Bright hues bring back the most bucks, while subdued shades will cost you down the road.

As depreciation is a motorist’s greatest long-term ownership expense, it behooves a new-car buyer to choose a model that best holds onto its original value over time. We’ve compiled lists of vehicles predicted to deliver the best and worst five-year resale values, but how much cash a car will bring at trade-in time is affected by a variety of factors, particularly a vehicle’s condition and the number of miles on the odometer, tempered by local supply and demand issues.

But as it turns out, a vehicle’s color can also affect its resale value under certain circumstances, with yellow cars bringing back the most bucks; that’s according to a study of over 2.1 million used vehicle transactions conducted by the website iSeeCars.com. Lemon-colored rides suffer an average 27% depreciation after three years, which is 18.5% higher than the norm.

Other car colors that enable significantly better-than-average resale values are the equally bright and cheerful orange (7.8% above average), and green (+6.9%).

However, if your vehicular taste is even flashier than that, be aware that you’ll pay dearly for your dubious choice, as gold cars tend to command 12.1% less than the average used model. The other questionable colors that take a much bigger-than-average hit at trade-in time include purple (10.7% below average), and beige (-10.3). If you’re not shy about driving a gold, beige, or purple vehicle (or are color blind in the first place), their depressed resale values tend to make the excellent values in the used-car market.

Meanwhile, the most common car colors—white, black, red, and gray—tend to depreciate at a near-average rate. Because they’re the most plentiful versions in a given model line, used-car buyers can shop around to get the exact combination of features they desire and enjoy added bargaining power in the process.

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Buy why is yellow the color of money when it comes to a car’s resale value? For the most part it’s a case of supply and demand. Yellow cars are inherently less common than other hues, and tend to be limited mainly to sporty cars, convertibles, and a few SUVs (like the Jeep Wrangler) that already tend to hold their value well.

Okay, we know they’re out there, but when was the last time you saw a yellow pickup truck? (For 2018 that would most likely be certain versions of the Chevrolet Colorado, Nissan Titan, GMC Sierra, or the Ram 1500/2500.) Apparently, that degree of scarcity is worth something, as lemon-colored pickups depreciate only 25.8% over three years, compared to 30.9% for the average open-bed truck, while yellow SUVs lose a mere 10.9% of their original value over the same period. That's nearly half the segment average of 20.9%, according to the website’s data.

On the other hand, while they’re about as uncommon as yellow, orange, and green-painted vehicles (accounting for 1.2% of all three-year-old cars), other scarce car colors like beige, purple, and gold (a mere 0.7% of the market) rank rock-bottom in terms of resale values across every market segment.

Apparently, good taste accounts for something.

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