These Are The Most Resold New Cars After One Year Of Ownership

A new study by automotive research firm iSeeCars has found that even though only 1.5% of new car buyers resell their vehicles within the first year of ownership, German premium models seem to dominate that small percentage of unwanted metal.

After analyzing more than 24 million individual new car sales, the firm put together a shortlist of 11 nameplates that were resold at more than twice the average rate.

Topping the chart is the BMW 3-Series, where 8% of cars were resold as used within the first twelve months. Places 2 through 11 are as follows: BMW 5-Series (7.1%), Mercedes C-Class (6.1%), Nissan Versa Note (4.0%), Dodge Dart (3.9%), BMW X3 (3.9%), BMW 4-Series (3.9%), Mercedes E-Class (3.9%), Chrysler 200 (3.8%), Subaru WRX (3.3%) and the Nissan Versa, coming in at 3.2%.

Six of these eleven models hail from luxury German automakers, with BMW claiming not just the top two sports, but also the sixth and seventh place. It’s also apparent that the 3-Series, 5-Series and the C-Class are being re-sold at quadruple the average rate of all models.

“While some might be surprised that these luxury brands top the list, these auto manufacturers offer their dealers incentives to buy new cars to use as loaner vehicles, which are then sold as used when they are still under a year old,” stated CEO, Phong Ly.

“This is a marketing strategy with a two-fold purpose. It puts brand-new models in the hands of current owners when they bring their cars in for service, increasing the likelihood that they will buy another car from that brand. In addition, it essentially increases the brand’s new car sales, which help to give them the ability to claim the title of ‘top luxury brand’, something that BMW and Mercedes-Benz compete for every year.”

Yet, this may not be the only reason why people are in a hurry to ditch their new 3-Series or 5-Series models. In fact, most of the 3-Series resold as used featured lower-priced specs, which in turn might frustrate first-time premium car owners who become disappointed with their entry-level trims and proceed to trade them in very early for something a little more posh.

Then there’s the issue of perceived quality, where outside of BMW and Mercedes, all the other models on the list were ranked as average or worse in a J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Initial Quality Study.

The iSeeCars study also resulted in a chart showing the average discounts for each of these resold cars. This time, it was the Chrysler 200 that topped the table with a 29.9% discount, followed in this order by the Dodge Dart (27.4%), Nissan Versa Note (20.2%), Mercedes C-Class (19.6%), Mercedes E-Class (19.3%), BMW 5-Series (18.2%), BMW 3-Series (18%), BMW 4-Series (17.3%), Nissan Versa (14.1%), BMW X3 (12.7%) and the Subaru WRX (6.2%).

The fact that the 200 and the Dart topped this list should come as no surprise though, seen as how both models went out of production and FCA dealers needed to move inventory.

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  • DanSemering

    No Audi and No Toyota …

    • Matthew Boyd


  • Evan McMaster

    Not surprising people want to get rid of their expensive under performing low quality BMWs after a year. Won’t see anything from the Volkswagen group on this list…

    • lagunas3ca

      25% of BMW owners purchase another BMW after selling their vehicle, whereas only 7% of VW owners purchase another VW after selling their vehicle. Now, what does that tell you about brand loyalty?

  • KidRed

    I’ve seen a ton of 3 Series coming off leases with tons of miles. I wonder if these buyers are leasing with a low miles package, driving 20k a year and then turning the lease in early to avoid overage fees?

  • VW cars have some of the highest level of depreciation rates of any car manufacturers, with the Passat being at 50.1% depreciation after one year. Then there’s that.

  • Seats & a steering wheel

    Buyers remorse

  • Harry_Wild

    I been shopping for new luxury crossovers and find now with the manufacturer’s rebates for the current year models and the used models prices; the price of the brand new luxury crossover is very close maybe 2K between a brand new model and one wit 10K on it with nearly the same options and trim level. So if you are going be buying a new crossover like me; don’t even look at the used models; they are jacked up because they brought it before the rebates happen and are stuck at their buy in price plus 10% for profit margin.

  • brn

    show us the whole list!

  • Wandering_Spirit

    Not surprised about BMW. People focus too much on “how many they sell”, rather than on “why do they buy” and “how happy customers are”, or other interesting questions that should be asked.

  • Harry_Wild

    Many buy over their budget and just have to give their German luxury cars! I do not think that too much a surprise!

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