Cars

12 cars you should buy used, based on depreciation rate

According to a study from iSeeCars, in some cases, you could save almost $20,000.

2017 Jaguar XF. Sandy Huffaker/Jaguar

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A new study from Woburn-based iSeeCars finds that car shoppers can save thousands if they opt to buy certain cars when they’re one year old instead of brand-new.

The used car research company looked at more than 14 million new and used cars sold between August 1, 2015 and July 31, 2016 and found the average price difference between a new car and a one-year-old used car is 21.2 percent. They also found that waiting to buy a car slightly used can save consumers between $6,099 and $19,996.

“Most people know new cars depreciate the most in the first year and that different cars have different depreciation rates, but we wanted to determine which used cars experienced the largest price drops compared to their new models,” said iSeeCars.com CEO Phong Ly in a statement.

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iSeeCars found that a dozen new vehicles saw their prices depreciate between 31.2 percent and 34.6 percent in a year, a rate that is 1.5 times greater than average. Ly says these vehicles tend to be less popular than their rivals. Also, half of the cars are luxury vehicles, which lose value at a faster rate than non-luxury vehicles.

But while these cars might be less popular than other vehicles, Ly pointed out that most get a four- to five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

“For example, the 2015 Cadillac ATS and Volvo S60 both received 5-star ratings across the board,” said Ly in the statement, “so consumers who are genuinely interested in these cars and highly value safety features can get a great bargain.”

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Here are the 12 cars that iSeeCars recommends you buy used instead of new:

Fiat 500L

2017 Fiat 500L

2017 Fiat 500L.

Base MSRP (2017 MY): $20,995

Price difference between new and 1-year-old used: 34.6 percent

Potential savings: $8,096

Lincoln MKS

2015 Lincoln MKS

2016 Lincoln MKS (2015 MY shown).

Base MSRP (2016 MY): $39,010

Price difference between new and 1-year-old used: 34.5 percent

Potential savings: $16,039

Volvo S60

2017 Volvo S60

2017 Volvo S60.

Base MSRP (2017 MY): $33,950

Price difference between new and 1-year-old used: 34.5 percent

Potential savings: $14,204

Kia Cadenza

2016 Kia Cadenza

2016 Kia Cadenza.

Base MSRP (2016 MY): $32,990

Price difference between new and 1-year-old used: 34.3 percent

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Potential savings: $12,940

Mercedes-Benz C250

2016 Mercedes-Benz C250 (2013 MY shown)

2016 Mercedes-Benz C250 (2013 MY shown).

Base MSRP (2015 MY): $39,400

Price difference between new and 1-year-old used: 34.3 percent

Potential savings: $15,247

Nissan Maxima

2017 Nissan Maxima

2017 Nissan Maxima.

Base MSRP (2017 MY): $32,560

Price difference between new and 1-year-old used: 34 percent

Potential savings: $12,469

Lincoln MKZ & MKZ Hybrid

2017 Lincoln MKZ

2017 Lincoln MKZ.

Base MSRP (2017 MY): $35,170

Price difference between new and 1-year-old used: 33.8 percent

Potential savings: $14,177

Jaguar XF

2017 Jaguar XF

2017 Jaguar XF.

Base MSRP (2017 MY): $47,450

Price difference between new and 1-year-old used: 32.3 percent

Potential savings: $19,966

FIAT 500

2017 Fiat 500 (500c pictured)

2017 Fiat 500 (500c pictured).

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Base MSRP (2017 MY): $14,995

Price difference between new and 1-year-old used: 31.9 percent

Potential savings: $11,106

Cadillac ATS

2017 Cadillac CTS

2017 Cadillac CTS.

Base MSRP (2017 MY): $34,595

Price difference between new and 1-year-old used: 31.8 percent

Potential savings: $6,099

Chrysler 300

2017 Chrysler 300

2017 Chrysler 300

Base MSRP (2017 MY): $32,340

Price difference between new and 1-year-old used: 31.7 percent

Potential savings: $13,351

Buick Regal

2017 Buick Regal

2017 Buick Regal.

Base MSRP (2017 MY): $27,065

Price difference between new and 1-year-old used: 31.2 percent

Potential savings: $11,525

At the same time, iSeeCars also found 10 cars that see a much smaller drop in price after a year than average. The company listed 10 vehicles that experienced a price difference of 7 percent to under 11 percent between a new model and a one-year-old used model.

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The vehicles are mostly pickup trucks and SUVs. They include the Land Rover Range Rover, Toyota Highlander, Subaru Impreza, Subaru WRX, Subaru XV Crosstrek, Nissan Frontier, Honda Fit, GMC Canyon, Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, and the Chevrolet Colorado.

While these vehicles may offer consumers the assurance that their new car will have no history of problems, Ly said these cars will also lose value quickly.

“[Consumers] should keep in mind that they are still paying more for these cars new,” said Ly in the statement, “and they are literally dropping in value by thousands of dollars the moment they are driven off the lot.”

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