When I purchased my Honda Civic a few years ago, I chose this particular car because it was economical and reliable. I knew that Civics hold their value well, but I wasn’t planning on selling the car for many years.
Kelley Blue Book recently announced their awards for best resale value. If you need a car and you know you’ll have to sell it soon, this is a good list for ensuring you make the most of your money… perhaps.
Topping the list is the Chevrolet Corvette. The first thing I noticed about this survey is that it doesn’t provide hard numbers. Resale value, observed over the course of three years, is rated along a scale from one dollar sign to three. I would like to see real percentages of original purchase price rather than a vague scale.
Following the Corvette is my machine, the Honda Civic. Since projections look back to purchases three years ago, it is likely that it is my model year, 2004, which was evaluated for this survey.
The Infiniti G37 Coupe arrived in third place, followed by the MINI Cooper and Scion tC. In seventh place is the Toyota Corolla. This was my second choice during my last car shopping experience. It came down to price and familiarity when I made the final decision for the Civic.
All cars in the top ten are rated for resale value by Kelley Blue Book with a nebulous “slightly higher than $$, but much less than $$$.” I don’t know what this means, but if resale value is important to you, chances are you’ll do well if you go with one of the cars on this list.
Of course, how you do with your particular resale depends on much more than just market averages and Kelley Blue Book prices. You have to take care of the vehicle. Also, styles change. A look that is the new hotness now may be old and busted three years from now.
Also, technology plays a factor. If you intend on reselling your car, but before you do, technological advances make your car obsolete, you may be stuck with a car no one wants. If the government decides to require some sort of hybrid technology in the future, you may not be able to easily unload your old gas-guzzler.
Update: As Kurt points out in the comments below, Kelley Blue Book doesn’t look back three years, they have a panel of experts that provide projections about current cars’ possible resale values three years from now. Therefore, there are no real numbers in this survey. Three years from now, perhaps I’ll read this post and be inspired to check the experts’ predictions.
Published or updated November 14, 2007.