When it comes to retaining value, yellow vehicles fare better in a number of categories, according to a new study from iSeeCars.com. Photo by Nick Baker on unsplash.com.

published on June 14, 2022 - 11:33 AM
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Car owners hoping to buy or sell their ride may have another tool to track their car’s value thanks to a recent study of depreciation rates and vehicle color.

A recent study released by iSeeCars.com analyzed more than 650,000 used cars sold from August 2021 to May 2022, finding that certain colors fare better than others when it comes to vehicle value.

The study found that overall, yellow cars held their value better than other colors, showing a 3-year depreciation rate of only 4.5% — well below the overall average of 15%.

“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 iSeeCars Executive Analyst Karl Brauer.

The study breaks down different vehicle body styles, also analyzing SUVs, pickup trucks, sedans, convertibles, coupes and minivans, with yellow coming in with the lowest depreciation in three of the seven applicable categories, including the SUV and convertible rankings.

Overall, the top three colors that depreciate the least over a three-year period are yellow (4.5%), orange (10.7%) and purple (13.9%).

According to the study, brown cars lost the most value, showing a 17.8% depreciation over the same 3-year period. Brown was followed by gold (16.7%), and black (16.1%).

Beige pickup trucks, however, far outperformed yellow in their respective category, with beige trucks depreciating 3.8% over 3-years, compared to yellow trucks at 14.6% over the same time period.

“Toyota introduced a ‘quicksand’ beige hue which was exclusive to its TRD Pro off-road editions in 2016 before becoming available on all of its pickups in 2017,” said Brauer in the study, adding that Toyotas represented the majority of beige colored trucks.

Despite underperforming the competition in the pickup category, yellow SUVs not only ranked first in the category, but outperformed the average 3-year depreciation by 19.3%, seeing a 2.7% rise in value compared to the market average.

Yellow also led the depreciation rankings for convertibles, with an average 3-year depreciation of 11.2%.

The coupe category saw orange leading the way with a 5.6% 3-year depreciation, while green minivans led their category with an average of 13.9% depreciation.

A study by carmax.com in 2019 found that the leading colors for car buyers were black, white and gray, with those three colors adorning just over 59% of cars sold from Dec. 1, 2017, to Nov. 30, 2018.

A similar study by iSeeCars highlighted the most popular car colors as white, black, and gray, with those three colors amassing 62.6% of vehicles sold in 2019. The study included vehicles aged one to five years.

Among the factors used in iSeeCars’ study was the amount of cars of specific colors on the road, taking into account the fact that less common colors such as yellow and orange are more sought after due to their perspective buyers’ specific desire for those colors — meaning that less cars of that color would hit the market.

Yellow did not rank on the list published by CarMax, with orange cars rounding out the list at 0.56%.

With the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showing a 16.1% change in the consumer price index (CPI) of used cars and trucks over the past year, buyers may want to consider color before buying their next set of wheels.


See related story: These used cars had the biggest price hikes in Fresno


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