Tesla Colors: Which Offer the Most and Least Deals?

By Julie Blackley

According to a recent iSeeCars study, brown versions of the Tesla Model S are the most likely to offer deals, while red models are the least likely. 

The study analyzed more than 4.1 million vehicles to determine which car colors are more likely to provide used car deals, defined as savings of 10% or more off the market value and identified the car colors that provide the most and least deals. 

As part of its vehicle segment analysis, iSeeCars examined electric vehicles with a focus on the Tesla Model S and the Tesla Model X. The data only included vehicles from the 2014-2016 model years, so the Tesla Model 3 and newer EVs were excluded from the analysis. 

Tesla Model S and Model X: Colors with the Most and Least Deals

iSeeCars Ranking of Tesla Model S Deals by Color
Rank Color % Deals Compared to Model Average 
1 Brown 25.6%
2 Gray 7.1%
3 Green 6.7%
4 Blue 1.9%
5 Black -0.6%
6 White -6.2%
7 Silver -6.2%
8 Red -11.2%
 

iSeeCars found that, on average, 28.2 percent of Tesla Model S models are deeply discounted.

When compared to that average, the color that provides the most deals is brown, which is over 25 percent more likely to provide savings of 10 percent or more. “Tesla discontinued the color in late 2014 because it wasn’t popular, which explains why it is the most frequently discounted color,” said iSeeCars CEO Phong Ly. 

Gray, green, and blue round out the colors that are more likely than average to be discounted. “After black and white, gray is the third-most common Model S color, which suggests that there may be more supply than demand for the color on the used car market,” said Ly. “Green was discontinued in 2015 likely due to low demand, and blue hues typically aren’t as popular with luxury car buyers.”

As for the colors that have less of a chance of offering significant deals, black falls just below average. “The most popular color for the Model S is black, which is commonly associated with luxury and a favorite among luxury car shoppers,” said Ly. “Tesla has two black hues, a standard and metallic, and the metallic was removed from the lineup in September 2018.”

White, silver, and red round out the Model S colors that are the least likely to be discounted. “These car colors are popular for sports cars, so Tesla buyers are likely to buy them even if they aren’t competitively priced,” said Ly. “Tesla recently raised the price of its red models to be its most expensive paint option, so demand is likely raised because used car buyers recognize its added value.”

iSeeCars also analyzed the Tesla Model X to determine the likelihood of deals based on paint color. On average, 16.9 percent of Tesla Model X models are discounted by at least 10 percent.

 

iSeeCars Ranking of Tesla Model X Deals by Color
Rank Color % Deals Compared to Model Average 
1 Blue 9.8%
2 Red 9.5%
3 Silver 5.8%
4 Gray 0.4%
5 Black -9.8%
6 White -10.9%
 

Blue is the color that is most likely to provide Model X deals followed closely by red. “Blue and red are also the colors with the lowest Model X inventory in the used car marketplace,” said Ly. “These colors are more popular for sporty cars, so luxury SUV buyers likely prefer a more neutral hue,” said Ly.

Ranked third is silver, followed by gray. “Tesla’s metallic silver color wasn’t as popular with buyers, which led to its discontinuation,” said Ly. “Its dark gray color is slightly more popular and is discounted close to average.”

Black and white are the colors that are less likely than average to be discounted. “Black and white are the most popular colors across all vehicle types,” said Ly. “While the most popular colors are often discounted because the supply is high in the secondary marketplace, it isn’t the case with Model X’s because inventory is still relatively low.”

Electric Vehicles - Colors with the Most and Least Deals 

iSeeCars analyzed specifically electric vehicles (EV) models to see which colors provide the most and least deals when compared to the model’s average. 

Color With the Most Deals Color With the Least Deals
Model Color % Deals Compared to Model Average Color % Deals Compared to Model Average
BMW i3 Silver 22.0% Orange -14.6%
BMW i8 Gray 8.9% Blue -3.6%
Chevrolet Volt Silver 12.0% White -5.4%
Fiat 500e Gray 7.4% White -21.3%
Kia Soul EV Blue 6.4% Gray -9.6%
Nissan LEAF Red 14.3% White -6.8%
Tesla Model S Brown 25.6% Red -11.2%
Tesla Model X Blue 9.8% White -10.9%
Volkswagen e-Golf White 12.7% Blue -5.1%
 

When looking at EV models, the color that is the most likely to have deals for each model varies widely. Silver, gray, and blue provide the most deals for two models each; brown, white, and red each provide the most deals on a single model. “The EVs with the most deals tend to be in the more common colors, but some models like the Teslas, the Kia Soul EV, and the Nissan LEAF defy that trend,” said Ly.

White is the color that is least likely to be discounted across four EV models: the Chevrolet Volt, the Fiat 500e, the Nissan Leaf, and the Tesla Model X. “White is among the more popular color choices for these models, so the high demand may allow dealers to not be as competitive with their pricing,” 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,” said Ly. “For Teslas, less-popular colors might be discounted more often, but you can still find deals on common colors.”

For information on which colors provide the most and least deals across all vehicle types and data for additional vehicle segments, read the full study.

Methodology

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.

About iSeeCars.com

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.