Let's talk Prelude. Great resale value. If you bought a 01 Prelude new for $24,000 you could now supposedly sell it for $15,000. ( I was able to find one example where the guy was asking $13,500 - which brings the probable sale price down to $12,500. But I'm easy. I'll use $15,000 (above blue book))
So let's imagine this person sells his Prelude for $15,000. He only loses $9,000. He drove the car for 32,000 miles.
Even bending all the rules in favor of the Prelude - it still cost this guy almost 30 cents per mile in depreciation alone.
It's just reality - buying a new car is not an investment.
They only lose that much it if they sell it. Most people do not sell a car after only one year because it is the largest for depreciation. It would be more like $4200. New ones went up $300 or so. It's really less than that because you can get 2.9% on a '05 and also there is a difference between retail and wholesale value.
You're probably looking at a builder or a car which has been abused. We've got a 2000 with 63k on it and we're asking $14,900. If you want to look at true cost of ownership numbers go to intellichoice.com. They do breakdowns for depreciation, fuel, insurance, maintenance and repairs of every car on the market. It would be much more accurate than your hunting around the internet trying to find the lowest priced listing out there. If you want to use that kind of logic I can find A 2000 Tahoe which sold for $40k plus new that I can muy used for $14k.
But since when would you care about accuracy.
A 2004 grand am is rated as poor. It's so easy to point out your ignorance that it's not even fun anymore.
Resale values is not "BS" to be exposed. If you are the kind who buys a new car every 3 or 4 years, it can be $13,000 back out of your Prelude or $2,000 back out of your Pontiac Grand Prix. When the time comes to trade in one of these gems, the resale may be important to you. If you are a leasing fan, it is also important. Banks use these assumptions to determine (guess) what they will get back when a leased car is returned, which in effect determine the leasing rate. So, if you lease, if is also important to you. Note for investors: falling SUV sales could spell trouble for banks that are heavily into leasing if the falling sales drive down used vehicle prices enough.