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Finances & Money

Witnessing the Decline of Truck/SUV Values Firsthand

I’ve been whining about owning a truck (2006 Honda Ridgeline) that I don’t drive much anymore for months now. I keep swinging back and forth over whether to sell it or not, and I’ve been basing my decision on what I thought I could get for the truck. I was looking at asking prices for similar trucks on and, as well as the “Clean” True Market Value on

Last night, while entering my net worth updates into NetworthIQ, I did the standard lookups for the private party price for our three cars to determine the value of our assets. I use the “Clean” value for Edmunds’ TMV for the truck and MINI, and the Average value for the Pontiac to determine the value.

As of July 1, 2008, the values of our 3 vehicles (rounded off) were:

2006 Honda Ridgeline: $18,500

2005 MINI Cooper: $16,900

1997 Pontiac Grand Am: $1,200

Based on what was listed on car sales websites, I figured I could list my truck for just under $20,000 and work down from there (since I wasn’t desperate to sell). Plus, my truck would have been the only used Ridgeline for sale within 20 miles, so I figured I could easily unload it for about $19,000.

But when I ran through Edmunds’ TMV last night, I was a bit shocked that even my very highly-rated truck had taken a bit of a hit in value.

The new truck value as of July 31st is $17,600. In just a month, my truck lost 5% of its value or $900! I didn’t think I would be immune, but I also thought the Ridgeline would retain more of its value. Granted, I haven’t compared value drops for competitors like the Tacoma, F-150/Ranger, Colorado, Dakota, Frontier, etc., so maybe the Ridgeline is still doing well.

So what else does this mean? Well as of right now, if you look at my debt scales in the sidebar, you’ll notice that I owe about $18,000 on the truck. So that means I owe more on the truck than it’s worth. I was ahead in June, but no longer. However, technically, I owe less on the actual truck because about $1300 of that loan is a fully-refundable extended warranty straight from Honda. I could always cash it out and then I would owe about $16,800 and be in the black again.

So for now, I’m holding onto the truck. Not because I might lose money on the sale, but because I really don’t want to sell it. I’m just too emotionally tied to owning this truck that I don’t want to part with it yet. It’s a stupid, selfish reason, but for once my emotions are overruling my logic. I just really like having a truck, and no other truck right now offers the configuration, hauling capacity, safety ratings and a trunk in an AWD powertrain. I still think it’s the best truck ever made, but I may be biased.

About the author

Clever Dude


  • @Tom, we did have GAP insurance for our Chevy Malibu. That stupid scheme put us into a $17,000 with a final loan of about $25,000 (just search for “stupid malibu” on my site and you’ll see why). We had GAP insurance on that car, and we even had a big accident in it. I was praying it would be enough damage for them to call it “totaled”. They didn’t. I was sad when I had to go pick the car up (300 miles away no less).

  • The bigger reality is that the value you found was not the current going price for the vehicle just what Edmunds says its value is. I work for a leasing software company and the going Auction price of a 2006 Honda Ridgeline V6 RT 4WD is averaged at $14,000

  • I wish the dealers would use the Edmund’s price. I have a Honda Pilot… I could trade it in with the Edmund’s value. Instead I have to try and sell it myself as the kbb value is a couple thousand less.

  • I whine about my truck too – but cant bear to part with it 😉

    Also, after doing my research I dont think I would get nearly as much as it is worth. So at least you are not in the boat alone, so to speak!

    I like that you have taken the time to properly calculate your trucks value. It is a smart thing to do and will save you some dollars down the track.

    From one truck enthusiast to another – good luck mate and look forward to reading how it all goes!

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