This post is contributed by Julie Blackley, Communications Manager for

While there’s no truth to the myth that red or other boldly-colored cars are more expensive to insure, a new study shows that the color of your car can, in fact, have an effect on your wallet.

According to the latest analysis by, a vehicle’s retained value varies widely across the spectrum of car colors. While the average car depreciates 33.1 percent in the first 3 years of ownership, yellow cars hold their value the best and depreciate by only 27.0 percent. Conversely, gold cars have the highest depreciation rate at 37.1 percent, making them depreciate 12.1 percent more than the average car.

Here’s the breakdown of how much a car depreciates by color:

Car color Average depreciation over 3 years % difference compared to the average car
Yellow 27.0% -18.5%
Orange 30.6% -7.8%
Green 30.9% -6.9%
White 32.6% -1.6%
Red 32.7% -1.4%
Average 33.1%
Blue 33.5% 1.0%
Brown 33.5% 1.1%
Gray 33.5% 1.2%
Black 33.6% 1.6%
Silver 34.0% 2.6%
Beige 36.6% 10.3%
Purple 36.7% 10.7%
Gold 37.1% 12.1%


Since yellow, orange, and green cars are not as readily available, they tend to depreciate slower. At the same time, they’re still popular enough to create a demand that directly affects their resale value. This is especially true in the sports car and muscle car segments, where bold colors are more common, yet still scarce when compared to the more common colors.

To prove this, we compared how many used yellow Ford® Mustangs were currently for sale against a more common color choice for the popular sports car. Of the total used Mustangs for sale across the country, yellow comprised 4.3 percent of the total while black accounted for 20.7 percent. We repeated the exercise for a popular muscle car, the Dodge Charger. Yellow Chargers accounted for just 1.7 percent of inventory, while black models accounted for 23.2 percent.

What does this mean for consumers?

Shoppers looking for a new car may want to consider a yellow, orange, or green vehicle because it’ll have a higher value if they choose to sell their car after a few years. Meanwhile, consumers who are in the market for a used car may want to consider something in gold, purple, or beige — those cars have already taken a larger proportion of the depreciation hit, so shoppers are more likely to find a deal on them.

The most common car colors (white, black, and gray) depreciate at a rate very close to average. Because these colors are so common, buyers can shop around more easily if they’re interested in them, since the pricing power is reduced for dealers.

So which one is right for you?

New yellow, orange, or green vehicles not only have higher-than-average retention values, but are also easier to spot in a crowded parking lot or garage. Savvy consumers can also take advantage of higher-than-average retained values with more modest hues such as red or white. And while used-car buyers might find the best deals on a gold or purple car, deals are also likely to be found with the less flashy alternatives of beige, silver, or black.

Purchasing a new (or new-to-you) vehicle is a major life event, so conduct thorough research to determine which car is right for you and try to exercise patience to help ensure you get the best deal. You can also visit as a one-stop resource to equip yourself with all the important information before purchasing a vehicle. And you can even take advantage of the site’s search-by-color feature if you’re partial to a certain hue.

For more details about the study and its findings, visit the iSeeCars website.


Julie is the Communications Manager for, an online car search engine powered by big data analytics that helps consumers find the best car deals by providing key insights and valuable resources, like the iSeeCars VIN report. When she isn’t writing about cars, she’s likely wrangling her 2 small children in or out of them. Despite her line of work, running will always be her preferred mode of transportation.

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