Buying a new car? You may be considering a vehicle that gets excellent fuel economy. But fuel costs are not the biggest expense a car owner faces.
The biggest cost is depreciation as the vehicle loses its value. In fact, it’s been said a new car loses several thousand dollars in value when the new owner drives it off the lot.
While that may be true, some cars lose value faster than others. And when buyers are paying over the sticker price in many cases, slowing depreciation can pay off.
In a new study, analysts at iSeeCars.com have listed the cars that lose value the fastest and vehicles that depreciate the slowest. The car that sheds its resale value the fastest is the BMW 7 Series.
The 7 Series is a pricey car to begin with but the iSeeCars analysis found the luxury sedan loses 69% of its purchase price after five years. In fact, most of the cars on that list are expensive luxury cars and all of the vehicles in the top 10 lose 50% or more of their value after five years.
Wrangler models hold the top two spots
Buyers who would like to retain more on their investment have plenty of options. For example, the vehicle retaining its value the longest is the Jeep Wrangler. After five years, the Wrangler has only lost 7.3% of its value.
Its cousin, the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, is almost as good. After five years it is down only 8.7%, a little more than $3,000 less than the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP).
“The Jeep Wrangler continues to embody the ultimate off-road companion, with timeless styling that keeps it popular long after it has left the new-car showroom,” said Karl Brauer, executive analyst at iSeeCars.com. “Based on historical data, it’s no surprise these two Jeeps were the best resale value winners in 2021 as well. The Wrangler is essentially the poster child for ‘ Best Resale Value Awards. ’”
Even though it’s an expensive car, the Porsche 911 holds onto a lot of its value. After five years it has lost just under 15% of its value, but because the sticker price is so high that amounts to around $20,000.
Good fuel economy helps
The Toyota Tacoma pickup also loses about the same percentage but the dollar amount is significantly smaller, around $6,000.
The other cars on the list are some of the most popular, best-selling cars: the Toyota Corolla, Nissan Versa, and Honda Civic. Those three are compact cars with high gas mileage, which are usually in demand when fuel prices are high.
Keep in mind that buying a car that retains much of its value won’t have an immediate payoff for buyers. The reward comes when it’s time to buy a new car and the owner gets a higher price for the trade-in.