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The Olympics is all about going for the gold, but when it comes to car colors, it turns out gold may not be so valuable.
A new study from iSeeCars, the Woburn-based automotive data company, reveals how a car’s color can affect its resale value, with certain colors retaining value longer than average.
According to the company’s findings, orange, yellow and green cars see a slower rate of depreciation than the average car. While iSeeCars found the average car loses 29.8 percent of its value over three years, orange cars lose just 21.6 percent of value in the same time period.
Meanwhile, yellow cars lose 22 percent of their value and green cars depreciate by 24.5 percent.
iSeeCars CEO Phong Ly said “supply and demand” is one of the main reasons cars in these shades retain their value longer than others.
“The more unusual colors, such as orange, yellow, and green, are not as readily available (making up only 1.5 percent of all vehicles), yet they are popular with enough car buyers to create a demand that directly affects their resale value,” said Ly in a statement.
Ly also points out that cars in these colors are more likely to be sports cars or muscle cars.
“Not only do these colors appeal to many of the buyers in these segments, but these cars are driven less, most likely because they are not used as daily drivers,” said Ly. “For example, the average mileage of three-year-old orange sports cars is just 27,210 miles, and 26,822 miles for muscle cars, compared to 36,324 miles on average for all cars.”
More common colors including red, gray, white, blue and black depreciate at a rate on par with the average vehicle because there are typically more used cars available in these colors.
“Because buyers shopping for such colors have a lot more choices, sellers may not have as much pricing power,” said Ly.
Meanwhile, iSeeCars found gold vehicles have the quickest rate of depreciation, losing 33.5 percent of their value over three years. While taste in color might play a role, Ly points out that most gold cars are available as sedans, a body style that has waned in demand in recent years.
“We suspect that the lower popularity of sedans may be what’s driving the depreciation of gold vehicles overall,” said Ly.
While cars in flashy colors are rare, they do not sell at a significantly faster rate than average. iSeeCars points out that a three-year-old car spends an average of 43.9 days on the market. Orange cars spend an average of 44.1 days on the market. For yellow cars, the average is 49.5 days, and green cars spend an average of 45 days on the market.
Beige cars spend much more time than average on a dealer’s lot. iSeeCars found the average three-year-old beige car spends 55.8 days on the market.
The study looked at 1.6 million used three-year-old cars of all colors sold between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016. The company calculated depreciation by comparing the average listing price to the average MSRP for each car color and adjusted for inflation.