Let’s get this one out of the way. Cars depreciate. With a few outstanding exceptions, buying a new car as an investment is a bad idea. Cars are lasting longer and longer, but vehicles still lose most of their value early in their lifespan. While some models handle depreciation better than others, most shoppers can expect a new car to lose up to 50% of its value within three years of rolling off the lot. Dad always said, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch,” and, unfortunately, that holds true with cars; for all the perks that come packaged with new vehicles (warranties, free maintenance, low financing), the inevitable law of depreciation remains a substantial cost and a great reason to shop used instead.