Do You Buy What You Need Or What You Want To Sell Later?

Illustration for article titled Do You Buy What You Need Or What You Want To Sell Later?

Some people can't picture parting with their cars. Others might have in their heads exactly what they're going to do at the end of four years or whenever they'll own the car or have to return it to the dealership. This is the difference between the people who care about depreciation and those who don't.

Today's TMS re-examined the depreciation problems of electric cars and why leasing them makes a lot more sense for the people who are actually taking them home. But regardless of gas, diesel or EV power, do Jalops really think about what their car will be worth later?


The Scrambler says it can be done sees why some buyers are just doing what makes sense for them:

100% of new cars depreciate by some amount the second they are registered and driven off the lot. For 98% of those cars, that value curve is only going in one direction, which is down to an inevitable scrap value.

A car is an expense, not an investment. My number one determining factor when purchasing a car is whether it suits my needs - real or imagined. If I'm worried about resale - or the lack thereof - I'll lease.

Others, like vc-10, think it's a balancing act:

Some cars depreciate faster than others. As much as it would be nice to purchase a car based solely on the attributes of the car itself, the financial side of things has to come in to play for the vast majority of us. Sometimes the better residuals of a particular car are merely a nice bonus, while in other cases poor residuals are merely something negative that don't offset the car's other qualities, but for other cars it's enough to put me off buying.


And DagwoodTSRW has the perfect option for most of you:

If resale value were the only consideration for the purchase of a vehicle then the price target for any car should be that point at which no further depreciation is possible... meaning when it is scrap. If depreciation is a worry as your budget won't allow for the extravagance of such a financial loss, then there is a break point where you can purchase a vehicle and sell it damn near what you bought it for. This is usually at the 75% vehicle life point and beyond. Here it is possible to buy a car at under 10% of the new vehicle cost, drive it for a few years, and if you are lucky and the car still runs, sell it for what you paid for it. If you are extremely lucky, the car will get creamed by a goober in a brand new BMW whose insurance will pay you double what you paid for it just to walk away...

This is the car for the true Jalopnik; the vehicle still in its prime, none the worse for wear, and cheap enough that you can thrash on it and not to cry if it gets destroyed in the process...


Sounds like a brown, diesel manual wagon to me.

Photo: AP

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Voice of C. Montgomery Burns

100% of new cars do not depreciate the second you take them off the lot. 99.9% of new cars do but the 1-Series M comes to mind as a recent example.