The Car Book Blog: Price Depreciation and Maintaining Value

The Center for Auto Safety is the nation’s premier independent, member driven, non-profit consumer advocacy organization dedicated to improving vehicle safety, quality, and fuel economy on behalf of all drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.

With the release of the 39th edition of The Car Booknow available online—we’re sharing some of our best tips for car buying and maintaining your vehicle after you buy. The Car Book 2019 provides today’s car buyer with in-depth ratings of the 2019 vehicles, The Car Book’s unique crash test ratings, comparative complaint ratings, and all of the information needed to make a smart, safe and informed vehicle purchase. For online users only, the site also includes over 1,000 used car ratings going back five years.

So you’ve found the new car that’s perfect for you and your family at a fair price…only to watch in horror as its value plummets over the years. Unfortunately, vehicles depreciate in price faster than almost any other major investment, and vehicle depreciation costs have Image result for depreciating value graphsteadily increased over the past 20 years. In fact, a recent study from Runzheimer International shows that depreciation and interest now account for over 50% of the costs of owning and operating a vehicle.     

Recently, however, the increasing cost of depreciation has slowed down due to the increased prices of new vehicles and the stabilization in finance rates.    

While there is no foolproof method for predicting retained vehicle value, your best bet is to purchase a popular vehicle model. Chances are good that it will also be a popular used vehicle, meaning that it will retain more of its value when you go to sell it.    

Most new cars are traded in within four years and are then available on the used car market. The priciest used cars may not be the highest quality. Supply and demand, as well as appearance, are important factors in determining used car prices.    

For a list of top-selling cars that held their value well and poorly, check out the latest edition of The Car Book or visit

If you haven’t already, be sure to join the Center for Auto Safety to get a full year’s access to Come back to The Car Book Blog soon for more insightful car buying information.

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