STUDY: Buy A Purple, Orange or Yellow Car For Higher Resale Value

Image source: Germain Cars

If when choosing a car, it matters to you how much you can sell it for in the future, then contrary to what you might think, you’d best be choosing rare colours rather than boring popular shades. In a colour study by, 650,000 3-year-old vehicles that were sold recently were analysed and their depreciation value determined by colour.


What they found was that cars painted in customers’ top choices of white, black or silver didn’t help maintain the value of the vehicles despite them being in higher demand. On the other hand, cars painted in hues of purple, orange and yellow are produced in such low volumes that if a buyer is inclined towards those shades, they are willing to pay a premium for vehicles in these limited colours.

The average depreciation value for all the cars surveyed after three years is 15%. Shades of brown showed the worst depreciation, that is 17.8%. Black, white and silver vehicles depreciated by 16.1%, 15.5% and 14.8% respectively. Oddly, though, gold did not fare well at all, coming in second last at 16.7%—we don’t know about where you come from, but gold cars is definitely not common here in Malaysia.

A representative from iSeeCars did comment that “Rarity alone does not equal value. If a color doesn’t resonate with enough used car shoppers it will hurt resale value, even if it’s uncommon.” This writer would also add that rarity also does not equal good taste.

Image source: Business Insider

Jewel tones such as blue, green, red and purple held up quite well, with their depreciation value ranging between 13.9% to 14.3%, as they allow drivers to stand out from neutral colours without being overly flashy. Orange ranks second at 10.7% but this improves significantly at the top on this list, which is held by yellow with a depreciation value of 4.5% only. Besides being rare, yellow is often associated with luxury sports cars, which is perhaps why it is able to command a better secondhand value.

The study did look into whether the types of vehicles mattered in this colour study, and while the results of SUVs were similar, it was quite a different outcome for pickup trucks, which saw beige having the lowest depreciation value of 3.8%. The rep explained that majority of available beige pickups were Toyotas (the Japanese automaker named their shade of beige “Quicksand”), which has “stellar value retention” and therefore explains the retention value of beige trucks.

Ooo, we like. Image source:

For coupes, the overall depreciation value is lower, averaging at 8.5%. Coupes tend to be bought and kept by car enthusiasts, so any (of any colour) that enters the market tend to be able to demand a higher value. On the other hand, minivans have the highest average depreciation value of 18.4% with red ones performing the worse on the secondhand market, with prices falling 21% after three years. Guess there are just too many red minivans out there.

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Of course, is a US-based company. Perchance the same results apply across the world and in Malaysia, what are some of the cars with the best resale value (according to colour) that you can buy here? Here are some ideas:

The Suzuki Swift Sport has a “Champion Yellow” option.


Proton Persona in Rosewood Maroon


The Toyota Vios in Orange Metallic
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