NEW YORK (CNN/Money) -
When you're buying a new car, you don't want to think about unloading it even before you've gotten the first whiff of new-car smell.
But failing to think about resale value -- how much the car will likely be worth when it comes time to trade it in or sell it -- can mean thousands of dollars.
In fact, depreciation is the single biggest cost in the first five years of a car's life, far outpacing fuel and maintenance costs.
For a variety reasons some cars lose value much more quickly than others. To honor those cars with depreciation curves that look more like freeway off-ramps than roadside cliffs, Kelley Blue Book's Web site, KBB.com, is holding an awards ceremony Wednesday morning at the California International Auto Show in Anaheim.
While the company would not reveal the exact projected resale values for any of the cars, those receiving awards are expected to retain about half their value over five years. That's compared to an industry average depreciation of 65 percent over five years.
So if you purchase a Chevrolet Corvette, one of the winners that costs around $60,000, then in five years it will probably be worth about $30,000. The average $60,000 car, meanwhile, would be worth only about $21,000.
Awards are presented to 2006 model-year vehicles that have best projected resale value in each of nine vehicle categories. Awards are also presented to the top 10 vehicles in value retention overall and to the top brand overall (this year, a tie between BMW and Mini).
For the top cars, see our gallery