This is one of the most difficult questions to answer for new car shoppers. The short, insufficient answer is “Yes and No”. Let us explore the concept to better understand what this means.
Imagine that Lance chooses to buy a black Honda in Boston. At precisely the same moment, Sarah buys a red Honda in Retford. The two cars are the same model with identical features. The only difference is the colour. The value of these vehicles is set by the manufacturer and is identical.
Now, six years later Sarah and Lance decide at the exact same moment to sell their cars. Assuming mileage and condition are identical, they will discover that the book values on their respective cars are still identical. They place “car for sale” advertisements in the paper and one person decides to test drive both vehicles.
He first drives Sarah’s red Honda Retford car and loves the feel and condition but feels that her asking price is a little high. Upon meeting Lance, the car buyer instantly falls in love with his shiny black Boston Honda car and happily agrees to pay the price – which happens to be precisely the same price Sarah was requesting.
That settles things. Black is more valuable than red, right? Not quite.
While it has no actual impact on the value of a vehicle based on the estimates of professionals, the colour of a car can make a significant difference in its value through the eyes of a potential buyer. The problem? Different eyes see different relative values based on different colours. Let us look at a couple of typical colour choices.
White – Probably the most common vehicle colour on the planet. Companies that use fleets of vehicles often choose white as their default colour for one reason – it does not get dirty, it only gets dull. To explain, as long as a white car is evenly dirty with no particularly clean or stained spots, it looks fine. The dirt will only catch the eye when the car is absolutely filthy or the car is next to a very clean white vehicle. This allows longer periods between washing and raises the value of white in many eyes.
Black – Most people agree, there is no vehicle finish more attractive than a showroom clean black car. The problem with black is that the slightest particle of dust is noticeable. Black can be seen as more or less valuable, depending on how much the viewer enjoys keeping a car spotless.
The bottom line is that colour does affect the resale value of a car, but which colour affects it in which direction relies completely on the person making that value judgement.