Fancy paint, color won't help car's resale value

q_v2.gifDear Terry,
On a recent new-car shopping expedition I noticed some cars carry an extra charge for the paint job, sometimes as much as $1,000. Can it really cost that much for bright yellow paint, and when it comes time to sell, will I get much of that added money back?
-- Colorblind

a_v2.gifDear Colorblind,
Paint on a new car stopped being just a matter of spraying on a color long ago. Clearcoat and metallic finishes are multistage operations that sometimes require greater expense on the assembly line.

But even given that, manufacturers have found a new way to eke out some additional profit by jacking up the price of some of the more distinctive colors.

In the end, these colors add only a small fraction of added value when it comes time to sell, and some of the more oddball colors can even detract from a car's value. Remember: The most popular colors today are shades of gray.

Here are this week's reader questions:
  • Cleaner, quieter diesels offer high fuel efficiency
  • Is a high-ticket paint job worthwhile on a new car?
  • How much should I pay off when my car is repossessed?
  • Can I depreciate new car that's already been driven?



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