A little while back, we talked about how used electric cars, such as the BMW i3, were dropping in value dramatically. For some reason, electric cars have horrible resale value and can be had on the second-hand market for less than 50 percent of the original cost. And these are cars that are only two or three years old with incredibly low mileage, not beaters. Well, it seems that one of the best looking plug-in hybrid vehicles of all time is joining that list, as the BMW i8 is losing value dramatically on the used market.
Brand new, the cheapest BMW i8 will leave the dealer with a price tag of around $143,000 and that’s before taxes and dealer fees. So you’re easily talking $150,000-plus. It’s an incredibly expensive, exciting and dynamic car that offers an experience like few other automobiles in the world. Yet, if you wait just a few years, you can get one for about $60,000 less and that’s just right now. It seems as if its value is continuing to drop.
A quick search of used BMW i8 cars in America shows that you can easily find a pre-owned BMW i8 with low miles for under $90,000. That’s more than $60,000 off the original price and it’s barely been used. That’s horrible resale value but great for second-hand buyers.
No one is really sure why this is happening, as the BMW i8 is still a very current and exciting car. However, there are some theories going around on forums and whatnot, chief of which is that most customers are treating the i8 as a white good. Meaning, as soon as a new model comes out, the old one is obsolete, like a laptop or iPhone. Because of that, people don’t want to buy the old model, just like no one wants an iPhone 6 anymore now that the 7 is out.
This is a realistic possibility, as people who are buying these cars are the sorts of folks that want to be on the bleeding edge of technology and have the money to stay there. There’s also a matter of its competition. For the price of a used BMW i8, you can choose from a pretty impressive selection of supercars, like a first-gen Audi R8 whose looks will never get old, a Porsche 911 Turbo and even an Aston Martin Vantage.
So it’s tough to combat proper supercars with a 1.5 liter three-cylinder engine. Plus, there’s also a reliability factor. The high levels of technology in the BMW i8 are extremely complicated and completely unproven, given the car is only a few years old. So I’m not so sure that many people want to take the risk of spending that much money on such a new car after the warranty is up.
Either way, for anyone willing to take the risk on one of these cars, they’re getting one helluva bargain.