Buying a new car is great...if you can afford it. For some vehicles with absurdly high resale-values — think Jeeps and Toyota off-roaders — buying new is the optimal value play, but that's not the case for every car. Some depreciate quite a bit early on in their lifespan; as a result, you can get far more bang for your buck buying used off a lease. A very lightly used BMW, for instance, can cost the same as a budget crossover. Why would you buy the latter?
An iSeeCars.com study ran the numbers, looking for the cars that depreciated by the highest percentage over their first three years — the length of a standard car lease. On average, a car's value dropped by 39.1% over that span, but the top ones saw their value decline by more than half.
Looking at the 10 cars that depreciated most, there were two takeaways. Luxury cars tend to dip the most in value; nine of the top ten were from luxury manufacturers, including Audi, BMW, Infiniti, Lincoln and Volvo. Sedans also fell in value compared to other body types; nine of the top 10 were sedans.
So if you're planning to buy a luxury sedan, particularly a German one, and don't need the absolute latest infotainment setup, it may be worth checking out the dealer's pre-owned inventory to see if you can score a deal.
Below you will find the ten cars that depreciated the most over three years.