Questions & Answers

Why was this site created?

CarEdge's goal is to be the ally of the car shopper by providing consumers with useful tools and information to allow them to make informed, educated vehicle purchases. We want to equip you with the knowledge and resources you need to be able to determine what is the right car for you, and at what price. As we are not affiliated with any auto dealer or manufacturer, we can provide you candid, unbiased information that is not meant to "sell" you on a car or truck, but instead, to "inform" you, so that you can make a good a good purchase decision.

Should I buy a new or used car?

Buying a brand new car is a fun and exciting experience, but it comes at a cost, as new vehicles are significantly more expensive than those that are just "slightly used". If your lifestyle demands it, and your budget will allow it, go for it. But, if you are looking to keep your annual vehicle expenses to a minimum, a car that is just a few years old that has been well cared for and does not have excessive mileage, may be your best option. Also, keep in mind that many manufacturers now offer a Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) program, where you can buy a used vehicle that has been brought to "close to new" condition, with a very comprehensive warranty to back it up. CPO vehicle can offer a tremendous value for car shoppers in that they offer the reliability of buying new, but without the new car price.

Why is depreciation important?

Depreciation is a measure of the decrease in value of a car over its useful life. If you buy a car for $20,000, and sell it in 4 years for $8,000, it has depreciated $12,000, and that is a big part of the cost of ownership with a car. In order to try to minimize your cost of ownership, you will want to find a car that depreciates less than others, as that is how you save on your annual vehicle expense.

Why do new cars depreciate so much so fast?

As with most new items, they are worth a lot less once you leave the store (or dealership), as the item is now used, and "used" things generally are worth a lot less than "new" things. Historically, the reliability of a new car was very important relative to a used car, and consumers were willing to pay more for something straight from the factory. Today, it is more about having the latest technology for safety, entertainment, or just using the phone. As technology changes so fast these days, new cars will have better technology than older models, and consumers are willing to pay more for these new conveniences. On average, however, a new car will depreciate by 23% once it is a year old, so you really want to make certain that the latest gadgets and gizmos are worth it to you.

How do the depreciation pages work?

Our Depreciation analytics are tools to assist car shoppers in finding the best used value based on observed depreciation trends by brand and model. We determine the best value by comparing a vehicle's approximate worth with the likely amount of remaining life in the vehicle, so you get the best bang for the buck. Importantly, we look at millions of vehicles and hundreds of makes and models, so be aware that we are using historical figures that are averaged across the country, and no process will be exact or perfect.

Why twelve years?

A properly maintained car could last well beyond 12 years. However, the probability of major repairs increases significantly, and those costs can vary greatly. When we say there are so many "years left" that doesn't mean the vehicle will need to be scrapped where the chart ends. Rather, it is the years remaining of predicable repair and maintenance costs. Beyond 12 years, it becomes increasingly difficult to determine useful average values, as vehicles' conditions will vary greatly once that old.

Why isn't my make or model listed?

While we have depreciation figures on close to 200 models, our calculations are only reliable on long-running nameplates, or models available new that have existed for at least the past 5 years. We are constantly adding new models to our analysis, so if you see something that we may have missed, or would like to see, please let us know!

What is Net Used Value?

Net Used Value is a formula that helps us select the best model years to buy based on depreciation trends & timing. We subtract the percentage paid at each year from the original price and factor in typical maintenance costs for that make & model. The remaining figure is simply a ranking & sorting index. The higher the number, the more retained value. This index is not used to compare different vehicles, only to rank and sort within a single model.