Usually, as soon as you buy a new car and drive it off the lot, it loses a ton of value, but some vehicles provide an exception to the rule, losing much less of their value than others. The car in the US that loses the smallest percentage of its value after one year? Yup, that would be the Tesla Model 3.
“While choosing a used car over a new car is typically associated with the greatest cost savings, sometimes the price difference isn’t that significant,” says Ly Phong of iSeeCars, in an email sent to CleanTechnica about the new findings. This also echoes early research CleanTechnica had done on used Model 3 prices and how the car’s depreciation compared to other popular models in or near its class or sales volume — the BMW 2 Series, 3 Series, 4 Series, 5 Series; Audi A3, A4, A5, A6; Honda Accord; Hyundai Elantra; Nissan Altima and Sentra.
The Tesla Model 3, which had the highest number of preorders of any car ever produced, has proven to be the vehicle that loses the smallest percentage of its initial value after a year. Considering its continued demand, Ly isn’t surprised. “The Tesla Model 3 had the highest number of preorders of any car ever produced and its backlog of orders helped further drive the high demand for the vehicle,” Ly says.
One other interesting finding from the new iSeeCars study is that premium-class cars, including some of the Tesla Model 3’s top competitors, lose the most value after purchase, the opposite of the situation with the Model 3, which easily tops even the most economical, affordable, reliable cars. The Model 3’s percentage loss of value was actually less than half the percentage loss of the #2 Ford Ranger.
“The [Model 3] didn’t meet its production goals until July of 2018, and because it’s so new to the marketplace and because of high owner satisfaction there is a low inventory of used versions,” Ly also adds. As you can see above, iSeeCars found that the Tesla Model 3 depreciates at just 5.5% after a year, as opposed to the 20.1% US average. This is the best performance of any vehicle sold in America.
The Dodge Charger lost 13.9% of its value in its first year, which landed it in the number 10 spot. The Honda Accord, Chevrolet Corvette, Honda Fit, and Ford Ranger all made the top 10 list as well. The Tesla Model 3 was the only electric vehicle that made the list.
“iSeeCars.com analyzed prices from over 6 million new and used cars sold from August 2019 to January 2020 to determine which cars were best to buy new and which were best to buy used,” a representative told CleanTechnica in an email.
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