When purchasing a car for business use, it’s important to look at the big picture to determine whether a particular model is a worthy investment. Naturally, you’ll need to first look at the sticker price and the features included as part of the package. However, there is a multitude of factors that also contribute to a car’s overall value. Fuel economy, maintenance costs, insurance, and resale value are all important issues to consider. Of these, depreciation may be the most important. According to Consumer Reports, depreciation accounts for over half of the overall ownership costs during the first five years of owning a car, with the average model dropping 65% in value over this time period. To protect your investment, you’ll want to look carefully at depreciation rates.
The Most Depreciation-Proof Cars
There are numerous factors that influence depreciation, including the brand, model, condition, mileage, and age of the car. Collectible sports cars, green-friendly vehicles, and fuel efficient models all tend to retain their value better over time, because they are in higher demand. To get an idea of the best depreciation proof cars for your business, you’ll want to look at online pricing guides and used car listings. These can give you some indication of the eventual resale value of your new vehicle.
Unfortunately, a car’s starting price and initial value for money may not be indicative of its eventual resale value. For example, if you look at a Holden Captiva review you’ll find that its excellent value is often mentioned as one of its main attributes. Yet it may not be the best choice from an investment perspective when compared to other SUVs of its class. Options like the Nissan Rogue and Kia Sportage retain a higher percentage of their initial value.
According to Glass’s Guide in the UK, the car offering the best resale value is the Fiat 500, thanks to its enduring popularity and low running costs. Other cars that were ranked highly by Glass’s include the Ford Focus and Audi Q7 Quattro. Edmunds Guide in the United States also gives the Ford Focus top marks, along with the Toyota Prius and MINI Cooper. In terms of the best SUVs, Edmunds ranks the Nissan Rogue, Jeep Wrangler, and Toyota Highlander as the top choices for 2013. It’s well worth consulting guides like Edmunds and Glass’s when the time comes to make your investment.
Further Ways to Minimise Depreciation
The length of time you keep your car will influence how much its depreciation will have an effect. If you replace your business vehicle every 1-3 years, depreciation will take a hefty toll. A car loses over 50% of its value by the end of the third year of ownership. It’s usually better to either purchase slightly used cars, or keep them for longer periods of time to minimise depreciation’s toll on your overall investment.The rate of depreciation tends to slow with age, so older vehicles tend to give you better value for your money.
No matter what make and model you choose to invest in, regular servicing and maintenance will keep it in top shape for eventual resale. You can also stay in touch with the latest car news and trends to try and predict which vehicles are most likely to grow in value over time. As fuel prices continue to rise, efficient models tend to be the best bet for now.
Photo Credit: Flickr/M 93