Top 12 best vehicles to buy that are 1 year old


Cars are the second biggest expense in most people’s lives. But will the car you’re buying hold its resale value?

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You’ll get the best value out of these 2016 models

When we buy a car, we think of the price as the true cost, along with the expense of insurance, gas, and maintenance. But the real cost of a car is depreciation—how much in value it loses during the initial years of ownership.

The average car depreciates by 21% after a year of ownership, according to That means you would lose 21 cents on every dollar you paid if you were to go resell that vehicle after driving it for 12 months. has a new tally of the 12 most heavily depreciated cars during the period of Aug. 1, 2015 to July 31, 2016.

If you are a used car buyer, these are the best nameplates to look at buying secondhand because they all take steep depreciation losses in the first year of ownership. Considering how much value cars lose the minute they drive off the lot, isn’t it great to be the second owner of that car—not the first one?

All noted below are 2016 models:

  1. Fiat 500L – 34.6% depreciation, $8,096 price difference between new vs. 2016 model
  2. Lincoln MKS – 34.5% depreciation, $16,039 decrease in price
  3. Volvo S60 – 34.4% depreciation, $14,204 drop in price
  4. Kia Cadenza – 34.3% depreciation, $12,940 decrease in price
  5. Mercedes C250 – 34.3% depreciation, $15,247 drop in price
  6. Nissan Maxima – 34% depreciation, $12,469 decrease in price
  7. Lincoln MKZ and MKZ Hybrid – 33.8% depreciation, $14,177 drop in price
  8. Jaguar XF sedan – 32.3% depreciation, $19,996 decrease in price
  9. Fiat 500 – 31.9% depreciation, $11,106 drop in price
  10. Cadillac ATS – 31.8% depreciation, $6,099 decrease in price
  11. Chrysler 300 – 31.7% depreciation, $13,351 drop in price
  12. Buick Regal – 31.2% depreciation, $11,525 decrease in price

If you must buy new, plan on holding a car for 10 years or longer to absorb all the depreciation. As an alternative, Clark has said that you can also buy a two-year-old car and hold it for three years or a three-year-old car and hold it for two years.

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