A car is a major investment, and there are so many questions to consider when choosing the right one for you. What size and style makes the most sense? What about gas mileage? Safety ratings? Which high-tech features are worth it? What color? Which fabric? The list goes on and on.
Of course, one of the most important things to consider is value. Cars are expensive, and since new cars lose so much value the moment you drive them off the lot, you have to do your research to ensure you’re getting your money’s worth.
Luckily, the car buying site iSeeCars.com recently conducted a study on this very topic. “Most people know new cars depreciate the most in the first year and that different cars have different depreciation rates, but we wanted to determine which used cars experienced the largest price drops compared to their new models,” Phong Ly, iSeeCars.com CEO, said in a blog post announcing the results of the study, which analyzed data from 14 million car sales over the past two years.
The results of the study made it clear that the 10 cars listed below lost considerably more value than average, so if you’re set on buying a new car, you might want to avoid these models. Alternatively, if you’re a big fan of any of these models, buying a year-old version is a great way to avoid the biggest loss of value and score a great deal.
10. Cadillac ATS
These luxury sedans are eye-catching, but they lose 31.8 percent of their value, which works out to $13,351, in the first year alone.
9. Fiat 500
Fiat 500s might be adorable, but if you’ve been eyeing these cute European-style coupes, best to opt for a lightly used model and avoid the 31.9 percent value drop.
8. Jaguar XF
Even if you keep your Jag in great condition, the average loss of value in the first year for the XF is a whopping $19,966, the biggest dollar amount decline for any vehicle on this list.
7. Lincoln MKZ + MKZ Hybrid
After one year of ownership, this Lincoln model’s sale price decreases by $14,177.
6. Nissan Maxima
The reason for the 34 percent resale price drop in this customer favorite has to do with recent delays at Nissan. “The 2014 Maxima was the last model of its generation,” Ly explains, “and the redesign had been delayed a full model year. As a result, the 2014 model lagged beyond the competition in terms of technology and styling, decreasing consumer interest.”
5. Mercedes C250
Buy this Mercedes new and watch the value drop 34.3 percent, or $15,247, in just 12 months.
4. Kia Cadenza
Kia is considered a budget-friendly brand, so if you’re counting your pennies, beware of buying the Cadenza new off the lot: within a year, your purchase will be worth 34.3 percent, or $12,940, less.
3. Volvo S60
This Volvo model has never been a strong seller, says Ly, which is reflected in the one-year decline in its resale price: 34.4 percent or $14,204.
2. Lincoln MKS
Want to sell your Lincoln after a year? Say goodbye to 34.5 percent of the purchase price, which translates to $16,039.
1. Fiat 500L
The #1 spot is Fiat’s second entry in the top 10. The sale price of the 500L drops a whopping 34.6 percent after one year, which is a great reason to opt for a pre-owned model instead.