Certain paint colors are more likely to result in significant savings for used car shoppers according to a new study by car search engine iSeeCars.com.
The automotive research firm analyzed more than 4.1 million vehicles to determine which car colors were more likely to provide deals, defined as savings of 10% or more off a car’s market value.
“The analysis found that less-popular colors don’t always amount to the most significant savings and that both common and uncommon colors can provide deals to used car shoppers,” said Ly. “Additionally, consumers might find the most discounts on beige vehicles, while those looking for a deal on any type of orange vehicle might have a difficult time finding one.”
|iSeeCars Ranking of Car Deals by Color|
|Rank||Color||% Deals Compared to Avg|
The average vehicle has significant savings on 11.3 percent of its inventory. The car color where consumers are most likely to find a deal is beige, which is 24.3 percent more likely to have a deal than the average vehicle. Ranking ninth in terms of popularity among vehicle colors, beige is not among the most popular color choices for consumers, which are black, white, silver, and gray. Within specific vehicle segments, beige has the most discounts on minivans and SUVs and the second-most for passenger cars. “Beige vehicles accrue the highest mileage of all car colors, suggesting that it’s a common color for daily drivers that tend to have less flashy colors,” said Ly. “Examples of beige vehicles that are among the most frequently discounted include the Volkswagen Passat, the Chevrolet Malibu, the Chevrolet Equinox, and the Toyota Sienna.”
Gold vehicles earn the second spot for providing the most deals for car shoppers. “As the eleventh most popular vehicle color, gold is another example of a less-common color choice that can lead to better chances of finding significant deals for consumers,” said Ly. “Examples include the BMW 5 Series and the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid.”
Three popular car colors have greater chances of significant deals than average including third-ranked silver, fourth-ranked black, and sixth-ranked gray. Ly said, “The vehicles that are most likely to be discounted for these common colors are models that just generally have frequent discounts, such as the Fiat 500e and the Chevrolet Volt.”
Three less-popular colors round out the list of colors that are more likely to have significant discounts when compared to the average vehicle: fifth-ranked brown, seventh-ranked blue, and eighth-ranked pink. “The brown vehicle that is most likely to be discounted is the Tesla Model S, and Tesla discontinued the color for the model in 2014 because it wasn’t a popular color choice,” said Ly. “Deals on blue cars are commonly found on luxury vehicles such as the BMW 7 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Mercedes-Benz GLE, which suggests that luxury buyers prefer colors in grayscale.”
Two popular car colors were less likely to have deals than average: thirteenth-ranked red and eleventh-ranked white. “The red and white models that are most abundant in the used car marketplace are pickup trucks, which is the vehicle segment that is least likely to be discounted,” said Ly.
Rounding out the colors that are less likely to provide deals than average are less popular colors including ninth-ranked yellow, tenth-ranked green, twelfth-ranked teal, fourteenth-ranked purple, and fifteenth-ranked orange. “Yellow is a common color for sports cars like the Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang, which are popular sports cars that aren’t often deeply discounted,” said Ly, further explaining, “but surprisingly, within the passenger car segment yellow is the color that provides the greatest chance of finding a deal, perhaps because the color is not as valued on daily drivers.” As for the other less popular colors, Ly said, “There aren’t many used vehicles in these colors in the used car marketplace, which could drive up demand and keep their prices high.”
Colors With the Most Deals for Popular Vehicles
iSeeCars examined the 25 most popular vehicles in the United States to see which color provides the most deals for each model.
|Popular Vehicles: Most Common Color for Deals|
|Model||Color with the Most Deals||% Deals Compared to Model Avg|
|Chevrolet Silverado 1500||White||29.9%|
|GMC Sierra 1500||Brown||19.8%|
|Jeep Grand Cherokee||Beige||37.8%|
|Ram Pickup 1500||Silver||30.5%|
Echoing the trend across all models, beige is the color that is most likely to provide a deal for eight of the 25 popular models, the most of any color. “Among cars where beige is the top color for deals, the Toyota RAV4 stands out as being 71.5% more likely than average,” said Ly. “Along with being popular, the RAV4 is a reliable vehicle and is deeply discounted less than the average SUV.”
The second most popular color to provide deals for popular vehicles is silver. “Across all vehicle segments, silver cars provide more deals than the average for each segment,” said Ly. “Silver is a popular car color, though not the most common, so the supply is likely to outweigh the demand in the used car marketplace leading to deals.”
Unlike the colors that provide the most deals across all models, three colors that are less likely to provide deals appear on the list of most common colors for deals among popular models: white, green, and red.
The three white vehicles that are most likely to provide discounts among the most popular models include three pickup trucks: the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, the Ford F-150, and the Toyota Tacoma. “White is the most popular vehicle color for the Toyota Tacoma and the second-most popular for the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and the Ford F-150,” said Ly. “Dealers likely discount these vehicles because of the high amount of inventory.”
The three green cars that make the list include the Ford Escape, the Toyota Corolla, and the Toyota Highlander. “Although green cars provide fewer deals than the average vehicle in the SUV and passenger car segments, these three models defy that trend,” said Ly. “The green versions of these vehicles comprise a small share of inventory for each model and are likely passed up in favor of more popular colors.”
The popular cars that are most likely to be discounted for their red versions are the Jeep Wrangler and the Subaru Forester. “There is a high amount of inventory of of these red vehicles,” said Ly. “Dealers may be more likely to discount red versions because there is less of a demand for the color on these models.”
SUVs: Colors With the Most Deals
iSeeCars examined the SUV segment to determine which colors are most likely to provide significant deals to consumers when compared to the 10.0 percent average for the vehicle segment.
|iSeeCars Ranking of SUV Deals by Color|
|Rank||Color||% Deals Compared to Avg|
“When looking specifically at the SUV segment, the most discounted colors were very similar to those across all vehicle types,” said Ly.
The color with the greatest chances of finding SUV deals is beige, which is 28.9 percent more likely than the segment average to provide deals. “The beige SUVs that are most likely to provide deals are luxury models, which include the BMW X3, Audi Q5, and Volvo XC90,” noted Ly.
When examining all the colors with above-average chances of deals, luxury SUVs are consistently the vehicles most likely to be discounted. “Luxury SUVs in general may be more likely to be heavily discounted due to their high starting prices that need to come down to attract used car buyers,” said Ly.
Pickup Trucks: Colors with the Most Deals
iSeeCars analyzed the light-duty pickup truck segment to determine which colors are most likely to provide significant deals to consumers when compared to the 8.4 percent average for the vehicle segment.
|iSeeCars Ranking of Light-Duty Pickup Truck Deals by Color|
|Rank||Color||% Deals Compared to Avg|
White pickups are the most likely to be discounted and are 38.0 percent more likely than the average pickup to be significantly discounted. “White is the most popular color for pickup trucks, because they are often used for work purposes and white makes it easier to post recognizable signage on the vehicle,” said Ly. “Because they are so common, the supply is higher for these color trucks in the used car marketplace, which could make dealers competitive with their pricing.”0
Silver, another common pickup truck color is the second-most likely to be discounted with 9.9 percent of the models having significant discounts. “The silver pickups that are most likely to be discounted are from Nissan and include the Titan and the Frontier,” said Ly. “These are among the less-popular pickup trucks, which could explain why they are more likely to be discounted.”
Two less common colors, green and gold, round out the color pickups that are more likely than the segment average to be discounted. “For pickups, green and gold have far less inventory because they are not popular colors,” said Ly. “This could be because these darker and metallic colors are harder to keep clean and maintain, so owners may opt for lower-maintenance colors.”
Gray, red, and blue pickups all fare slightly below the segment average for the most frequent deals of at least 10 percent. “These are all common pickup truck colors, and since the demand for trucks is high, dealers don’t have to deeply discount them,” said Ly.
Orange pickups are the least likely to be discounted, with 5 percent of inventory having significant discounts. “Orange is not a common color for pickups, which could lead to high demand because of the novelty factor,” said Ly.
Sports Cars: Colors with the Most Deals
iSeeCars also looked at the sports car segment to determine which colors are most likely to be discounted by at least 10 percent when compared to the 9.5 percent average for the vehicle segment.
|iSeeCars Ranking of Sports Car Deals by Color|
|Rank||Color||% Deals Compared to Average|
The color that is most likely to be discounted among sports cars is brown, which are 63 percent more likely than the segment average to have deals. “Brown is a common color for daily drivers such as passenger cars and SUVs, and is not as popular in the sports car segment because drivers prefer colors that will make their vehicle stand out,” said Ly. “As a result, they’re likely discounted because sports car drivers prefer a more flashy color.”
Gold earns the second spot as the color that provides the most deals on sports cars. “When looking at color choices for sports cars, gold is among the least common,” said Ly. “Examples of highly discounted gold sports cars include two Maserati models— the Ghibli and Quattroporte, each of which has deep discounts on a sizable portion of their inventory.”
Ranked third as the color with the most available discounts in the sports car segment is silver. “Silver is a pretty common color choice for sports cars, so there are a lot of them in the used car marketplace,” said Ly. “The supply likely outpaces demand as sports car buyers might favor a bolder color.”
Three neutral colors rank slightly above average including gray, beige, and black. “Black and gray are common colors that are more popular for daily drivers, so like silver, they are abundant in the secondary marketplace,” said Ly. “Meanwhile, beige is the least common, so beige sports cars are likely discounted because they aren’t popular with consumers.”
Yellow, which is a more common color for sports cars than any other vehicle segment, is less likely than the average sports car to provide deals. “Although there are more sports cars in yellow than yellow cars of any other vehicle type, yellow is still one of the less common colors within the segment and as a result, demand for them is high,” said Ly.
Red and white, which are also commonly associated with sports cars, are below average for providing significant deals. “Red is the consummate color when it comes to sports cars and white is a popular car color across all segments,” said Ly. “As a result, sports car shoppers are likely to favor these colors over more muted tones so dealers aren’t as competitive with their pricing.”
Color Deals By Metro Area
iSeeCars analyzed the data on a geographic level to determine the color that is most likely to provide deals in the top 20 populous metropolitan areas.
|Metro Area||Color||% Compared to Avg in DMA|
|Boston, MA-Manchester, NH||Beige||20.8%|
|Cleveland-Akron (Canton), OH||Silver||18.8%|
|Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX||Beige||18.3%|
|Los Angeles, CA||Beige||13.1%|
|Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, FL||Silver||13.4%|
|Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN||Beige||25.6%|
|New York, NY||Black||20.2%|
|Orlando-Daytona Beach, FL||Silver||12.4%|
|San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, CA||Brown||10.6%|
|Tampa-St Petersburg (Sarasota), FL||Black||11.9%|
|Washington, DC (Hagerstown, MD)||Beige||19.1%|
Beige vehicles provide the greatest opportunity for car shoppers to find deals in eight metro areas followed by silver, which provides the most deals in seven.
“Consumers looking for a deal on a car should consider looking at beige and gold cars, but deals can still be found on popular colors such as black, white, silver, and gray,” said Ly. “It’s important to do some research before making any purchase to find out whether the car you’re considering really is priced well.”
iSeeCars.com analyzed more than 4.1 million three- to five-year-old used vehicles sold between January and August of 2019. Each vehicle was classified as a deal if it was priced with savings of ten percent or more off the car’s market value as calculated by iSeeCars. For each color, vehicle segment, and nameplate, the chances of finding a deal were mathematically modeled.
iSeeCars.com is a car search engine that helps shoppers find the best car deals by providing key insights and valuable resources, like the iSeeCars VIN check report. iSeeCars.com has saved users over $196 million so far by applying big data analytics powered by over 25 billion (and growing) data points and using proprietary algorithms to objectively analyze, score and rank millions of cars and thousands of dealers. Based in the Boston area, iSeeCars.com was founded by TripAdvisor and SAP veterans determined to improve the car shopping experience for consumers.