Trucks and SUVs dominate the list of models that will bring back the most cash at trade-in time.
Depreciation is typically a vehicle’s biggest long-term ownership expense, and it easily tops insurance, fuel, and maintenance costs. The average new vehicle can be expected to retain 35.1% of its original value after five years, which means a typical $30,000 car or truck today will be worth just $10,500 in 2022.
Unless you hold onto a new vehicle for a decade or longer and literally drive it into the ground, it will pay you back at trade-in time to choose a car or truck that will hold onto its value more tenaciously than the norm. According to Kelley Blue Book’s annual Best Residual Values Awards, which cite vehicles that are expected to be worth the most money after an average five years on the road, the 2018 Toyota Tacoma full-size pickup truck will retain an industry-leading average 61.1% of its original transaction price. That makes a $30,000 example worth $18,330 in 2022, or over $7,800 more than the average vehicle cited above.
And keep in mind that the more a given vehicle costs up front, the more important its residual value becomes, simply because there’s more money at stake to lose. It’s also a valuable asset to those who lease a new car or truck, since monthly payments are largely based on the difference between a vehicle’s transaction price and its predicted worth at the end of the term, financed at a set interest rate.
Resale value projections are based on a variety of economic factors and historical data, and can vary from one part of the country to another depending on local supply and demand issues. Underscoring the current market shift away from passenger cars and into more truck-like modes of transport, nine out of the 10 models from the 2018 model year KBB says will return the highest five-year resale values are either pickup trucks or truck-based SUVs. Though domestic brands comprise half of the top 10 models, the top three slots are filled by Toyotas.