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Is A Car An Asset?

Last modified: Sep 29, 2022

When it comes to personal finances, an asset is everything you possess that has the potential to be valuable today or in the future.

So, is a car an asset or a liability?

Continue reading to learn more!

Is a Car Considered an Asset?

Before we elaborate on, “Is a car an asset or a liability?” let's look at the definition of an asset.

What Is Considered an Asset?

An asset is considered anything that has value and can be converted into cash. Examples of assets include jewelry, stocks, bonds, real estate, and personal property. The total value of all assets owned by an individual or business is known as the net worth.

Some assets, such as stocks and bonds, can be sold quickly and easily for cash. Others, such as real estate or personal property, may take longer to sell and may not fetch the full market value

The value of an asset depends on its location, condition, and many other factors.

Assets are classified into two types: current and fixed. Accounts receivable, cash and cash equivalents, inventory, and marketable security are examples of current assets. They are expected to be sold within a fiscal year. 

On the other hand, fixed assets are both physical (such as machinery and buildings) and intangible (such as patents and licenses).

Is a Car a Liability or an Asset?

Unlike real estate, savings accounts, and other assets that rise in value, vehicles are subject to various depreciating conditions that can cause their prices to drop. The more kilometers on the odometer, the more wear and tear an automobile has suffered.

In addition, models go out of style, which can make a car less popular and, as a result, worth less money. When you buy a new car, it typically begins to lose value as soon as you drive it off the lot.

Some people consider a car a liability since you need to constantly pay for it to maintain it. You need to take care of stuff like gas, oil changes, and other routine maintenance, as well as car expenses.

If it breaks down, you must also pay for insurance and repairs. As much as that is true, a car isn't really a liability because it has value. Instead, a car is considered a depreciating asset.

Related: How Long Does It Take to Get Car Insurance?

What Is a Depreciating Asset?

A depreciating asset is an asset that, over time, is worth less and less money. The value of a depreciating asset can go down for many reasons, including wear and tear, obsolescence, and changes in market conditions. When an asset's value decreases, it’s "depreciating." 

Depreciating assets are contrasted with "appreciating assets," which go up in value over time.

How to Soften the Impact of Depreciation

There's no way to avoid depreciation. It's a natural part of owning any asset, whether it's a car, a home, or a piece of machinery. But there are ways to soften the impact.

By making an educated purchasing decision and selecting a vehicle that meets your requirements, you can get a car, SUV, truck, or any other sort of automobile that retains more of its value over time.

When it comes to cars, according to Kelley Blue Book (KBB), Toyota and Honda have the best resale value, while BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz hold that distinction for luxury brands. 

If you're looking to buy a used car, it's important to do your research to find out which models will depreciate the quickest to get the best deal.

KBB identified the Toyota Camry, Subaru Outback, and Tesla Model X as vehicles that best retained their value in 2021.

Should Your Net Worth Calculation Include Your Car?

Subtract your total liabilities from your total assets when calculating your net worth. Your automobile should be included in the calculation since it’s a depreciating asset.

When calculating your net worth, however, you must account for the present market value of your vehicle. Even so, any auto loans connected with your automobile are considered a liability and should be taken into account.

Related: How to Calculate Your Gross Monthly Income?

Bottom Line

So, is a car an asset? Cars are a depreciating asset.

This means that, over time, their value decreases. However, they still have value

The rate at which a car depreciates varies depending on make and model, as well as other factors. According to KBB, Toyota and Honda have the best resale value.

Thanks for reading!


Is a Car a Fixed Asset or Current Asset?

If a vehicle is used for commuting or carrying company goods, it is a fixed and noncurrent asset.

Is a Financed Car an Asset?

Yes and no. The vehicle itself is an asset since it allows you to get from point A to point B and has market value if you need to sell it. On the other hand, the car loan used to buy that car is a liability.

What Type of Asset Is a Car?

How is a car an asset if it loses its value over time? A car is typically considered a depreciating asset, which means its value decreases over time, but it still has value. The decrease in value depends on a few things, like make, model, and mileage. Most cars lose around half of their value within the first three years of ownership.

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