interesting” color. Perhaps some Toyota Camry buyers really have to have beige.

While resale may be a consideration on what color you choose, I maintain that you should get the color and features that you care about most and don’t worry so much about the person who buys it next.

Tom is a contributing writer for Jalopnik and runs AutomatchConsulting.com. He saves people money and takes the hassle out of buying or leasing a car. (Facebook.com/AutomatchConsulting)


Half-track El Camino

On the other hand, if you’re buying new it may not even be possible to get a car with a color anymore.

My mom recently bought a car. She wanted a red one. For a while she was interested in a RAV4 Prime, and the dealers she talked to only had white ones. If she’d gotten one it would’ve been white, even though she wanted red.

Later, she bought a Model Y. Those were available in red, but only at a $2,000 upcharge. Mom said “screw that,” and settled for a white one even though it’s not what she wanted.

My dream car at the moment is a Volvo V60 Recharge T8 Polestar. They are available in black, white, gray, silver, and a darker silver. That’s it. No colors are offered, only grayscale.

Some of this is being driven by dealers and manufacturers, not by actual consumers.