Residual value is something to consider when shopping for a new car. Higher residual values mean lower monthly payments if you decide to lease the car and better resale value if you decide to buy it. However, these are the cars with the lowest residual values for 2004 — that is, they're likely to depreciate the most during the ownership period. Below we show the percentage of its original value that each vehicle is likely to retain after five years with an annual mileage of 15,000. Note that the residual value percentages are based on the national True Market Value® (TMV) price, plus typical options and destination charge.
Although you might think these are cars to avoid, keep in mind that many of them don't cost much to begin with. A Hyundai Accent might not be worth much in dollars after five years on the road, but if it continues to provide reliable transportation, it has an intangible value to you as an individual. Moreover, cars with low residual values can be steals on the used car market, as you may be able to pick up a low-mileage car on this list for much less than you'd pay for competitors that command higher resale prices.
1. Hyundai Accent — 19%
4. Chevrolet Cavalier — 23%