2. Buy (gently) used.
Because new cars depreciate faster than used ones, buying a used car will reduce the amount of money you lose to depreciation. Additionally, insurance for used cars is usually less expensive.
Buying a car that is just one year old will allow you to retain many of the benefits of a new car — like updated technology and the manufacturer’s warranty — and cost you 80 percent of the price of a new car.
A car that is three or so model years old can save you 50 percent of the price of a new car. However, be careful that the car is in good condition, as a used car that requires expensive repairs soon after you buy it could be a worse financial decision than just buying a new car.
3. Lower your mileage.
Carpooling, taking public transportation, biking, walking, and consolidating your errands are all ways to drive less and reduce the number of miles you put on your car. Not only will that mitigate depreciation, but it can also save you money on fuel costs. And if you drive less than 10,000 miles per year, you might be able to save money with a pay-per-mile insurance plan.
4. Don’t customize your car.
Modifications like aftermarket wheels, loud exhaust systems, and custom paint jobs will reduce your car’s value. These changes can detract buyers who don’t want them or worry about whether they are properly installed.
5. Hold on to your car.
Depreciation slows down at the five-year mark and pretty much stops once the car hits 10 years. Driving and maintaining your car for as long as you can can reduce the effects of depreciation and save you money overall.