A Surprising Number Of Americans Resell Their Luxury Vehicle Within The First Year

A new study from iSeeCars has revealed which vehicles Americans resell within first year of ownership.

As part of the study, the company examined more than 46 million new vehicle sales to determine which vehicles which resold the most often. To eliminate flippers and other anomalies, the company looked at vehicles which logged at least a 1,000 miles (1,609 km) between sales.

The results are somewhat surprising as the top four resold vehicles were all from luxury automakers. They include the Mercedes C-Class, BMW 3-Series, Land Rover Discovery Sport and Range Rover Evoque. While only 3.4% of all new cars are resold within the first year of ownership, all four of these models had resell rates of 10.9% or more.

Continuing down the list, there’s the MINI Clubman, BMW X1 and BMW X3. Rounding out the top ten are the Nissan Versa Note, Jaguar XF and Nissan Versa sedan.

The top ten list includes seven different luxury vehicles and it’s not entirely clear why. iSeeCars CEO Phong Ly suggested a number of possibilities including everything from high operating costs to below-average reliability ratings. He also mentioned the possibility that dealers bought the vehicles to use as loaners – using manufacture incentives – and then resold them within the first year. However, the company tried to account for this by excluding vehicles without a 1,000 miles (1,609 km) between sales.

There are other possibilities and one of the simplest explanations could be that people didn’t fully understand how much money it costs to own a luxury vehicle. The average new car loan soared to a record of $31,455 last summer and this pushed the average monthly loan payment to a record of $523. That’s not exactly pocket change and when you add on insurance and other costs, it means some people might not have been able to afford the vehicle they just purchased.

Regardless of the cause, luxury brands also dominated the list of brands which were most likely to be given up within the first year of ownership. The top five spots went to BMW, Porsche, Mercedes, Land Rover and Jaguar.

On the sports car side, owners bailed on the aging Nissan 370Z as 7.8% of them were resold within the first year. The model was followed by the Porsche 911 and Chevrolet Corvette.

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  • db

    Its not the kill but the thrill of the chase seems to fit here.

  • brn

    Domestics are faring really well in these lists. Ford is nowhere to be seen.

  • BMW and Mercedes-Benz are not are reliable and are expensive to repair with all the electronics these cars have. A mechanic says they are endless money pits and advises against buying them.

    • Matt

      A ‘mechanic’?

    • sidewaysspin

      You basically pay four times as much for everything compared to other brands, servicing such cars is crazy expensive again when compared with non premium brands.

  • Jason Panamera

    That Nissan Titan XD name always makes me smile. Nissan marketing department did good job. Hope that next Nissan’s sports car gonna have 8===D sign on it.

    • TheAmerican2point0

      Or a 8====D -> ->(0)

  • Daniela Wolf

    Seems like NA prefers Audi over all other Premium brands?

    • DanSemering

      They are good …so they keep them

  • europeon

    Uhm, no. Renaults, Skodas, Fords and VWs are like 95% of the rental fleets in Europe.

  • GobbleUp

    Laff. Second Tesla here and never one day out of use, no service required.


  • Escalade Navy✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    The resale value of most Mercedes-Benzs are abysmal! Those things lose its value tremendously after the first year of ownership, and many of them are unreliable. For the people who bragged on Mercedes-Benzs is not used to anything beyond a use Mercedes-Benz because they come from typical Chevrolets or older model Cadillacs and bash the American car companies because it didn’t live up to their expectations.

  • Сафиуллина-Мохамед Рамазанов

    and that’s reflects the stability of the Japanese in the market

  • Alx

    is this not commentary on consumer culture, where wannabes live beyond their means buying cars they cannot actually afford… broad generalisations, I know… just see it happen all too often.

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