Vehicles with average or below-average resale values are generally plentiful in the marketplace and easy to find, such as models found in rental fleets.
Certain vehicles, however, are projected to hold their value better than others. While much of a vehicle's resale value is based on supply and demand, as well as current and projected future market conditions, vehicles that maintain their value best tend to be quality built and generate consumer enthusiasm.
Shoppers should take several factors into consideration when buying a new car to ensure as much future value as possible. Certain features available on new vehicles today will be desirable by a majority of used-car buyers three to five years down the road, and these features will help the vehicle maintain more of its original value than if they were absent.
First, car buyers should choose a popular exterior color such as silver, white, gray or black. Then, they should look for optional equipment that is customary for the type of vehicle they are buying.
"Choosing a vehicle with a traditional or classic style will generally stand the test of time when it comes to resale value and getting more for your vehicle when you are ready to sell it," said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst with Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com. "Vehicles with radical interiors and exteriors will likely lose more of their value, as they will not appeal to the mainstream public after five years."
Many of the vehicles with the lowest resale values are vehicles with long life cycles, high production levels and those models that populate the fleet market. Shoppers who buy vehicles that retain the least amount of their original value can expect to see between 20 and 25 percent of their original dollar returned to them after five years.
Half the vehicles ranked lowest in resale value for the 2007 model year remain in that category for 2008, including the Chevrolet Uplander, Isuzu Ascender, Kia Sedona, Mercury Marquis and the Lincoln Town Car. New to the 2008 list of vehicles that will retain the least amount of their original value are the Dodge Durango, Ford Econoline, Suzuki Reno, Suzuki Forenza and Suzuki Aerio.
For information about new- or used-car values, vehicle purchasing advice and more, visit at www.kbb.com.