By Phil LeBeau
updated 8/26/2004 4:43:14 PM ET 2004-08-26T20:43:14

Once the new-car smell wears off and those shiny wheels look worn down, automobile owners face a sad fact: You car is not worth that much.

According to Kelley Blue Book, the average new car will be worth roughly one-third it's sticker price when it is five years old.

But a few models, like the Nissan 350 Z and the Mini Cooper, are projected to have the best resale value in five years.


In general, they have higher perceived value and there are not as many on the market.

"It really is a truism of a dime a dozen," said Mark Brueggerman of Kelley Blue Book. "If you have a car that shows up in rental car fleets and anyone can find it, those are the cars that will do the poorest down the road."

Kelley's list of the worst '05 models is dominated by domestics such as the Chrysler Sebring.

All are expected to lose roughly 80 percent of their value over the next five years, with the Pontiac Aztec being the lowest-rated model.

Whether it is a domestic- or foreign-made model, you can improve its resale value by adding options that will help it stand out on the used car market.

Like leather seats, alloy wheels or a sunroof.

"A sunroof is a perfect example of that because many people may not use their sunroof but buyers do look for sunroofs when they go to buy a car," Brueggerman said.

© 2012 CNBC, Inc. All Rights Reserved


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