Maximize Your Car’s Resale Value by Minimizing Its Color


Does a white car really have a higher resale value in Las Vegas?

To parse truth from myth, I asked my friend (and Chapman Dodge general manager) Don Hamrick. Yes, he says, white cars do demand a higher relative resale value, mostly for obvious reasons. In the blazing heat of summer, “a white car is 20-plus degrees cooler on the outside than a black car.” That means that after sitting in the sun for a while, the car-mometer will read significantly less roasty inside a white car. That’s good enough reason for many desert drivers to prefer white, but not the only one. As any anal-retentive car nut knows, black cars are hell to keep pristine, especially in the desert. “White [cars] show less dust and dirt, so they appear to be clean even when they aren’t,” Hamrick says. Nice trick.

Still, the heat factor is key when it comes to explaining the price premium. After a dark-colored car soaks up all that solar energy, it transfers the heat to every component of the vehicle. It’s not just the seat belts that get steak-searing hot, but also, for instance, the A/C ducts as well. “When it is 110 outside, cooling a dark car takes forever!” Hamrick says. Yes, we know. Remember when seatbelt latches were all metal? My right butt cheek recalls that black 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix all too well.

The twist? Guess what color has the second highest (relative) resale value, according to Hamrick? Ironically, it’s black. After all, Las Vegans love to roll with attitude, and as Snoopy once said, “Sometimes you have to sacrifice comfort for style.” Indeed.

What’s more important: Vegas’ past or its future?

Both, to varying degrees. Las Vegas’ willingness to rapidly adapt, demolish and press forward is one of its defining characteristics, but as the city slowly matures, the tension between past and future intensifies. I relish the cultural touchstones of yesterday, but think it’s dangerous to get too wrapped up in their physicality. Vegas is more an attitude than a place, so if you want to see an example of where we have sacrificed our intrinsic “Vegasness,” I’d point to things like our city’s resistance to medical marijuana, gay marriage and other government-impeded freedoms. It’s as if once Nevada legalized gambling, Las Vegas ran away from legalizing anything else. That might prove to be a bigger threat than the wrecking ball.