Research conducted by iSeeCars.com suggests that over five years, brighter hues such as yellow and orange will lose less value than the colours most people choose. The US-based site claims to have analysed 20 million used cars from 1981 to 2010, coming up with an average cost of depreciation by calculating the original price of cars, the used car price, and aggregating the colours to determine the value drops for each colour.
According to the findings, the yellow cars held up best, with an average depreciation rate of 26.2 per cent over five years. Orange performed the next best, at 27.2 per cent, followed by green (31.3 per cent), teal (31.4 per cent), red (31.7 per cent) and beige/brown/gold (33.3 per cent).
The more popular colours fared worse. Blue cars were bang-on the industry average in holding 33.6 per cent of their value, while white (33.7 per cent), silver (34.0 per cent) and grey (34.2 per cent) were near the bottom of the ladder. Black was the worst performing colour, with average depreciation over a 60-month period of 34.4 per cent.
Popular colours, then, appear to lose their value faster due to the fact there are more cars available in those hues to choose from.
"While a popular car colour 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," said iSeeCars.com CEO and co-founder Phong Ly. "Scarcity may account for the difference - only 1.1% of all cars are yellow and orange; if teal and green are included, the percentage still goes up to just five per cent. The dearth of supply of such colours may drive prices up."
The type of car can alter the value it can retain, too. According to the analysis, less common car-colour combinations - such as yellow SUVs or teal convertibles - lose less value than more conservatively-coloured examples of those types of car.