Colour matters, period. The colour of your new car not only affects the cost of ownership but also the resale value of the vehicle. This is due to many reasons, including the ever-changing colour preferences of the car buying lot. Moreover, even factors like the place of your residence play a definite role in deciding your car’s worth as select paint shades enjoy a higher preference in some locations.
The depreciation of a motor vehicle is its owner’s biggest ownership expense, but this realization mostly hits only when it’s time to sell of the car. While there are many factors that play a role in judging the resale value of your vehicle, its paint shade is an important factor that is often overlooked by the seller. We’ve looked into our car sales data, collected over the last few years, to figure out how a particular paint shade affects the resale value of a car.
As can be gauged by having a look at our data, a vehicle’s exterior colour shade plays a definite role in affecting the resale value. Moreover, the effect of the colour on a car’s resale value varies from one location to another. For example, used cars that have a black or dark blue paint shade fetch a lower price than similar models in other colours in places like Hyderabad and Bengaluru. The reason for this can be attributed to the perception that many may have that a dark coloured metal object brings bad omen.
In the metro cities like that of New Delhi, Bombay, and Bengaluru, it has been observed that on an average, the resale price of a black car ends up being 5 per cent lower than that of a similar model in white colour. Even silver and red colour shades fetch almost the same prices for a model in similar condition. If you get into intricacies, however, you’ll notice that the silver colour commands a premium of almost 2 per cent over the white paint shades.
The effect of colour on the resale value of a vehicle also varies from vehicle to vehicle. For example, if you look at the Maruti Wagon R, which has been among the highest selling small cars in India, it’s the Red shade that fetches the maximum price. The lowest, of course, is black, while White commands a significant premium over it. At the second slot is the silver shade, which is more popular than even White.
Coming to the Honda City, which has been among the most popular mid-size sedans, it has been noticed that the silver colour shade commands the highest resale value. The next most popular colour shade among buyers is the Red, which is followed by White. Black is the poorest when it comes to minimizing the depreciation.
The third car whose resale value we have analysed is the Maruti Alto, which has been the most popular budget car since time immemorial. When it comes to the Alto, it’s the silver paint shade that commands the highest resale value, followed by white, red, and black, in that order.
Finally, if we talk about the Hyundai Santro Xing, which is a popular car that was discontinued several years ago, you’ll notice that here, again, it’s the silver shade that benefits from the lease depreciation. Again, its the black colour shade that has the poorest resale value. This isn’t surprising if you consider that black and other dark shades are really troublesome to maintain. So, it works both ways. First, there are chances that a black coloured car won’t look as pristine as, say, silver or white coloured one, which would already affect the resale value. Furthermore, the prospective buyer would be wary of putting his money on a vehicle that would be difficult to maintain. The combined effect of this leads to poor resale value.
This brings us to the most popular colour – silver. Cars in shades of silver are known to be easy to maintain as the minor scratches can be easily concealed. Plus, the paint shade is even known to lose its sheen slower than other models, which is why a used car that has a silver exterior might look newer than a similar model in a dark paint shade, like black.
Even a white car isn’t a bad bet, considering the resale value of these vehicles is only marginally lower than that of silver models. Like silver, even white is reasonably easy to maintain and is an evergreen colour that has a definite fan following. Shades of red are generally preferred by the young or by those who want their vehicles to look sporty. While red is not as easy to maintain as, say, white, it’s still a popular choice among everyone who needs a car that looks bold. Moreover, it’s not anywhere as tough to maintain as, say, black or dark blue. Hence, the selling price that a red coloured car can fetch in the used car market stays close to what you would get for a similar model in white colour.
From all of the above, it gets clear that one should stay away from black if he or she wishes to ensure a relatively high resale value for your used car. It’s clear why black coloured cars are the least popular. Even the most minor of the scratches easily show on a black-coloured bodyshell, which means the car might look more aged than a similar model in a shade of silver or white. It’s also more difficult to clean a black car, as it is prone to looking quite untidy in a dusty environment.