Yellow cars hold their value better. Here’s why

According to a new study by, yellow vehicles perform better in several categories when it comes to value retention. Photo by Nick Baker on

published on June 14, 2022 – 11:33 am
Written by Ben Hensley

Car owners looking to buy or sell their vehicle may have another tool to track their car’s value thanks to a recent study on depreciation rates and vehicle color.

A recently Study published by analyzed more than 650,000 used cars sold from August 2021 to May 2022 and found that certain colors perform better than others when it comes to vehicle value.

The study found that yellow cars held their value better overall than other colors and had a 3-year depreciation rate of just 4.5% – well below the overall average of 15%.

“Yellow is one of them least popular car colors with the lowest proportion of vehicles and is generally 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 various vehicle body styles and also analyzes SUVs, pickups, sedans, convertibles, coupes and minivans, with yellow scoring the lowest depreciation in three of the seven applicable categories, including the SUV and convertible rankings.

Overall, the top 3 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 depreciated the most, showing a 17.8% depreciation over the same 3-year period. Brown was followed by gold (16.7%) and black (16.1%).

However, tan pickup trucks far outperformed yellow in their respective categories, with tan trucks depreciating 3.8% over 3 years compared to yellow trucks’ 14.6% over the same period.

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

Although the yellow SUVs underperformed the competition in the pickup category, they not only took first place in the category, but also surpassed the average 3-year depreciation by 19.3% and recorded a 2.7% increase in value in comparison to the market average.

Yellow also topped the convertible bond depreciation rankings, with an average 3-year depreciation of 11.2%.

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

A Study by in 2019 found that the leading colors for car buyers were black, white, and gray, with those three colors gracing just over 59% of cars sold between December 1, 2017 and November 30, 2018.

A similar study by iSeeCars highlighted the most popular car colors white, black and grey, with these three colors accounting for 62.6% of vehicles sold in 2019. The study included vehicles aged between one and five years.

Factors used in iSeeCars’ study included the number of cars on the road with specific colors, taking into account that less common colors such as yellow and orange are more desirable due to their potential buyers’ specific desire for those colors. meaning fewer cars of that color would enter the market.

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

With the US Bureau of Labor Statistics shows a change of 16.1% In the Consumer Price Index (CPI) of used cars and trucks over the past year, buyers might want to consider color before buying their next set of wheels.

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

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