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Manual or automatic? - Here's which luxury sedan holds its value better

2019-02-24 06:27
aluminium gear knob

Image: iStock

Vehicle resale is one of the most important aspects to consider when buying a car. But one question has never been answered before: which car holds its value better? Manual or automatic?

In order to answer this question, True Price – the innovative start up that provides South African motorists with free vehicle evaluations – has embarked on a study into various industry segments. The findings will be released over the next couple of months. The company is however kicking off with the luxury sedan sector.

The best resale

"We decided to start with this segment, because automatics are very popular amongst luxury sedan buyers," Managing director of True Price Darryl Jacobson explains.

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"We wanted to establish if this was prudent – or not – when it comes to resale values. After all, it’s all very well to opt for the convenience of an automatic. But, what happens when you want to sell the car?," he adds.

                                                                           Image: Wheels24

For the purposes of this exercise, the True Price team selected two luxury sedans, the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4. It then extrapolated all the data on its system (which runs into tens of thousands of vehicle sales on auction).

Automatic vs Manual

Finally it compared the price paid on auction (as a percentage of the original list price) for all vehicles with manual transmissions to those with automatics. The results were fascinating.

"In the case of the BMW 3 Series, the automatic achieved 40.8% of the original list price on auction whereas the manual achieved 33.7% - a difference of 7.1% in the favour of the automatic," Jacobson reveals.

aluminium gear knob

                                                                           Image: iStock

"With the Audi A4, the difference between the automatic and the manual was even greater. The automatics sold for 46.2% of the original list price whereas the manual achieved just 36.0%. This is tantamount to a difference of 10.2%," he adds.

Bearing this in mind, Jacobson recommends always purchasing a luxury sedan with an automatic transmission.

"It makes sense – and cents too," he concludes.

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