Yellow Cars Depreciate Least, Study Finds

Contrary to common held belief, yellow and orange vehicles have lower depreciation rates than black, silver or white ones. After analyzing over 20 million cars from the 1981 to 2010 model years, iSeeCars found out that a $20k car is worth $1,500 more after 5 years compared to a similar model painted in a more conventional hue.
1968 Shelby GT500KR Convertible 1 photo
Photo: Barrett-Jackson
Based on their manufacturer suggested retail price, black vehicles depreciate a whopping 34.4 percent of their original value over 5 years, inflation adjustments included. To put that into perspective, a $40,000 black car will be worth $26,240 in half a decade, while a yellow one will be valued at $29,520.

To boot, an orange car will hold its value almost as good as a yellow painted one. According to Phong Ly, co-founder of iSeeCars, "the dearth of supply of such colors may drive prices up." Thus, scarcity is the most important variable accounting for the difference in value between yellow and orange cars versus vehicles sporting far more traditional paint jobs.

So which type of personal transport depreciates the least? The study found out that amongst SUVs, yellow ones show the least depreciation on average, while teal convertibles are losing the least money over a 5-year period.

If it were your money, what color would you opt for your brand new ride? Would you buy a yellow car for its good depreciation rate or would you listen to your heart and go for that candy apple red you've always wanted?
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About the author: Mircea Panait
Mircea Panait profile photo

After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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