When a driver is on the lot and negotiating with a dealer, their focus is typically on the overall price that’s in front of them. Yet a car’s eventual resale value is an extremely important factor that should not be left out of the conversation.
Drivers who plan ahead can end up saving money in the long run. A new car depreciates as soon as it’s driven off the lot, but how much it depreciates by depends on the make and model. All cars were not created equal, and some may be worth significantly more later on.
A general rule of thumb is that the more popular models retain their value well. When a buyer goes to the dealer to trade this car in later, the dealer will be more eager to take the trade-in if they know they can immediately sell it. It’s impossible to predict the resale value of a car five or even 10 years down the road, but some brands have performed well over the years, driving up their reputation and the price of their vehicles.
MSN points out that cars with advanced technology, like a hybrid drivetrain, also typically command a higher resale value. This can be a nice bonus, but drivers should remember that those cars are also more costly to maintain, so it essentially evens out.
There’s no way that a buyer will be able to know exactly what their car will be worth, as mileage and condition also factors in. But using one of the many used car pricing guides can help buyers get a rough idea of what their purchase will ultimately cost them.