The purchase of a car is a substantial financial investment that typically offers no high return. Unlike a house, cars lose their value the longer they sit (let alone operate) on the market, so you’re pretty much guaranteed to lose money on the resale of your vehicle.
Still, some vehicles promise a higher return than others. Factoring in the potential resale value can be a significant consideration when you buy a vehicle because you probably won’t drive the car into the ground.
Most people will keep their vehicle for 3 to 10 years and then sell it, and expect to use the money to obtain a newer model. According to Kelly Blue Book, “Over the first five years of new-car ownership, depreciation is a bigger expense than fuel, maintenance or insurance. Simply choosing a vehicle that has better resale value than the others on your shopping list is one of the easiest ways to save money when buying a new car.”
If you’re in search of a vehicle that has dependably solid resale value, you’ll probably want to investigate some of the following vehicles.
1. Toyota Sienna
Kelly Blue Book reports that Toyota is the number-one brand for resale value generally, thanks to the durability and reliability. Any Toyota vehicle will have excellent resale value, but the Toyota Sienna minivan is particularly popular.
It’s powerful, with a V-6 engine and 8-speed transmission for both improved accelerations and excellent fuel economy. It’s also spacious, and has all the latest tech to keep families safe and entertained on the ride.
Other models in the Toyota family that retain their value exceptionally well include the Tacoma, the Tundra, and the 4Runner. All three retain well over 50 percent of their resale value after five years.
According to KBB, these three vehicles, which can handle off-roading, towing, family outings, and plenty more for years, were the top three vehicles for resale value last year.
2. Subaru Legacy
Subaru has received top safety ratings for several years running. That fact, along with its reliability and durability, makes it an attractive choice, no matter what its age might be. This one also does very well in the snow and other rugged outdoor terrains, thanks to the all-wheel drive standard on every model.
The Legacy is one of the most popular Subaru models. It’s a mid-sized sedan rather than a small SUV like other models in the series, so it’s comfortable and convenient. It also looks more attractive than other Subaru models, which is another factor that makes it a hot commodity for resale.
3. Chevy Silverado
Although it’s not quite as high grossing on resale as the Toyota Tundra or Tacoma, the Chevy Silverado is an attractive pickup truck that gets the job done. It’s the second-best selling vehicle in the country, according to The Street, and it has a resale value at 51.1 percent, one of the highest in the nation.
The newer Silverados are equipped with the smart Chevy MyLink audio system, color screen, USB ports, Bluetooth, OnStar telematics, satellite radio, mobile Wi-Fi hotspots, and other terrific features. It’s also one of the most durable and reliable pickups on the market, and because of its high price tag when brand new, buyers are very likely to seek a used Silverado if they can’t quite see buying a new one.
4. Honda Fit
In general, compacts don’t enjoy a high resale value. Their initial price tag is generally lower, they don’t provide as much cargo space, and they can sometimes be a little uncomfortable to ride in.
But if you’re in the market for a compact car that will retain as much value as it can, the Honda Fit is a great option. The interior is surprisingly roomy, with flexible storage space.
It handles easily on the road, and the Fit can boast of great fuel economy. According to Bankrate, you can get about 28.8 percent of its value back after five years.
5. Jeep Wrangler
It’s not the most efficient or comfortable vehicle on the road, but the iconic look and off-road capabilities make the Jeep Wrangler highly appealing to prospective owners who need an outdoor vehicle. The Wrangler is mostly known for its undercarriage clearance and four-wheel drive, which is great for owners who like to go off-roading or who have to endure harsh winters.
A Jeep is in a league of its own among motor vehicles because it’s not intended for comfort, business, or carting kids around town. Its purpose (assuming you’re not a geologist or wildlife ranger) is primarily recreational, so when people purchase one, they are focused primarily on entertainment value.
The Jeep performs well outside the typical vehicle market and, other than possibly the Toyota 4Runner, it’s the best in its class for resale. Ultimately, if you’re purchasing a vehicle with resale value in mind, a used model in any of the above categories, particularly the Toyota lines, will keep both you and your pocketbook happy.