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The BMW i8 Isn’t Losing Value As Fast As I’d Expected

I recently decided to hop onto Autotrader and find out how pricing is holding up for used BMW i8 models, and I was surprised to discover it’s a lot more expensive than I thought. Indeed, the cheapest used i8 models are about 30 percent more expensive than I figured they’d be by now, which is, of course, a surprise.

A little overview: The i8 came out for the 2014 model year, and everyone was quickly impressed with the fact that it offered sports car performance, exotic car styling and electric car environmental benefits (and torque). But as is often the case with electric cars, the i8 seemed to get old fast, with fans seemingly uninterested by 2016. Sales started to slow down, and the i8 seemed to lose its luster.

As a result, I figured that 2014 i8 models — now over four years old — would be fairly reasonably priced by now. The original base sticker price was $137,000, and I figured they’d be selling for $50,000 to $60,000 now, based on the lack of newer interest in the i8 and the general depreciation curve for electric vehicles.

But that’s not the case. Instead, even the very cheapest used 2014 i8 models — with the highest mileage, which were used as near-daily drivers — are still selling for $72,000 and up, while the average asking price for a nice one seems to be somewhere in the $78,000–$80,000 range. That’s an impressive number for a car I thought the market would leave behind.

It’s especially impressive when you consider other cars: A 2014 example of the BMW 750i luxury sedan is easy to find for around $35,000, which is around a third of its original price. Early examples of the BMW i3 compact electric hatchback are easy to find for $15,000-$20,000, which is dangerously close to a quarter of its original price. And yet, the i8 seems to be selling for around half its original MSRP after the same period.

I’m not exactly sure why the used i8 has held its value relatively better than rivals, but I’m impressed with it — and I wish it were a bit cheaper so I could consider getting one.

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  1. The fact that BMW locked down supply after a total f up during the first couple of years has helped by not flooding the market. The first set of decent quantity of i8’s will be coming off lease beginning this Fall so it will be interesting to see what happens then. 

    I gotta say it is a very cool car as it’s Lamborgini level wow factor with doors and looks (minus it’s delicious sound). Yet it is absolute one of easiest cars I have every daily driven. One big caveat: As long as you can get in and get out with ease. This is not car for very old, very fat, or very tall.
  2. I think that there are certain cars like the i8 and other exotics or near exotics, that so many enthusiasts want to buy that they keep the price elevated.  There is a lot of money floating around these days and although people may not be able to buy a new one (or don’t want to due to the depreciation curve), they can sort of, kind of, justify a somewhat depreciated used one.  I think that’s the reason why 2005+ 911’s are staying expensive: they look pretty much like the new ones, are fairly reliable, and you can pick one up for 1/3 the price of a new one.  No one will know it’s a used car that’s 13 years old already since almost no one can tell it’s not a 2017 or 2018.  Ballin’ on a budget is what I think the kids call it these days.

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Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a... Read More about Doug Demuro

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