Does the colour green make a car unlucky?

Of course not. Colour has nothing to do with what happens to any car – except on a dark night without the lights on.

There are so many different hues available these days, though white, silver and black are the most popular, but you should have a good think about the colour of your next car – because it could affect its value.

Researchers at in the US analysed more than 2.1 million sales of three-year-old cars and found that depreciation varied widely across different the different colours.

The sample only applies to the US, but it is a big sample, and the trends are clear.

Miniature cars surrounded by smartiesThe survey showed:

The average car in the US loses 33 per cent of its value in the first three years,  but yellow cars lose only 27 per cent, while gold-coloured cars drop 37.1 per cent.

Orange and green cars are still viewed with skepticism by most buyers. Amazing what an urban myth can do.

They make up just 1.2 per cent of the US domestic market, but they hold their value well above average.

Could that be because the orange ones are bought by folk of Dutch descent and the green ones Irish? 

The three worst colours – beige, purple, and gold – have combined market share of just 0.7 per cent, but depreciate more than 10 per cent worse than the industry average.

And it has very little to do with mileage.

Other data that emerged was that two-door coupés tend to have lower odometer readings than the equivalent sedans.

Across the board, coupés lose only 29.2 per cent of their value over the first three years against the industry average of 33.1 per cent – but gold-coloured two-doors lose 35.8 per cent of their value despite their generally lower odometer readings.

The website advises US buyers looking for a new car to consider something in yellow, orange or green because, on average, they’ll get better value if they sell it after three years.

But if you’re looking for a used car, gold, purple or beige are the colours to go for since the previous owner will have already taken a bigger depreciation hit.

Gold might be a valuable commodity, but apparently not if it’s of the passenger kind.

Happy shopping.

Car colour more important than you think


Bill Buys, probably Australia’s longest-serving motoring writer, has been at his craft for more than five decades. Athough motoring has always been in his DNA, he was also night crime reporter, foreign page editor and later chief reporter of the famed Rand Daily Mail. He’s twice been shot at, attacked by a rhinoceros and had several chilling experiences in aircraft. His experience includes stints in traffic law enforcement, motor racing and rallying and writing for a variety of local and international publications. He has covered countless events, ranging from world motor shows and Formula 1 Grands Prix to Targa tarmac and round-the-houses meetings. A motoring tragic, he has owned more than 90 cars. Somewhat of a nostalgic, he has a special interest in classic cars. He is the father of Targa star Robert Buys, who often adds his expertise to Bill’s reviews.
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments