You don't have to spend a lot of money to experience buyer's remorse, but it's fair to say the severity of that emotion increases proportionally with the amount of money you've spent on the product you wish you hadn't brought home.
Click through the gallery to see the 11 vehicles most often resold during the first year of ownership, according to iSeeCars.com.
We mean no slight against the Versa, but it’s not hard to see why someone might wish they’d decided differently after taking one of these subcompacts home. It’s a roomy and efficient little car, but the driving position doesn’t suit everyone and its little engine doesn’t offer much in the way of performance. iSeeCars said 3.2 per cent of Versa buyers traded their cars before the first year was up.
The WRX is a fantastically fun car to drive, but we suspect the 3.3 per cent of buyers who traded in the first year of ownership did so because they found this car a bit demanding as a daily driver thanks to its firm ride.
iSeeCars says 3.8 per cent of Chrysler 200 buyers traded this mid-size sedan in the first year. This car’s transmission generated a lot of complaints from drivers shortly after it its launch, and we’d guess that was a contributing factor in many of those resale decisions.
Here’s a surprising inclusion in this list. In the first year of ownership, 3.9 per cent of E-Class buyers traded in this handsome, tech-intensive sedan. Did they wish they’d taken home a GLC-Class SUV instead?
BMW 4 Series
This coupe’s resale rate matches that of the E-Class in the previous slide. Would you trade in this good-looking two-door, even if you wished for the added practicality of the mechanically-similar 3 Series sedan?
The X3 is among the most popular upscale crossovers in North America. Of the 3.9 percent who traded in the first year, perhaps four-cylinder buyers wished for more power, or six-cylinder owners wanted better fuel economy. Or maybe diesel buyers were scared off by the Volkswagen emissions scandal, even though BMW was never formally accused of making its diesels appear cleaner than they were.
The tiny Dart came along just as other compact sedans grew to offer interior space more like that of mid-size cars. That had to be a contributing factor in 3.9 per cent of buyers changing their minds.
Nissan Versa Note
The Versa ignominiously makes its second appearance in this list in its Note hatchback form. This version is better looking and more practical than the sedan, and yet four per cent of buyers traded theirs in within the first year.
Another handsome Mercedes model fails to make the cut, with 6.1 per cent of buyers trading their examples in before the first year was up.
BMW 5 Series
More than 7 per cent of buyers of this lovely luxury car traded theirs in after less than a year. We don’t know what to say, other than maybe this means there can be too much of a good thing.
BMW 3 Series
The 3 Series is among the most recognizable upscale cars you can buy, but 8 per cent of the people who bought one traded theirs within the first year. If you’re in the market for a lightly used 3 Series, now’s the time to go shopping.
And that extends to new car purchases, according to a recent survey by automotive research firm iSeeCars.com, which has compiled a list of the 11 cars most frequently sold just one year after leaving a showroom for the first time.
iSeeCars says an average of 1.5 per cent of cars are re-sold after one year. The organization looked at sales data from 2015 and 2016 and examined 24 million registrations of new vehicles from model years 2015 through 2017 to find cars with resale rates that were significantly higher than that average.
Why do people trade vehicles within a year of buying them? It’s easy to assume that, in at least a few cases, the car was a poorly-built example — a “lemon” — but we suspect in most instances it’s a matter of the vehicle not meeting the buyer’s expectations in one way or another.
But you’d have to have a pretty serious beef with a car to want to trade it in during the first year, because that’s the period during which most vehicles depreciate the most quickly: selling a car so soon after buying it new almost definitely means taking a significant financial hit. In fact, iSeeCars said the resale value on each of these cars is lower than the industry average.