The Color of Your Car Will Affect Resale Value


Saving money is always a good thing. Well, almost always, because you could save money by driving a Chevy Spark instead of a Silverado, but that’s ridiculous.

Fortunately, there’s a simple way you can protect the investment you made with your vehicle. All it takes is selecting the right car color. Yes, the paint color of your car, truck or SUV can make a difference in how much it’s worth later.

The Study

We know this interesting fact because Autolist conducted a deep study of used vehicle prices. It looked at the paint color and pricing issue from a few different angles. The results are fascinating, and not entirely what most people would expect.

To get their results, Autolist’s team of experts plowed through price and color info for over 3.3 million vehicles. They took into account the time of year the vehicles were sold when calculating the expected value. Color wasn’t factored in until after expected value was calculated.

Car Color in General

Obviously, one car color is going to be more popular than another. When it comes to vehicles, Autolist found in general people tend to favor white the most.

Interestingly, black came out as the least popular car color overall for vehicles. I’ve owned several black cars. Sure, the color is high maintenance, but it looks amazing clean and freshly waxed. Apparently, I’m in the minority.

In addition, Autolist looked at price variations for each color, finding black to have the biggest spread. The color with the least variation was silver, which I’ve had on a couple cars and always found boring.

Body Type Matters

The information above is for all vehicles. Things get more interesting when you look at different body types. Autolist uncovered that hatchback prices are the least affected by color. Of course, in America hatchback owners are considered some weird fringe group. Maybe they’ve already risked so much socially with their vehicle choice, color no longer really matters? White is the most popular, while blue is the most shunned.

Wagon values are the second-least affected by paint choices. Again, this is a vehicle type Americans largely shun, so that could be a factor. Also, Subaru dominates this segment. With new wagons entering the market, it would be interesting to see how this plays out in about five years. White is the most favored by this crowd, while silver comes in at the bottom.

Thanks to Autolist’s research, we now know the vainest group of car shoppers are people wanting a convertible. That body type saw the biggest spread in values for different colors. At the bottom was boring, drab gray. After all, who would want to buy a flashy convertible, only to have it look like a blob of disgusting? Of course, red came out on top, because nothing screams convertible more.

What’s more surprising is that pickup shoppers are the second vainest of the bunch. There’s a huge spread between the bottom of the barrel, where blue is rejected by guys wanting a vehicle that looks tough. Black is the top choice, maybe because most people buy pickups for that sinister, murdered-out look? That’s a guess, but it might not be too far off from reality.

Another interesting fact Autolist dug up was that minivan shoppers actually care about color. That body type falls into about the middle when it comes to price gap between the most and least popular color options. Most people probably figure minivan shoppers have just given up and don’t care what their vehicle looks like, but that appears to not be the case. They love white the most. Once again, blue is the red-headed stepchild of the options.

Make and Model Differences

But wait, there’s more. Autolist went a step further and drilled down through the data by make and model. The results tell us who the most image-conscious shoppers are not just by what type of vehicle they buy, but the exact model.


Coming in as the vainest in the used market are Ford F-150 shoppers. Just like the overall pickup market, they hate blue and love black. The price difference between those two colors is even greater than for trucks in general.

Before the Chevy crowd starts laughing, know the Silverado landed in second place. The same colors came out on top and bottom, showing that if you prefer a Blue Oval or Bowtie, you pretty much have the same tastes.

More shocking is that the Toyota Camry came in third. Yes, people who are notorious for driving poorly, and think their car is grounded to the ground, really care about color. They hate red the most, because let’s face it, nothing about the Camry is sexy. No shocker, white was the top choice.

People who seem to care the least about image are Ram 1500 shoppers. Apparently, they just want the truck, no matter what it looks like. That’s interesting, partly because out of mainstream brands, FCA has one of the most vibrant color palettes out there.

Car Color Matters

The big takeaway here is that color matters when you go to sell your car. You might not think it does, but obviously enough people are willing to pay a premium for the “right” color, which varies based on what kind of vehicle it is.

So choose wisely when ordering a new car.