Here Are the Best and Worst Colors of Tesla Cars to Own: EV Study

Red Tesla Model S cars hold their value best on the resale market.

Red Tesla Model S cars hold their value best on the resale market. John Keeble/Getty Images

All Tesla cars are not created equal, especially if you want to sell one on the second-hand market.

According to a new study by automotive research site iSeeCars, brown versions of the Model S are the fastest depreciating cars among all colors of Tesla models, with a 25% higher chance than the average Model S to be discounted more than 10% on the resale market.

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Gray and green Mode S cars are also vulnerable to depreciation. Both are about 7% more likely than the average Model S to be deeply discounted.

On the other end of the spectrum, red Model S cars tend to hold their value best. White and silver come in a close second, while black and blue cars fall near the average.

Fortunately for first-hand Tesla buyers, some of those unpopular colors have already been discontinued due to low demand. The brown Model S was cancelled in late 2014; green and gray were taken off the list shortly after. Currently, the Model S comes in five colors: black, white, silver, blue and red.

Explaining the popularity of the red Model S on the used car market, iSeeCars CEO Phong Ly suggested that buyers may be buying into the recent price increase of red paint. “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,” Ly said in a research report.

Red is also one of the colors commonly associated with sports car shoppers, Ly added, while blue hues “aren’t as popular with luxury car buyers.”

Interestingly, the depreciation rates for different colored Model X cars don’t have much in common with the Model S findings—black and white Model X vehicles hold value best, while red and blue are often deeply discounted.

The Model 3 wasn’t analyzed because the study only covered vehicles made between 2014 and 2016, and Tesla didn’t introduce its Model 3 until 2017.

“The EVs with the most deals [defined as 10% or more cheaper than retail price] 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,” Ly said. “It’s important to do some research before making any purchase to find out whether the car you’re considering really is priced well. For Teslas, less-popular colors might be discounted more often, but you can still find deals on common colors.”

The iSeeCars study analyzed more than four million vehicles across various brands that were sold on the U.S. used car market between January and August of this year.

Here Are the Best and Worst Colors of Tesla Cars to Own: EV Study