Buy a beige pickup truck; show me the resale money

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By James Raia
Buying a beige-colored pickup truck is smart; purchasing a brown truck, not so much.

At least that’s the case if getting the best resale price after three years of ownership is important.

Beige trucks have the lowest depreciation via exterior color among three-year-old pickup trucks.
Beige pickup trucks have the lowest depreciation via exterior color among three-year-old vehicles.

According to the analysis of iseecars.com, the online automotive search engine and research website, beige pickup trucks have the lowest average depreciation of any color. A beige pickup truck with a new price of $45,272 has an average resale price after three years of $37,097, or an 18.1 percent depreciation.

After comparing the prices of more than six million new and used cars between 2017 to 2020, iSeeCars.com has determined which colors help, hurt, or have minimal impact on a vehicle’s resale value.

“A vehicle’s color is among the primary considerations after shoppers have decided on a make and model,” said iSeeCars.com Executive Analyst Karl Brauer. “With resale value being the single biggest factor in how much a new vehicle ‘costs’ over the course of ownership, consumers should carefully consider their pickup truck color choice.”

Pickup trucks have lower depreciation than cars

All pickup truck colors depreciate less than the average vehicle given the popularity of the used pickup truck segment.

Three-year-old Brown pickups trucks have the highest depreciation percentage via exterior color among pickup trucks.
Three-year-old brown pickup trucks have the highest depreciation percentage via exterior color.

Mainstream colors, including white, black, and silver, are popular because they are seen as the safest colors with the widest appeal. But are those the best colors for helping a pickup truck maintain its value?

“There’s a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy going on here, with many consumers picking these mainstream colors not because they like them, but because they assume everyone else does,” said Brauer. “This makes white, black, and silver appear to be in high demand, yet our analysis confirms that more obscure colors tend to hold their value better than common and popular colors.”

“Toyota introduced a ‘quicksand’ beige hue which was exclusive to its TRD Pro off-road pickup truck editions in 2016 before becoming available on all of its pickups in 2017,” said Brauer. “Because Toyota pickup trucks hold their value so well, and because this beige hue is a novelty, it helped beige pickups maintain their value.”

The next lowest-depreciating truck colors are white and gray. “The low depreciation of muted colors for trucks could be partly attributed to the use of these pickup trucks for work/fleet purposes, with neutral colors hiding wear and being easier to display company signage,” said Brauer.

Pickup truck depreciation by color

Here’s the list of truck depreciation, listed by color, average new and used price after three years of ownership, and the depreciation percentage:

1. Beige, $45,272, $37,097, 18.1 percent;
2. White, $45,425, $32,369, 28.7 percent;
3. Gray, $44,056, $30,973, 29.7 percent;
4. Green, $44,971, $31,474, 30.0 percent;
5. Gold, $58,355, $40,203; 31.1 percent;
6. Silver, $44,413, $30,539, 31.2 percent;
7. Red, $46,939, $32,036; 31.8 percent;
8. Black, $48,585, $33,088, 31.9 percent;
9. Orange, $44,995, $30,572, 32.1 percent;
10. Blue, $46,161, $31,319, 32.2 percent;
11. Brown, $52,268, $34,785, 33.4 percent.

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James Raia, a syndicated columnist in Sacramento, California, publishes a free weekly automotive podcast and electronic newsletter. Sign-ups are available on his website, www.theweeklydriver.com. He can be reached via email: james@jamesraia.com.

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Michael Jordan
5 days ago

I doubt those figures are correct. A $5000 price difference based on standard colors? If the comparison was a standard color versus an extreme paint job, maybe.

Tom
5 days ago

RED, the brighter the better.

Donald N Wright
5 days ago

Here in Texas, white is popular as it helps reflect our abundant sunlight, Beige is wonderful too, as we don’t have to wash the truck so often.