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Everything You Need To Know About Car Resell Values

While few people will choose a car based solely on how well it holds its resell value, it is a factor that you should consider when shopping for new wheels. Depreciation, in simple terms is the amount of value that a car loses over time. Over the life of a vehicle this can amount to thousands of lost dollars. Choosing a vehicle that holds its value can really pay off when its time for a new car.

If you plan on driving the vehicle into the ground there is no point in giving its resell value a second thought but if you want to resell it in a year or three choosing a car that holds its value will be the best investment. A new car loses ten percent of its value as soon as it leaves the dealers lot and by the end of year one, your car will be worth twenty percent less than you paid for it.  Choose a car you love but if you are torn between a few different models, buying based on resell value is not a bad idea.

There are a number of things that affect resell value. Everything from the color of the car to brand reputation will make a difference in the depreciation value so knowing what to look for will help you make a smart decision.

  • Appeal – Choosing a car that appeals to the masses will ensure that your resale value holds up. Buying a specialty or unusual car may be fun but it will appeal to a much smaller audience at resale time.
  • Color – Just like interior house paint, sticking with neutral colors can pay off. Silver, black and white are always popular and will increase the resale value. While the trendy purple might be the color of the minute, three years from now it could lower the value of the car.
  • Brand – Brand reputation will affect the resale value of any car.  According to Kelly Blue Book (KBB) Toyota has been the resell king for the past three years running so sticking with proven leaders is always a good idea. Do some research and buy a brand that holds it value.

Where to Find Resell Values

Every year a variety of websites publish lists of vehicles that hold their resell value well. One of the most respected is the KBB list. KBB looks at how vehicles will hold their value over the first five years of their life. These lists are broken down by categories and an overall Top 10 is named. The results for 2012 are:

Highest Resell Value Vehicles

1. 2012 Jeep Wrangler

2. 2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser

3. 2012 Toyota Tacoma

4. 2012 Hyundai Tucson

5. 2012 Audi Q7

6. 2012 Infiniti FX

7. 2012 Honda CR-V

8. 2012 Lexus RX

9. 2012 Nissan Frontier

10. 2012 Chevrolet Camaro

The Jeep Wrangler is expected to be worth a whopping 68 percent of its original cost after three years while the 10th place Camaro comes in at 57 percent.

While KBB does not release a worst resell value list, other publications attempt to nail down the poor performers. These lists are often filled with vehicles that are popular with rental and fleet companies which tend to resell the vehicles at a big discount, driving down prices. Certain luxury models make frequent appearances as well, the Mercedes S class often show up alongside Crown Victorias and base model Town and Country Mini-Vans. Luxury models have a limited resell market so they don’t hold their value well. Cars.com named these 2011 cars and trucks the worst for holding their resale value.

Worst Resell Value Vehicles

1. Nissan Titan (2WD) King Cab S

2. Mitsubishi Endeavor LS

3. Cadillac DTS

4. Ford F-250 (2WD)

5. Mercedes-Benz SL-Class SL65 AMG

6. Mercedes-Benz S-Class S600

7. Ram 2500 (2WD) Outdoorsman

8. Chevrolet Impala LTZ

9. Mercedes-Benz CL-Class CL65 AMG

10. Mitsubishi Eclipse Coupe GT