While consumers often look at a car’s features, performance and safety ratings, overall style and sticker price when deciding on a model to purchase, the best value used cars that are available should be a consideration. The reason being is simple: cars lose a huge percentage of their value the second they are driven off the lot. Picking a vehicle with the highest resale value can help you recoup some of that loss should you ever wish to sell your car. The most reliable used cars often do well on the resale market. Consequently, for the people who buy them new, the best rated used cars get the most money back when sold. For those who buy them used, they get a reliable vehicle at a more affordable price.
5 Highest Resale Used Cars
Mini Cooper: On average, the Mini Cooper retains upwards of 65 percent of its original value as a resale vehicle. The winning combination of stylish looks, great fuel efficiency, a powerful engine and transmission as well as its superb handling make the Mini Cooper a desirable aftermarket purchase for many consumers. Assuming an average MSRP from roughly $19,000 to $24,000, with its residual value a seller should be able to ask between $11,400 and $14,400 for a used model in great shape and with not too many miles on it for its age.
BMW 1-Series: While more extensive when purchased new, the BMW 1-Series commonly maintains a residual value of up to 64 percent of its original MSRP. The reasons for this include its sporty, 6-cylinder performance, great handling and incredible responsiveness. In addition, the 1-Series is available as a convertible, a plus for many used car buyers.
Mazda Speed3: Starting at around $23,000 new, the Mazda Speed3 is a stylish, compact sports car with a powerful 6-speed, turbocharged engine that delivers a lot of zip. It gets better-than-average gas mileage and provides a great alternative to more expensive models in its class. With its average residual value of 62 percent of its cost, reselling the Speed3 should net the original owner a good price, upwards of $14,000 if the car is in great shape.
Honda Fit: Holding onto an average of 61 percent of its original cost, the $15,000 to $16,500 MSRP of this Honda model means that an owner should be able to get $9,000 to $10,000 back on the resale market. The Fit gets great city and highway gas mileage. It features a reliable 1.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine with 5 automatic or manual speeds. Its aerodynamic stylings offer more by way of looks than most sub-compact cars.
Ford Mustang: Priced originally from roughly $21,000 up to $36,000, late model Ford Mustangs commonly retain 60 percent of their purchase price, so anywhere from $12,600 to $21,600 depending on the car’s features, mileage and condition. The Mustang comes in V6 and V8 varieties and gets decent gas mileage for its power. The car provides a stable ride, features a stylish interior and offers drivers good sight lines despite its sleek design.
Other cars that maintain a high resale value include the Toyota Prius, Mazda 3 and Honda Insight. Average residual value of a car is based on factors including production value and numbers, appeal to consumers, gas mileage and the actual new price customers commonly pay.