Options, transmissions, and color determine a given model's resale value.
John Goreham's picture

The Options and Color You Choose Will Determine the Value of Your Car At Trade-In Time

When you buy new next time, carefully consider the options and color of your vehicle to maximize your trade-in value.
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In addition to intelligently selecting a good model and brand for resale value, vehicle shoppers would be wise to carefully select the options the car comes with and pick a popular color to ensure they get the most money back when it is time to sell on or trade in their car. One need only check out an Edmunds, KBB, or other car appraisal site to prove this is true. Every one of these sights will ask you about the options and color of your vehicle before telling you the value. Here is how you can make the right choices.

Resale Value - Transmissions
One of the most important things to consider when buying a new vehicle is the right transmission. Certainly, your own preference comes into play.You should get what you want. However, be forewarned that in certain types of vehicles, the transmission is key to a quick and profitable resale later on.

In mainstream vehicles like the Toyota Corolla and Honda Accord, nobody wants your used stick shift car. It may sound fun, but in traffic, these cars are a bummer to drive with a stick. Conversely, if you opt for a small sporty car like a Mazda Miata or Fiat 124 Spider, you better get the stick, or your pre-owned roadster isn't going to sell. Sporty off-road trucks like a Tacoma TRD Pro and muscle cars like a Camaro are vehicles in which you can go either way and not hurt the resale value much

Resale Value - Infotainment
Despite being big fans of Toyota, we must say that anyone who buys a model without Apple Car Play and Android Auto is starting off with a vehicle that will be discounted at trade-in time. If you do opt for a behind-the-times brand that isn't offering Apple Car Play and Android Auto, be sure to get the factory navigation system. Similarly, you would have to be crazy to opt for a base model (like a Honda Fit) without Sirius XM compatibility.

Resale Value - Color
Color matters, and it is also somewhat regional. Yellow is the new black, and a very desirable color for many sporty cars, but when it comes to mainstream cars, you may want to go with a silver. Black is a very popular color, as are many dark shades, but if you live where roads are salted and sanded, those colors will have more visible chips on the hood when you go to resell. The chart above from iSeeCars.com shows which colors have the best average resale value with yellow and orange being the best.

Thinking through what car configuration you opt to buy may well save you money in the long run. Even if it means adding in some options.

Related Story: Why does the 2104 Toyota Prius have a 42% better resale value than the Nissan Leaf?


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