Car depreciation: the cars that hold their value best

Porsche Cayenne 4x4 2013 front action
Credits: Otis Clay
10 Jun, 2014 2:15pm Sam Naylor

The best cars in the UK for depreciation revealed: we run through the cars that keep the firmest grip on value.

Part of buying a new car is knowing that when you decide to sell it on, it's going to be worth a lot less than you paid for it. That difference is known as depreciation, and it can be a big factor when you're looking at the total running costs of a car.

For example, a car might have an attractively low economy figure and a promising asking price, but if the car is worth £20,000 new and just £5,000 when you want to sell it on then the total cost of ownership could be a lot higher than you expect.

Some cars, however, are much better at holding their value on the used market - keeping a high percentage of their list price when the time comes to sell them on. We've put together a list of the top models here but there are a few things to look for if you're set on buying a car that depreciates slowly.

Car depreciation: what to look for

SUVs and 4x4s are top when it comes to depreciation, with the practical but trendy models in this sector staying highly desirable on the used market. On average, SUVs retain 46.6 per cent of their new price after a typical 3-year, 36,000-mile ownership period (data supplied by CAP).

Sports cars, luxury cars and executive cars also retain their value well. Certain models, like the Morgan Roadster and Lotus Exige, are low-volume cars with an enthusiastic fan base, which means demand is high for used cars but supply is limited - keeping the dreaded depreciation at bay.

Cheapest cars to insure

There's not too much in it, but the best power option to go for is a petrol/electric hybrid, as these cars retain 39.3 per cent of their value, compared to 38.9 per cent for diesels and 38.3 per cent for normal petrol cars.

The worst depreciating models by a long way are electric cars - retaining just 17.1 per cent of their new price on average. MPVs and family cars tend to do badly as well, although their retained values are much better than those of electric cars.

Top 10 slowest depreciating cars

1. Porsche Cayenne 2. Audi Q3 3. Range Rover Evoque 4. Morgan Roadster 5. Toyota Land Cruiser 6. BMW X3 7. Kia Sportage 8. Lotus Exige 9. Land Rover Discovery 10. Audi A1

Click through the links at the top left of this page to find out the top 10 slowest depreciating cars over a 3-year, 36,000-mile period.