A car’s color can affect how quickly it loses value, with the highest depreciating color losing almost four times the value as the lowest.

Overall, yellow is the vehicle color that holds its value best, depreciating 70 percent less than the average vehicle. “Yellow is among the least popular car colors with the lowest vehicle share and is commonly a color for sports cars and other low-volume vehicles that hold their value relatively well,” said Brauer. “Because yellow vehicles are so novel in the secondhand marketplace, people are willing to pay a premium for them.”

Orange ranks second as the color that holds its value best. “Like yellow, orange comprises a small overall share of vehicles and is most often found on low-volume sports and muscle cars,” said Brauer. “Orange is such a novel color that it is often the choice for popular special edition vehicles, like the 30th edition Mazda MX-5 Miata and the 2023 Toyota GR86 Special Edition, which are typically limited production vehicles.”
The paint colors with the highest depreciation—gold and brown—also have low market share, but depreciate far worse than average. “Rarity alone does not equal value. If a color doesn’t resonate with enough used car shoppers it will hurt resale value, even if it’s uncommon,” said  Brauer.

White, black, gray, and silver, are the most popular car colors and depreciate at a rate close to average. “Many consumers choose these grayscale colors not because they like them, but because they assume everyone else does,” said Brauer. “Because these are the most common colors they aren’t in short supply, and choosing these colors won’t help or hurt resale value much.”

Beige, a relatively uncommon car color, also depreciates at a rate close to average, while four jewel tones – purple, red, green, and blue – hold their value better than average. “Although the term ‘beige’ has become synonymous with boring, it encompasses a spectrum of hues from off-white to a light brown and stands out in a parking lot while still being a neutral color,” said Brauer. “Red, green, and blue fare slightly better than average because they are slightly more novel than grayscale colors and allow drivers to stand out without having to choose a flashy, obscure color.”


About the Author