How Color Affects Your Car’s Selling Price

Color can affect a vehicle's resale price both negatively and positively. The general rule of thumb when you buy a new car that you plan to sell in the future, is to pick something a neutral.

How Color Affects Your Car’s Selling Price

You’re probably well aware of how color affects our choices. Everything from our food choices to our moods and purchasing decisions are affected by color. The color of clothing you choose to put on in the morning communicates to the world what’s going on with you psychologically. The color of the car you drive is no different. It too communicates what you think of yourself and your life. That’s why when you are looking to sell your gently used car it’s always important to take into account your car’s color.

Color can affect resale price both negatively and positively. The general rule of thumb when looking to buy a new car that you plan to sell in a few years, is to pick something a neutral. Black, silver, white, and gray are generally the best bets for any car. These colors are notoriously more popular than others that might have more of a personal appeal to you—say bright red or lemon yellow. If you want a sure seller, stick with white, silver, or grey cars. Those colors show fewer scratches, dings and dents, and dirt. There’s even a study that shows that white cars are less likely to be involved in accidents, though it’s debatable. White is also the world’s most popular color for cars for the fifth year running, according to the most recent study from Axalta Coating Systems, a global car-coating company based in Detroit.

Maintain Your Vehicle's Resale Value

Interestingly enough, blue SUVs and compact crossovers are on the upswing in the U.S. according to the Axalta study. That means that if you are looking to buy something a bit bigger, and sell it down the road, blue might be a great bet. The most popular color for pickup trucks and SUVs is still white, but red has become increasingly popular according to the study. It is in fact, second on the list of most popular colors for SUVs and trucks. If you are looking to maintain your resale value red might be a good bet.

If you are looking for a luxury car, silver communicates the right message. According to the study silver luxury cars sell at a higher price than other colors, though black is just slightly less popular.

Sports cars are still immensely popular in colors like red and yellow. Though there’s some debate as to whether or not those colors make you more of a target for cops and speed traps.

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Colors that Deter Theft

If you want to ensure that your car won’t be a target for theft, The Boston Globe says you should pick something wild like Toyota’s Habanero color or Chevy’s Jalapeno. These colors tend to be less popular and make your car less of a target for theft. On the other hand they also may make them harder to sell down the road.

When thinking about color choices you should also consider how long you plan to own your car. Color trends change over time and as they do your color of choice may fade into oblivion. The other thing to keep in mind when looking at resale is that auto manufacturers do make special edition cars in special colors. Take BMW’s 1 Series M Coupe, for example. Only 2,700 of the Valencia Orange, Jet Black, and Alpine White were made, making that particular car in any of those colors worth a pretty penny. If you were lucky enough to get your hands on one of them in that color then your investment will likely pay off when and if you decide to sell it.

For more on the best ways to maintain your resale value of your new or used car, be sure to visit us here at Instamotor on the regular. We’ll keep you up to date on the latest and greatest in all things automotive.

Abigail BassettAbigail Bassett

Digital media content producer/consultant & former CNN senior producer, now running CN'TRL : Cars, Tech, Real Estate & Luxury.