Will changing a car's original paint colour affect resale value?

How repainting your car affects resale value

If you’re changing the colour entirely, it may not be worth the cost


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Q: I own a 1981 Porsche 924 in the original chocolate brown and I’d like to have it repainted. Will the resale value of the vehicle go down if I choose a colour that was not original to the model? What tips can you give on this?

— B.

A: As a general rule, it’s best to stick with the original colour when repainting a vehicle, with the possible exception of a complete vehicle restoration in which all rubber parts, window glass and body components like door handles and moldings come off the vehicle. Your Porsche hasn’t reached a value that would justify a full restoration. For the 924, the more desirable colours that will be easier to resell are black, white and red. A really flamboyant colour or one that was never on the model could make it harder to resell, but if it gives you pleasure and you are keeping the car for a long time, that is not a significant consideration. Your 924 will be unique!

To look convincing, conventional repainting in a different colour will require the body shop to paint inside all the nooks and crannies inside the door openings, any exposed metal in the cabin, under the hood to the extent possible without removing too many components, and the floor of the luggage compartment.

According to Chris Wood, the shop foreman at Excellence Auto Collision in Toronto, repainting in a different colour will add about 30% to the cost of a good quality paint job. Chris says that rust repairs or additional bodywork are almost always required when repainting an older vehicle and that you should budget for the replacement of some window trim, rubber seals, door gaskets and refinishing the wheels. These components may blend into the overall look of your car right now, but some of them will suddenly look very tired compared to your shiny new paint.

After completing body repairs on an older vehicle, a rustproofing application with a penetrating product like Krown Rust Control is also recommended. Finally, the new colour should complement with the interior. Most 924s were black inside, which would make your job easy.

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