Drive your dol­lar fur­ther

Brands and mod­els that hold their value best

Herald Sun - Motoring - - FRONT PAGE - PAUL GOVER CHIEF RE­PORTER paul.gover@cars­guide.com.au

BUY­ING the right new car can save you thou­sands of dol­lars.

With de­pre­ci­a­tion tear­ing the largest chunk out of any mo­tor­ing bud­get, eas­ily beat­ing the costs of fuel or ser­vic­ing or in­sur­ance, it pays to go with a bank­able brand on the used-car mar­ket. It’s all about choos­ing a car that will hold its value.

The clock starts tick­ing the in­stant you leave the deal­er­ship.

Santo Amod­dio, the chief ex­ec­u­tive of in­dus­try bible Glass’s Deal­ers Guide, says de­pre­ci­a­tion can rip more than a third from the sec­ond-hand price in less than a day.

“It’s safe to say they lose about a quar­ter of their value. That’s go­ing from a new price to a trade-in price,” he says.

“If you’re talk­ing a base­model Fal­con or Com­modore, like a fleet car, it’s a lot higher at around 35 per cent.”

The right badge is the first step to suc­cess. If you can’t af­ford a lux­ury brand, pick a Mazda, Subaru or Toy­ota — you may pay ex­tra but you will reap the re­wards in the long run. Re­cent prod­uct im­prove­ments, as well as a five- year back-up pro­gram, is also help­ing Hyundai.

As for types of cars, the mod­els that per­form the best ei­ther have rock-solid rep­u­ta­tions or of­fer some­thing a lit­tle dif­fer­ent from the gar­den-va­ri­ety hatch.

Some of the strong­est per­form­ers are hum­ble one­tonne utes, while sports cars and coupes also do well come trade-in time.

There has been a gen­eral down­turn in re­sale prices over re­cent years but Amod­dio says it is easy to see why the sec­ond­hand win­ners are do­ing such a good job for their own­ers.

“Toy­ota has a really strong used-car pro­gram. Mazda has the right prod­ucts for this mar­ket at the mo­ment, and cars that are de­sir­able when they are new are also de­sir­able as sec­ond-hand cars,” he says.

“Subaru had a rough patch a couple of years ago but they have lifted their game. The Forester, for ex­am­ple, is very strong on used-car val­ues. That’s partly be­cause a lot are re­tained by their orig­i­nal own­ers and passed down through the fam­ily.”

He also high­lights the per­for­mance of pres­tige brands in­clud­ing BMW, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Range Rover. Holden Spe­cial Ve­hi­cles is a bank­able brand be­cause of its unique ap­peal.

Glass’s rates the Honda Jazz as the sec­ond-hand bar­gain in the light-car class, with a 67 per cent resid­ual rate af­ter three years. Fac­tor in the low pur­chase price and it’s the car that will cost you the least in three years of own­er­ship.

The Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG is best among small cars at 62 per cent, the Audi Q3 tops small SUVs at 57 per cent, the Range Rover Evoque wins among medium SUVs at 73 per cent and the hulk­ing Toy­ota LandCruiser is the win­ner at the top of the SUV bat­tle at 73 per cent.

Amod­dio says that apart from choos­ing the right car, the right op­tions can make a big dif­fer­ence at trade-in time.

“Blue­tooth, USB ports, sat­nav, ESP, rear-view cam­era and lots of airbags are now widely avail­able in af­ford­able

new cars. That’s what peo­ple are look­ing for and the re­sult has been a steady and grad­ual de­cline in used-car val­ues.

“Over the next couple of years that will nat­u­rally in­crease. If a car has those sorts of things in it then it’s very de­sir­able as a sec­ond-hand car.”

But he also warns about wor­ry­ing too much about prices, ei­ther buy­ing or sell­ing.

“The thing to al­ways con­sider, when you’re look­ing at resid­ual prices, is what you’re buy­ing and sell­ing for.”

Sec­ond-hand val­ues are gen­er­ally down but that also makes it a good time to buy a used car.

“It’s a very good time to buy. There are a lot of good used cars around at the mo­ment,” says Amod­dio.

“To­day you can buy a new car with three or even five years of war­ranty at $15,000, so tra­di­tional used-car buy­ers of one to three-year-old cars are switch­ing to new cars. Added to this is the con­tin­ued offering of low or no-in­ter­est of­fers as an in­duce­ment to prospec­tive new-car buy­ers.

“New cars th­ese days have a lot more stan­dard equip­ment and the new price has ei­ther stayed the same or dropped marginally. We’ve also had tar­iff re­duc­tions and free-trade agree­ments which have re­sulted in lower new-car prices.”

For the ex­perts at Glass’s, there is only one change that could have a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on sec­ond-hand val­ues.

“The down­ward trend has been for about the last three years. The only thing we can see on the hori­zon that could see prices firm is that the fall in the dol­lar could see some prices ris­ing,” says Amod­dio.

HONDA JAZZ

67%

TOY­OTA LANDCRUISER

73%

RANGE ROVER EVOQUE

73%

AUDI A5

73%

NIS­SAN NAVARA

71%

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