Was Your Car A Big Loser This Year?

CarGurus’ Used Car Price Study Shows Luxury Lost Big While Trucks Held Strong

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., April 8, 2014 -- CarGurus (www.CarGurus.com), the automotive research and shopping site, today released a study that compared year-over-year price changes on used vehicles (model years 2008 - 2012) to determine which models had the most significant price drops in the past year. The findings show that the biggest value hits were mostly on luxury vehicles, while prices on most truck models held strong.

CarGurus’ analysts noted that while a car’s depreciation over time is to be expected, the study highlights extreme variances in the change in value among different models. The median change in value from 2013 to 2014 for the cars in this study was -9.8%, but the changes ranged from -18.9% to +3.4% (inflation adjusted).

“All cars lose value over time, and it seems luxury vehicles do so fastest,” said Langley Steinert, founder and CEO of CarGurus. “If you are shopping for a luxury car, there are substantial savings to be found by buying used. However, the story on used trucks is quite different. Recent demand has kept truck prices high, and the savings you might expect by buying a used truck will be much harder to find.”

With a few exceptions, many of the cars with the most significant year-over-year price drops were luxury vehicles, including models from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Cadillac. As for the highest value retainers, the list was dominated by trucks and SUVs, some of which actually showed year-over-year price increases.

For the full list, please visit https://cargur.us/VR3n. Highlights below:

Biggest Value Losers:
Used Vehicles with the Most Significant Price Drops from 2013-2014

  1. 2012 Chevrolet Equinox (-18.9%)
  2. 2010 BMW 3 Series (-17.5%)
  3. 2012 Mercedes-Benz E-Class (-17.4%)
  4. 2009 Nissan Altima (-16.5%)
  5. [tie] 2008 Volvo XC90 (-16.3%); 2008 BMW 5 Series (-16.3%); 2009 BMW 5 Series (-16.3%)
  6. 2009 BMW 3 Series (-16.2%)
  7. 2009 Audi A-4 (-15.8%)
  8. 2008 Volkswagen Passat (-15.7%)
  9. [tie] 2009 Cadillac STS (-15.6%); 2009 BMW X5 (-15.6%)
  10. 2012 Cadillac SRX (-15.5%)

Biggest Value Retainers:
Used Vehicles with the Least Significant Price Drops from 2013-2014

  1. 2012 Ram 1500 (3.4%)
  2. 2012 Nissan Titan (2.2%)
  3. 2012 Dodge Charger (1%)
  4. 2012 Ford F-150 (.9%)
  5. 2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 (.7%)
  6. 2012 Jeep Liberty (.5%)
  7. 2012 Ram 2500 (.2%)
  8. 2008 Dodge Ram 2500 (.1%)
  9. 2012 Jeep Wrangler (-.6%)
  10. 2012 Chevrolet Tahoe (-.8%)


For this study, CarGurus analyzed average prices for used car models from years 2008 through 2012 for which there were at least 400 vehicles in inventory at dealerships nationwide, then calculated the percentage price change between the average price for the car in March 2013 and March 2014, applying a 1.1% rate of annual inflation (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In total, analysts looked at 577 different year/models and more than 1.5 million individual listings. The median price change for all of the cars analyzed in this study was -9.8% for the same time period.

About CarGurus

With 10 million unique monthly visitors, www.CarGurus.com is the fastest growing automotive research and shopping website in the nation. The company uses proprietary search algorithms to help shoppers compare local listings and find great deals from great dealers. Every day, the company does a comprehensive Instant Market Value (IMV) analysis on more than 4 million listings, taking into account details including year, model, trim, options, mileage, location and vehicle history. A user’s shopping search results are ranked according to which offer the best deals from the most reputable dealerships.

CarGurus was founded in 2006 by Langley Steinert, co-founder and former Chairman of TripAdvisor, and is based in Cambridge, MA.

Amy Mueller