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. 

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If I had a car that lost 30% of value every 3 years, then it would be worth more than a third of its new value after 10 years, when most cars are nearing scrap! Perhaps super rare sports cars might follow the curve, but I dont think 10k for a 10 year old Q3 will ever happen.
Buying secondhand on these cars is ridiculous.

AUDI A1?????????????? KIA SPORTAGE?????????????

sounds like the author got this completely wrong

To be honest what a car is going to be worth in the future is the last thing that I think about when choosing a new one. I buy a car because I like it, not because it will be worth a few quid more in a few years time.

A Dacia can never depreciate more than £6K. A Ford Focus can lose £6K in 6 months.

Clever list! These must be percentage (depreciation) figures, otherwise, as far as I know, strangely though, Kia Picanto is the UK's top residual hero.
In comparison, this list-topper Porsche Cayenne would lose more than Kia Picanto's total purchase value over three years and 36,000 miles.

So a Porsche, the cheapest, loses the cost of 2 Dacia Ambient Sanderos and that is best car for holding it's value. Give me a Gin And Tonic somebody.

The Range Rover Evoque is top not no 3 as you would spend 15% extra on extras at least on tha Q3 and Porche the Evoque is fully loaded inc leather and met paint and heated seats etc

No surprises that the Discovery appears on this list. One of the most brilliantly conceived cars ever created. A car that is not only brilliant for the driver, but also for the rest of the family.

While the residual values for the Freelander 2 will likely fall through the floor when the Disco Sport is launched later in the year, I reckon the Discovery 4 residuals will increase when it ceases production. Few cars at 10+ years old (which this basically is) can still hold their head up so high.

Mules for the replacement will start being seen later this year, and people will get some idea of how the car will look. To create something so fantastic again is going to be a gigantic challenge!!!

At least 25% on the Porsche and 15% on the Audi.

I am more interested in the top ten biggest depreciators ... much better 2nd hand value !

The Evoque is a seriously good deal if you can stretch to one. I'm hanging on for a 2 year old one.

Macan will top the list. You wait.

I think this article is a little misleading. Using % values ignores the actual sums involved. It is often said, perfectly logically, that depreciation is the largest cost of running a car, but it wasn't until I sat down and calculated all the running costs whilst looking at a new Leon that I understood the actual size of the loss. Suffice to say, I'm now looking at 2-3 year old cars - even factoring in contingency sums and slightly higher running costs, the savings are huge.

NEED YOU SHOUT??????!!!!!!!

what, sad that it isn´t no ford there?

Discovery is best ... especially if you happen to own an oil company.. or at least a couple of oil wells.

From behind.. and from the side the Evoque looks like someone has drooped it on it's hood and the rear part of the hood has caved in,

All other LR & RR vehicles looks decent and the RR Sport is quite handsome. But the Evoque is butt ugly.

I have Audi Q3 and it was great deal, and i bought it at wheeldeal, in very ocasional price :D