It’s not a secret that the minute you buy a new car, it starts losing its value. But some cars hold their value better than others, and in some cases, it might make more sense to buy a late-model used car than its new equivalent. But which cars are the best deal?
Why Do Cars Lose Value?
It’s worth debunking a few myths, before we get to the cars themselves. First of all, a car that quickly loses its value isn’t necessarily a bad car. The used car market is dictated as much by demand as the new car market, and plenty of good makes and models lose value quickly simply because people prefer other cars.
Also, as we’ll see, much depends on why people buy cars in the first place. A car that’s a status symbol is likely to lose value quickly when it’s used, because for many, the value of that car is that you can afford to buy it new. So … let’s look at the list.
And The Best Used Deals Are …
According to a study, ranking these cars by the total percentage lost after a year of use, your best deals are the following:
- Hyundai Genesis, losing 38.2% of its value.
- Smart Fortwo, 36.9%
- Cadillac CTS, 36.9%
- Chevy Impala, 33.5%
- GMC Yukon, 32.8%
- Volvo S80, 32.6%
- Mercedes S-Class, 32.4%
- Lincoln MKS, 30.4%
- Mini Cooper, 29.3%
- Jaguar XK, 29.2%
You might notice a bit of a theme here. Of these ten cars, five of them are luxury vehicles; as we said, the value of those cars is partially that you can impress people with how much you’re paying for them.
And, truthfully, in some cases the percentage is less impressive when you look at the cost. The S-Class, for example, will cost you nearly $100,000 new; $66,000 is undeniably a deal, but that’s still nearly twice the price of your average new car in America. There are also some other issues; for example, there are no aftermarket parts for the Mercedes, so if you need repairs, you’ll pay a premium for them.
That said, however, there are deals to be had. The Volvo S80, for example, becomes slightly more expensive than your average used car but still a durable luxury buy. The Smart fortwo is, of course, notorious for having no trunk space and just two seats, but if you need a small car to get to and from places, or want a cheap used car for a teenager that you know they won’t pack with friends, it’ll actually be below $10,000.
Needless to say, not all of us want a luxury car, even at a used price. But if you’re looking at a new car, this list illustrates an important point; look carefully at how well it keeps its value, and make your decision on that.