Fewer Used Cars, High Value: The Changing Dynamics of the Pre-Owned Vehicle Market

The pre-owned car market has seen a significant shift in recent times, with five-year-old vehicles holding onto their value remarkably well. This phenomenon can be attributed to a shortage of used cars, SUVs, and trucks in the market. Surprisingly, while electric vehicles (EVs) were once considered a reliable investment, buyers are now showing a preference for hybrid vehicles over their fully electric counterparts.

Historically, the depreciation rate for vehicles within the first five years was around 50 percent. However, due to a variety of factors, today the average vehicle retains approximately 38.8 percent of its original value within the same time frame. This shift in depreciation trends can be attributed to the lingering effects of the pandemic and production challenges faced a few years ago.

A recent study conducted by iSeeCars revealed that hybrids and trucks are depreciating even less than the industry average. Hybrid vehicles retain about 37.4 percent of their initial price tag after five years, while trucks retain 34.8 percent. The resilience of these vehicle types in the face of depreciation highlights their continued popularity and desirability among consumers.

In contrast, SUVs have a depreciation rate of 41.2 percent, slightly higher than the overall industry average. While this may seem surprising, it is important to note that SUVs remain in high demand due to their spaciousness, versatility, and practicality. The higher depreciation rate can be attributed to a larger supply of used SUVs in the market.


Q: Why are five-year-old vehicles retaining their value?
A: The shortage of used cars, SUVs, and trucks in the market is contributing to the higher value retention of older vehicles.

Q: Why are buyers preferring hybrid vehicles over EVs?
A: Buyers have shown a preference for hybrid vehicles due to factors such as better range anxiety, affordability, and availability of charging infrastructure.

Q: What is the average depreciation rate for vehicles within the first five years?
A: Historically, vehicles were depreciated by approximately 50 percent within the first five years. However, the average vehicle now retains about 38.8 percent of its value within the same time frame.

Q: Which types of vehicles are depreciating the least?
A: According to research, hybrid vehicles and trucks are depreciating less than the industry average, retaining around 37.4 percent and 34.8 percent of their original value, respectively.