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The Golf, with over 22 million units sold so far, is one of the most cost-efficient cars in its class. Low operating costs in general and a distinctly high resale value help this Volkswagen model to score points in areas where the owners of rival models often lose money. In fact, a used Golf can often achieve a selling price more than 1,000 Euro higher than a car of another make.
A data CD entitled “Used Cars 2003/2004”, compiled by the ADAC, Germany’s largest automobile club, and the German Automobile Trustees Association (DAT) demonstrates in an exemplary and accurate way how this resale value pays off handsomely in cash. As a reference model, the most popular spark-ignition version, the Golf 1.4 with 55 kW / 75 hp, was used.
After five years – according to the tabulated data of the recognized market lists – a standard two-door Golf costs 7,250 Euro*. This is 54 percent of the original factory price (1998: 13,498 Euro*) and represents a substantial gain over its competitors.
Based on the ADAC data, we can therefore see that, after 5 years, comparative cars made in Central and Southern Europe will only recoup 44 to 46 percent of their original value. In real terms, adjusted for the original price difference against the Golf, this will mean a loss of up to 1,168 Euro – the equivalent of a short holiday in the South or a severe drain on your budget.
But it is not only European importers’ cars that don’t come out unscathed when compared to the Golf. There are numerous German makes that also fail to compete, including premium brands. Although such cars may recover 48, 49 or even 51 percent of their former factory price, losses in relation to the Golf can be as high as 1,250 Euro.
When we examine Far Eastern manufacturers’ products, there is hardly any difference: the relevant models achieve 44 to 47 percent of their original value. Adjusted for the difference in the original price, this represents an actual loss that sometimes exceeds 1,000 Euro.
Quite apart from its additional resale value, the Golf is considered to be the absolute Number One on the German used-car market. Its maturity as a product, its classless, positive image and timeless design, its status as “the original” and its stable value make a second- or third-hand Golf the most sought-after model in its segment. Today the new-car price for a Golf 1.4 with 55 kW / 75 hp engine is 15,220 Euro – with substantially improved equipment compared with the 1998/99 model year – and, on request, finance at only 0.9 percent.
*Basis for all new-car and used-car prices, 1998 model year:
‘ADAC SPECIAL / THE CAR CD-ROM / USED CARS 2003/2004’