Buying Used: Do You Go for Value or Brand?

June 24th, 2013
Which will offer a better used value?

Which will offer a better used value?

There are a lot of blogs out there that happily tell their readers what new cars hold the best resale value.

That’s important information to know and can lead to a wise financial decision when buying a new car. Well, at least for the guy or gal who buys the new car. But is buying one of those cars used, say 5 years later, still a good financial choice?

A Toyota Tacoma that holds 60 percent of its value after 5 years is great for the person who bought it new. But for the person shopping for a used pickup, there might be much better values to be had.

Edmunds does an annual Best Retained Value Awards, and this year Jeep and Acura took top honors when it comes to resale value. Jeep won in the non-luxury division with a projected 50.6 percent residual value after 5 years, while Acura won in the luxury division with a projected 5-year residual value of 45.1 percent.

Yes, the numbers shocked me, too. Jeep, the brand with the Compass and Patriot, outscored Toyota and Honda? Something seems fishy.

Regardless, individual vehicles were called out, too, for their superior value holding, which is what made me wonder about shopping for them as used cars while looking for the best value possible.

The Honda Civic is the top sedan between $20,000 and $30,000, holding a projected 50.9 percent of its value over 5 years. While the Civic is obviously a solid car, there are arguably better choices out there, which makes the used market quite interesting. If a Mazda3 could be had for a better deal and get the buyer a better driver’s car, the Honda suddenly seems like an irrelevant choice.

In the full-size truck segment, the Chevy Silverado 1500 is the projected winner, which in 5 years would make the Ford F-150 a potentially better used value.

Whenever you’re shopping for a used car, the CarGurus used listings can provide guidance on which listings offer great value. If value is more important to you than brand, you could save some significant money.

Which is more important to you when buying used, brand or value?

-tgriffith

Find Used Cars in Your Area at CarGurus

Used Toyota Tacoma
Used Jeep Compass
Used Jeep Patriot
Used Honda Civic
Used Mazda3
Used Chevrolet Silverado 1500
Used Ford F-150

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