What’s My Car Worth?

by Sean Bryant on November 1, 2017

What’s My Car Worth?

When you buy a car, you don’t just want a daily driver, you want an investment that won’t depreciate over time. However, some cars retain their value much better than others. Whether because of dependability or demand certain vehicles are sought after even after they had some serious miles put on them. But which cars are the best if you want a good resale value? Here’s a look at what, why and how.

Brand Awards

The gold standard of resale value analytics and trends is Kelley Blue Book. Every year, KKB lists the best brands and cars when regarding value retention. KKB’s outlook on resellable vehicles is just part of responsible ownership — keeping up with routine maintenance and replacing parts like tires — as well as financial responsibilities. In 2017, Toyota won the best brand award, while Porsche won the best luxury brand medal. The best brand recognizes not only a single car, but the two brands that make the most dependable, desirable and valuable collection of cars on the market.


Now that you have an idea of what brands have the best resale value, it’s time to look at specific cars. Many of the most resellable vehicles are trucks, like the Toyota Tacoma and the Chevy Colorado. The Toyota Tacoma is the best-selling mid-sized truck in the country. Whether you’re looking for an affordable work truck or an off-road vehicle for mountain or riverside excursions this truck is among the best in its class. However, unlike the Chevy Colorado, the Tacoma doesn’t have a diesel option.

Also Read: 5 Ways to Get Out of a Car Lease

The Chevy Colorado also beats out the Tacoma on interior comfort and even towing capacity. Furthermore, the Colorado is perfect for those who need a truck that hauls but doesn’t want the fuss of a full sized truck. The newest Colorado, the ZR2, is the off-road enthusiast’s dream, and you can also pick from a v4 or v6 engine depending on your needs. While these vehicles have pros and cons, they both resell well and are a great investment for the future.


The car that tops the KKB resell list is the Subaru WRX. While considered a sports sedans, the WRX and WRX STI, boast impressive performance that rivals some of the nicest sports cars in the world. With standard all-wheel drive, and integrated app and infotainment technology in the cab, it’s not a surprise that this car is at the top of the list for resale value, as it’s one of the most popular both for those who need a daily driver, and for some who want a relatively inexpensive sports car, with the clearance, space and power to drive roads typical sports cars can’t.

Also Read: 4 Ways to Save When Buying Your Teenager Their First Car

If you want a more economical, compact car, the Honda Fit is perfect for those who live in the city, park in tight spaces, but still need a roomy vehicle, as the Fit is elegantly designed for maximum space efficiency. It comes in two different models; the basic starts at 17,000 and the more luxurious, leather interior model hits at just $22,000. This car is most desirable for metropolitan drivers.

For a full-sized sedan, the Nissan Maxima retains it’s resale top-spot from 2016 and adds even more desirability by way of a comfortable and roomy interior, a 300-horsepower V6 engine and a CVT automatic transmission. The Maxima has also scored top safety ratings from the NHTSA and the IIHS, which makes this sedan a perfect one for families who don’t want a minivan or SUV.

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Sean Bryant

Sean Bryant created OneSmartDollar.com in 2011 to help pass along his knowledge of finance and economics to others. After graduating from the University of Iowa with a degree in economics he worked as a construction superintendent before jumping into the world of finance. Sean has worked on the trade desk for a commodities brokerage firm, he was a project manager for an investment research company and was a CDO analyst at a big bank. That being said he brings a good understanding of the finance field to the One Smart Dollar community. When not working Sean and his wife are avid world travelers. He enjoys spending time with his two kids and dog Charlie.

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