Find the depreciation rate of your Chevrolet Malibu in the graph below.
When you buy a new vehicle, it begins to depreciate or lose its value the moment you drive it off the lot. The Chevrolet Malibu is no different. The highest depreciation happens during the first year after you purchase it. Following the drop in value over the first 12 months, the Malibu depreciates more slowly until it reaches the five-year mark. Vehicles depreciate at different rates depending on their make and model. Knowing the Chevrolet Malibu depreciation rate can help you understand the car’s value and total ownership cost before you purchase it.
Keep in mind that just because the vehicle costs the least to own in the sweet spot we have outlined here, you still may not want to own the vehicle during these depreciation sweet spot years. Although vehicles depreciate less as they get older, they have more repairs. Duh right? However, keep in mind that repairs don’t just cost you money, they cost you time. Reliability is the difference between being able to make it to your destination on time or missing an opportunity because the car broke down.
Check out our article on the best and worst years of the Chevrolet Malibu to see our reliability ratings for all years of the Malibu between 2001-2022. We also cover MPG, safety ratings, and a number of other factors. We pulled data from Malibus registered in our app and surveyed owners to get you data-backed answers on just how good or bad each year of the Malibu is.
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Chevrolet Malibu Depreciation
|Model Years||Mileage||Amount Depreciated||Residual Value Percentage||Resale Value|
The chart above shows the approximate depreciation for a Chevrolet Malibu. It’s based on Kelley Blue Book data since 2001. It assumes a vehicle in a standard trim, a generic color such as black or white, and a mileage of 12,000 per year.
Keep in mind that the auto market was heavily affected in 2020 and beyond. Automakers selling new cars during the COVID pandemic raised prices which caused a spike in demand in the used car market as people tried to save money. Many automakers, however, did not drop prices after the pandemic, they kept them so they could make a larger profit.
This is why the most recent years of many vehicles have seemingly experienced less depreciation. Some may have even appreciated due to the heightened levels of inflation created
Factors That Impact the Chevrolet Malibu Depreciation Rate
Chevrolet, owned by General Motors, has a reputation for producing all-American vehicles that appeal to the mainstream market. Among all GM brands, Chevy usually offers the most affordable vehicles in its lineup. The automaker has received awards for its quality and reliability, though some years have been better for Chevy than others. Chevrolet’s reputation for quality and affordability can boost the brand’s resale value, but there are other factors to consider.
Age is one of the most significant factors relating to depreciation. Typically, vehicles experience the highest depreciation rates in the first years of ownership. This sharp increase in depreciation usually evens out after a while.
Your car’s model year refers to its age and generation. Most car manufacturers make updates and changes to their vehicles annually. Outgoing model years often have high depreciation rates once they become replaced by a new generation. Additionally, some model years may have better features or safety ratings than others, which can improve their resale value.
A vehicle’s body type is a classification based on its size and arrangement. The different body types include sedans, hatchbacks, coupes, convertibles, sports cars, station wagons, SUVs, minivans, and pickup trucks. In North America, SUVs and pickup trucks usually have slower depreciation rates because of demand for these vehicles. Small luxury cars, in contrast, typically depreciate the quickest.
The Chevrolet Malibu is a midsize sedan. Vehicles with this body type usually have faster depreciation rates than pickups and SUVs but hold their value better than luxury cars. However, if the market begins to trend toward sedans, coupes, and other compact cars, the Malibu and similar vehicles could start to experience slower depreciation.
A car’s mileage can also affect its resale value and depreciation. A vehicle with a high mileage may show signs of wear and tear, and it’s often more costly to maintain or repair.
The U.S. Federal Highway Administration estimates that the average person drives slightly over 1,000 miles each month. That’s why we base our models on 12,000 miles of driving per year. If you drive your Malibu more than that, it may depreciate more quickly. On the other hand, driving fewer miles than average can potentially increase the car’s value.
A car’s overall condition includes both its performance and its appearance. When you perform routine maintenance on your car, you’re helping to preserve its overall condition. Cars in good order usually have higher resale values since they require fewer repairs and show minimal signs of wear and tear. If you keep your Malibu in good condition and avoid major damages, you might get more for it when you’re ready to sell.
However, at some point, it’ll become cost-prohibitive to continue maintaining and repairing a vehicle. This happens when the repairs cost more than the total value of the car. If you get to this point, it might be better to get a new car rather than continue to spend money on a vehicle that’s not worth it.
It might surprise you to learn that even a vehicle’s color can impact its depreciation. A recent study from iSeeCars found that certain colors, including bold shades like yellow, orange, and green, have slower depreciation rates. That may be because fewer cars are available in those colors, driving up their value. Colors with the highest depreciation include popular hues such as gold, brown, black, and silver. If you really want to get the most bang for your buck, consider purchasing a Malibu in a color that depreciates at a slower rate.
Other Costs of Chevrolet Malibu Ownership
While depreciation is an important factor when purchasing a car, there are other ownership costs to consider. Here are some other costs of owning a Chevrolet Malibu.
Car insurance companies base their rates on various factors, such as your driving habits. They also consider the vehicle you drive when setting your rate. Some automobiles are more expensive to insure than others. Usually, vehicles with good safety ratings and reliability have cheaper insurance premiums since companies consider them to be less of a risk.
Maintenance is another cost to consider when owning a Malibu. Regular maintenance can help keep your vehicle in good condition, improving its overall value. The average maintenance costs for a Chevrolet Malibu are $629 per year. That’s slightly lower than the average maintenance costs for all cars, which is $694 annually.
You can compare the maintenance costs of a Malibu by model year by exploring this graph. Keep in mind that some model years may have higher maintenance costs due to mechanical problems, recalls, or other issues. These concerns can lead to faster depreciation. Specifically, these model years have known issues, mostly related to the engine:
The Best Model Year To Buy a Chevrolet Malibu
Based on factors including price and reliability (but not depreciation), our choice for the best Chevrolet Malibu model years to buy are 2006, 2008, 2010-2011, 2012-2013, 2014-2015, 2017-2019, and 2021, but check out our article on the best and worst years of the Malibu to get the whole story.
When you factor in depreciation, the best model years to buy a Chevrolet Malibu in its sweet spot include 2006, 2008, 2010-2011, and 2012. These models have good reliability scores, solid safety ratings, and improved features. Because they’re within the sweet spot for depreciation, you can feel confident that you’re getting the best value for your money.
Buying a Chevrolet Malibu New vs. Used
|Years Since Purchased||Depreciated Value||With Inflation|
When buying a Chevrolet Malibu, you have the option of purchasing a new or used vehicle. Because of depreciation, it’s often better to buy a used car. A two-year used Malibu will have already accumulated $10,224.95 in depreciation, making it worth $18,846 when you buy it. In contrast, a new Malibu will lose $8,800 in depreciation over its first three years, bringing its depreciated value to $16,200. As you can see, you’ll get more value for the car when you buy a used version, even one that’s only a few years old.
Of course, it’s necessary to do your research when buying a used car to make sure you’re getting one that’s a good value. Use tools such as Kelley Blue Book to research what the car’s worth. Also, make sure you take into account other ownership costs, such as insurance and maintenance, to ensure you’re getting the most value for your money.
The data we’ve provided here applies to a base trim of the Chevrolet Malibu with standard equipment. If you purchase a higher trim or a model with advanced features, the car may retain its value better. Other factors can affect the resale value of your Malibu, including the continuing COVID-era chip shortage. In addition, how and where you sell your Malibu can also affect how much you get for it.
Keep in mind, there are large economic factors at play here too and the sale of new cars has caused shifts in the used market too. There is a stark difference in the cost of vehicles due to car manufacturers seeking higher profit margins after COVID as detailed by CNN and posted by CBS channel 58:
“… (T)he auto industry saw sky-high profits even as sales plummeted. Domestic manufacturers of cars and car parts saw a profit of $32 billion through the third quarter of 2022 (the latest data available) — their largest profit since 2016. Car dealerships also reported record-breaking profits through Q3, according to auto-retail advisers Haig Partners.
That’s because pandemic-era pent-up consumer demand remained strong as supply shifted, allowing automakers to increase their prices and their profit margins. Cars and trucks were sold nearly as soon as they hit dealership lots, and the average price paid for a vehicle in December soared to a near-record high of $46,382, according to J.D. Power.
Data from the Labor Department’s November Consumer Price Index shows American consumers are paying about 20% more for cars than they were in 2019.
The trend could continue into next year — research website Edmunds expects new-car sales to hit 14.8 million in 2023, a marginal increase from last year but well below pre-pandemic levels.
The auto industry has entered a new era: Less choice, higher prices and larger profit margins. So far it seems to be working for them.”
This shift by car companies to create higher profit margins by taking advantage of the heavily-reported-on chip shortage panic of COVID has had rebounding effects upon the value of used cars.
Be aware that newer years (the latest 3-4 model years) may be inflated in price because of this and depending on how big this problem is for the model you are considering – it may even be inflating the price of the older model years.
Frequently Asked Questions About Vehicle Depreciation
Chevrolet Malibus hold their value fairly well, though they’re likely to depreciate more quickly than Chevy SUVs and pickup trucks. Many other factors can also affect the resale value of your Malibu, including its age, mileage, condition, and color. Additionally, you might get a higher or lower resale value depending on how you choose to sell it.
For example, if you have a white 2021 Chevy Malibu L in good condition with standard equipment, you’ll get $16,355 if you trade it into a dealership, based on Kelley Blue Book data. If you sell the same car privately, it’s worth a higher price of $19,171.
When purchasing a used Chevrolet Malibu, buy one that’s at least five years old to get the best rate of depreciation. Specifically, the model years that have good reliability scores, low repair costs, and excellent value are as follows:
To stay within the depreciation sweet spot, we recommend buying a model year 2006, 2008, or 2010-2012.
However, there are also model years to avoid when buying a Malibu. The following model years have various problems, including lower reliability, weak fuel economy, and poor performance:
For the Chevrolet Malibu, 200,000 miles is clearly a big number as only one model year — 2002 — goes beyond that by averaging 225,000 miles. Realistically,140,000 to 150,000 miles is more indicative of a high-mileage example, as seven model years land in this range.
Based on our data for the Chevy Malibu, the sweet spot for depreciation is between the 2002-2012 model years. Purchase a 2007 Malibu or older to get at least five years in this sweet spot.
Chevrolet. Car and Driver. Retrieved Sept. 20, 2023, from https://www.caranddriver.com/chevrolet
(2023). Research Chevrolet Awards and Ratings. J.D. Power. Retrieved Sept. 20, 2023, from https://www.jdpower.com/Cars/Ratings/Chevrolet
(2022). Average Annual Miles Per Driver by Age Group. U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved Sept. 20, 2023, from https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ohim/onh00/bar8.htm
(2023). 2021 Chevrolet Malibu. Kelley Blue Book. Retrieved Sept. 20, 2023, from https://www.kbb.com/chevrolet/malibu/2021/l-sedan-4d/?condition=good&extcolor=white&intent=trade-in-sell&mileage=24000&modalview=false&offeroptions=true&options=9792085%7ctrue&pricetype=trade-in&vehicleid=451053
(2023). The Best and Worst Car Colors for Resale Value. iSeeCars. Retrieved Sept. 20, 2023, from https://www.iseecars.com/car-color-study
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