Considering Resale Value When Buying A New Car

Researching car resale values puts you in the driver's seat when you visit the dealership. A glimpse of the future can reward you with reliability and cash.

Even if you plan to drive your new vehicle until it will go no more, you should consider the resale value of previous year's models when making a decision on this major purchase. Resale value is often an indication of reliability and longevity -- if two cars with similar price tags when new are worth different amounts in five years time and afteEven if you plan to drive your new vehicle until it will go no more, you should consider the resale value of previous year's models when making a decision on this major purchase. Resale value is often an indication of reliability and longevity -- if two cars with similar price tags when new are worth different amounts in five years time and after 60,000 miles, it is likely because one car has lower maintenance costs and a longer expected lifetime. And if you plan on selling your car after a few years, the benefits of higher resale value are obvious and can be substantial. Some cars are on average worth half their purchase price in five years, whereas some fall to a fifth or less of their original cost. The sticker only tells half the story, and it is your responsibility to do the investigative work to make sure you buy a car that is not only a deal right now, but also can hold its own down the road.

Predicting the future is difficult business and you can't expect to come away with firm figures for your specific car, but fortunately there are tools that can help you make an informed guess as to the value retention of the models you are considering. Before making your purchase, consult a reputable authority such as Kelly's Blue Book to determine the average resale value of the models you are interested in. Using roughly the same options as you are considering purchasing with your vehicle, check the average price for the same cars from two, five and ten years ago. Scan your local classified and dealership ads as well; what can they tell you about how much your car might bring should you decide to sell? Remember that the values you see are for previous year's models, so if the car or the manufacturer has recently undergone any major changes that could affect its future value. Be aware that some cars have value as collectibles, so the price tag for a '67 Mustang is probably not a good indication of what yours would be worth after the same number of years.

Of course if your vehicle is not in good condition when you go to sell it, you will not come close to realizing its theoretical worth. Continue to consider the resale value of your car after you purchase it and make sure to perform the recommended maintenance. Don't neglect the cosmetic care of your vehicle simply because it doesn't matter to you. The little details like a shiny paint job or clean, rip-free upholstery could be crucial when a potential buyer sits down in the driver's seat for the first time. Also consider the options you plan to purchase and investigate how much difference they make over time. Luxuries like leather seats, a sun roof or a V6 might reward you doubly, with the pleasure they give you while you own the car, and with a higher price when you go to sell.



For most people, their vehicle is one of the largest purchases they ever make, second only to a home. No one would think of making an investment in the stock market or land without considering the future value of what they are buying. Although your car is almost certain to decrease in worth during the time you own it, you still need to factor in resale value when looking at the bottom line on that dealership window sticker. You may find that the bargain-basement car you were considering will be more expensive in the long run, and the car you considered a little pricey will earn its keep in reliability and reward you when you decide it's time to travel down a different road.

r 60,000 miles, it is likely because one car has lower maintenance costs and a longer expected lifetime. And if you plan on selling your car after a few years, the benefits of higher resale value are obvious and can be substantial. Some cars are on average worth half their purchase price in five years, whereas some fall to a fifth or less of their original cost. The sticker only tells half the story, and it is your responsibility to do the investigative work to make sure you buy a car that is not only a deal right now, but also can hold its own down the road.

Predicting the future is difficult business and you can't expect to come away with firm figures for your specific car, but fortunately there are tools that can help you make an informed guess as to the value retention of the models you are considering. Before making your purchase, consult a reputable authority such as Kelly's Blue Book to determine the average resale value of the models you are interested in. Using roughly the same options as you are considering purchasing with your vehicle, check the average price for the same cars from two, five and ten years ago. Scan your local classified and dealership ads as well; what can they tell you about how much your car might bring should you decide to sell? Remember that the values you see are for previous year's models, so if the car or the manufacturer has recently undergone any major changes, that could affect its future value. Be aware that some cars have value as collectibles, so the price tag for a '67 Mustang is probably not a good indication of what yours would be worth after the same number of years.

Of course if your vehicle is not in good condition when you go to sell it, you will not come close to realizing its theoretical worth. Continue to consider the resale value of your car after you purchase it and make sure to perform the recommended maintenance. Don't the neglect the cosmetic care of your vehicle simply because it doesn't matter to you. The little details like a shiny paint job or clean, rip-free upholstery could be crucial when a potential buyer sits down in the driver's seat for the first time. Also consider the options you plan to purchase and investigate how much difference they make over time. Luxuries like leather seats, a sun roof or a V6 might reward you doubly, with the pleasure they give you while you own the car, and with a higher price when you go to sell.

For most people, their vehicle is one of the largest purchases they ever make, second only to a home. No one would think of making an investment in the stock market or land without considering the future value of what they are buying. Although your car is almost certain to decrease in worth during the time you own it, you still need to factor in resale value when looking at the bottom line on that dealership window sticker. You may find that the bargain-basement car you were considering will be more expensive in the long run, and the car you considered a little pricey will earn its keep in reliability and reward you when you decide it's time to travel down a different road.

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