I’ve never subscribed to the “always buy used cars” philosophy, but some folks are still convinced that due to depreciation, pre-owned models are the smartest financial purchase. This study from iSeeCars.com reveals for some cars this year, the used version doesn’t save you that much.
Recently, we covered the cars that have the lowest rate of depreciation, and naturally many of those models show up on the list of cars where the one-year-old used price is only a few grand off the brand new price.
The Jeep Wrangler makes sense here, because while it looks pretty much the same at first glance, it’s an all-new and vastly more modern car for the 2018 model year.
There are a few surprises on this list like the Honda HR-V and Jeep Renegade, but these small crossovers have a pretty reasonable starting price to begin with, so their relative depreciation curve in the first year isn’t going to be dramatic.
Of course, there are some models whose value takes such a huge drop in one year buyers would be advised to avoid new a new purchase, but these can make for excellent used car values.
Most of the cars above are large luxury sedans that you would expect to drop in value fairly rapidly, but the Toyota Camry also made the list despite the brand being known for solid resale value. Since an all-new 2018 model came out this year, that could explain the hit that the previous body style took a hit in the pre-owned market.
As for the methodology behind these numbers:
iSeeCars.com analyzed over 6 million cars sold between August 1, 2017 and January 24, 2018. New cars included in the analysis were from model years 2017 and 2018. Lightly or 1-year-old used cars were defined as vehicles from the 2016-2017 model years with mileage within 20 percent of 13,476, the average annual miles traveled in the U.S., according to the Department of Transportation.
Models with fewer than 500 new and 500 used cars sold and models without a 2018 model year car in production were excluded from the analysis. The average asking prices of the 1-year-old used cars were compared to those of new cars from the same model. The difference in price for each car was expressed as a percentage of the used and new model average prices.
You can read more analysis at IseeCars.com.