Shopping used in DC? Buy a BMW 7 Series for half price

Used vehicle prices reached record highs during the pandemic, and some vehicles have held their value quite well. But others have seen much greater depreciation, and in the D.C. area, the used vehicles with the largest decline from original list price are all very nice vehicles.

Used car price comparison site compared three- and five-year depreciation rates of used vehicles being sold in the D.C. market currently, and topping the list for biggest depreciation is the luxury BMW 7 Series. A 2017 7 Series is worth an average 51.2% less than its new list price.

In the D.C. area, the used vehicles with the largest decline from original list price are all very nice vehicles. (Courtesy

A 2017 7 Series had a list price starting at about $83,000 (though options and models took some 7-series models well past $100,000), meaning it would sell for $41,000 now, or less, depending on mileage and condition. A five-year-old BMW would still qualify for an extended warranty.

Infiniti QX80, Cadillac Escalade ESV and a Mercedes S-Class all lost half their value in five years.

“I think it because the people who buy these vehicles have a lot of money, and when the vehicle gets old they just want a new luxury car. So they just don’t hold their value on the used market,” said Karl Brauer, executive analyst at

At the other end of the depreciation scale, some vehicles have held their value incredibly well. A Jeep Wrangler Unlimited tops the list with a five-year depreciation rate in the D.C. market of just 9.9%. A three-year-old Wrangler actually sells for an average 1.3% more than a new model, according to iSeeCars data.

“It’s iconic. It’s never looked all that different than it did when it came out. So old ones just don’t look old. I think people love those cars. They hold up very well iconically and stylistically, so they just hold their value,” Brauer said.

Below are the vehicles with the smallest and largest five-year depreciation rates in the D.C. market:

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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