My online search for snowmobile depreciation proved to be somewhat unsuccessful, for the information I found was not exactly what I was looking for. Therefore, I took it upon myself to illustrate the depreciation of snowmobiles in one concise blog article. I incorporated stats from over a hundred different snowmobiles, locations, age, and mileage. This is by no means the perfect calculation for depreciation but I do believe that it surely comes close to it.
As mentioned above, I took various factors into account when calculating the depreciation percentage. I considered age (this was for sure the number one factor), mileage, condition and various locations globally. Now, although this was no easy task, you do get a pretty good idea of what snowmobile depreciation looks like over a period of time when combining all of these factors. So, let’s jump right in and explore what I have found.
Depreciation on a Snowmobile
Only snowmobiles of up to 10 years of age were considered, as for any of them older than that the prices fluctuated significantly as a result of high mileage, location, and condition. It speaks for itself that most snowmobiles of 10 years and older have lost most of their value.
- 1-year-old – 17% Depreciation. When you purchase a brand-new snowmobile and sell it within the first year, there is a loss of up to 17%. This is quite a significant loss when you take into account that there might not be much if any, mileage on it – even if the snowmobile is in pristine condition.
- 2 years old – 34% Depreciation.
- 3 years old – 47% Depreciation
- 4 years old – 66% Depreciation. At 4 years old, depreciation showed the biggest decrease in value. After much consideration of what the reason/s for this might be, we came to the conclusion that the reason for this drop is not only to the age but also the fact that the mileage and condition over 4 years start to have a negative impact on the age of the snowmobile, and thus becomes quite visible in its appearance.
- 5 years old – 71% Depreciation
- 6 years old – 77% Depreciation
- 7 years old – 82% Depreciation
- 8 years old – 86% Depreciation
- 10 years old – 91% Depreciation
- Older than 10 Years – Up to 96% Depreciation. This proved to be quite a challenging one since snowmobiles over 10 years had fluctuating depreciation. The reason for this might be because at this age extensive wear and tear were visible on the appearance of the snowmobile. When you compare it to other vehicles, they only reach this percentage closer to 30 years, whilst snowmobiles reached this at only 10 years. My conclusion, therefore, was that since snowmobiles are used or operated in colder and much harsher, more extreme weather conditions, they become uneconomical to own and requires a great deal of maintenance at this age.
And so, I finally concluded that although it is not financially viable to purchase a snowmobile of 10+ years, it is also not the best idea from a financial point of view, to purchase a brand new snowmobile. It might be worth your while the effort to search for a slightly used snowmobile which is still in a mint condition. For example, when purchasing a snowmobile of 2-3 years old, you could save that 17% or even more depreciation.
Now, I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with buying a brand-new snowmobile, but you will have to make the decision whether the financial loss is indeed worth it. If you want the best bang for your buck, you might consider a snowmobile that is 2 – 3 years old because they will still be in an adequately good condition but with the added advantage of saving a significant amount of money compared to a brand new one.