Unusual Car Colors Are Cheaper Upfront, Have Higher Resale Value

Yellow cars depreciate in value the least, according to a new study

Shoppers looking for a deal on a new car can save some serious green by going green. Or yellow. Or teal. According to a new study from iSeeCars.com, cars painted in unusual colors are cheaper at initial purchase and depreciate less than common colors such as black, white and silver.

The study looked at 20 million listings of used cars for sale from the 1981 to 2010 model years and found that cars in eye-popping colors like green, yellow and orange retained their value better than conventional colors over a period of five years. For instance, yellow cars lost about 26.2 percent of their value over that time, while white cars depreciated 33.7 percent (iSeeCars looked at the actual selling price of the vehicle, which is why these rates are lower than what is generally predicted).

"While a popular car color like black or silver may get more interest and sell faster, our analysis indicates it may not get as high a value as a car, say, in yellow," Phong Ly, CEO and co-founder of iSeeCars.com said. "Scarcity may account for the difference - only 1.1 percent of all cars are yellow and orange; if teal and green are included, the percentage still goes up to just five percent. The dearth of supply of such colors may drive prices up."

Another possible reason for the difference in depreciation is that brighter-colored cars tend to be sportier cars, which likely factors into higher resale values, as these types of vehicles generally depreciate less over time.

Still, consumers can save money on the purchase price of nearly any type of car if they're willing to opt for a less-popular color. Dealers are often willing to offer extra incentives on cars in harder to move hues, saving customers money upfront, according to Forbes.

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