As the market heats up for gently used vehicles, smart shoppers – perhaps those who can afford a new car but don’t want to spend quite that much money – will be looking for used cars that offer them the best deals. This means looking for vehicles that depreciate faster than other vehicles in their class.
The average vehicle depreciates 38.2 percent after three years. Vehicles with low depreciation often command top-dollar on the used car lots, so bargain hunters will be looking for vehicles that lose at least half their value in three years, resulting in a lower sticker price. This is often the case with models that simply aren’t popular in the used market.
A recent study by iSeeCars.com examined a selection of lightly used cars that lose more than half of their value in three years. These are the vehicles that information-based shoppers are most likely to be looking for. To arrive at the rankings, iSeeCars.com analyzed more than 4.8 million car sales to identify models with the greatest loss in value after three years, which is when most leased cars enter the used car market.
In the $20,000 to $80,000 vehicle category, the Acura RLX topped the list, with 55.8 percent depreciation in the first three years. It was followed by the Lincoln MKZ (55.6 percent); the Mercedes-Benz E-Class (55.4 percent); the Jaguar XF (54.8 percent); and the Cadillac XTS (54.5 percent).
iSeeCars.com also analyzed vehicles under $20,000 to identify to identify the most affordable bargains for first-time car owners looking for a deal that matches their budgets. The Lincoln MKZ placed at the top of this list with its 55.6 percent three-year depreciation, followed by the Kia Cadenza with 50.2 percent depreciation over three years; the Ford Fusion Hybrid (49.7 percent); the Chevrolet Impala (49.4 percent); the Kia Optima Hybrid (49.2 percent); and the Fiat 500L (49.1 percent). The average depreciation for vehicles in this class is approximately 39.3 percent.
“New hybrid vehicles are more expensive than their non-hybrid counterparts with the Kia Optima Hybrid costing an additional $4,303,” said iSeeCars CEO Phong Ly. “However, there isn’t a high demand for these hybrid vehicles, and their steep depreciation brings their resale value close to that of their non-hybrid versions. For example, the average price of a three-year-old Fusion Hybrid is only about $200 more than a gasoline-powered Fusion, making the fuel savings more valuable.”
In the SUV category, the Lincoln Navigator L placed at the top of the list with 51.6 percent depreciation in the first three years, followed by the INFINITI QX80 (49.1 percent); the Lincoln MKT (49.0 percent); the Ford Expedition (48.7 percent); and the Lincoln Navigator (48.1 percent).