Cars with the lowest depreciation

Don't let depreciation get you down; these are the ten cars with the lowest depreciation

BuyaCar team
Dec 19, 2021

Do you keep stumbling across that word: depreciation? It's an unavoidable aspect of car ownership, and while the majority of us purchase our cars with easy-to-handle finance deals, those paying outright for their new wheels might feel the sharp sting of depreciation more keenly than others.

That’s not to say drivers taking out finance deals won’t be affected by depreciation, though, because the monthly payments quoted on a PCP deal are actually amounting to the total depreciation of the car over the length of your contract. A slower-depreciating car is quite likely to have lower monthly payments than one with a value that’s projected to sink like a stone.

With that in mind, our rundown of 10 of the slowest-depreciating cars should be something of a go-to for any potential new-car buyer. Those after a used car could also benefit from its contents, as cars that retain their value well when new are likely to continue that trajectory on the second-hand market.

The one downside for cash buyers here will be that a car with slow depreciation will still be more expensive as a used car - you won't get that used car windfall you'd normally expect.

Cars with the lowest depreciation

1. Tesla Model S

Average value after three years 63.35%
Average new price £87,475
Average depreciation £31,675

The rise of Tesla has been meteoric to say the least, and the all-electric manufacturer’s Model S holds on to its value at a similarly impressive rate. True, you’ll need fairly deep pockets to buy a Model S, not to mention somewhere to charge it at home, but the fact remains that even seven years on from its launch, little else comes as close to offering a glimpse of the future.

Various versions of Model S are offered, with entry-level cars badged S 60, and four-wheel drive examples gaining a ‘D’ suffix. Tesla simplified the Model S range recently, though, so all new cars are four-wheel drive and available in Standard, Long Range and Performance guises. Whichever you go for, though, even the lowliest Model S has an official range of around 240 miles and can cover the 0-62 sprint in 5.6 seconds, while the Performance model boasts a 365-mile range and can hit 62mph in just 2.5 seconds if you tick the Ludicrous Mode option box.

With average depreciation of 63.35%, a Model S makes a wise buy for those after one of the best luxury elecric cars on the market – even if they may be some way off fulfilling Tesla founder Elon Musk’s claim new Teslas are an “appreciating asset”.

2. Alpine A110

Alpine A110 front three quarters view

Average value after three years 62.74%
Average new price £48,855
Average depreciation £18,230

Alpine’s return to the new car market was greeted with great enthusiasm, which grew greater still once the first reviews of the A110 started coming in.

An homage to its 1960s namesake, the modern Alpine A110 features the same 1.8-litre turbocharged petrol engine as the Renault Megane RS, but exclusively available with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox.

Power may be modest at 252hp, but the A110’s has an ace up its sleeve, as it tips the scales at a featherweight 1,100kg. The result? Firstly, performance is brisk, with 0-62mph taking just 4.5 seconds. But, perhaps more importantly, the Alpine’s low mass means it can skip down twisty roads, bringing back a sense of involvement and fluency that is increasingly hard to find as cars become heavier and heavier.

Yes it lags behind in the media system stakes, but you’re unlikely to notice these things, let alone need to overlook them, such is the fun you’ll be having from behind the wheel.

Oh, and depreciation is deeply, deeply impressive, too, no doubt partly thanks to the limited numbers the A110 is being produced in.


3. Jaguar E-Pace

Average value after three years 57.6%
Average new price £36,821
Average depreciation £15,713
Used deals from £19,880
Monthly finance from £0*

The Jaguar F-Pace was the manufacturer's first foray into the SUV class, but its second off-roader, the smaller Jaguar E-Pace, can certainly hold its head up high when it comes to predicted trade-in values.

The styling may be very much along the lines of a baby F-Pace, but touches like the jaguar cub motif on the base of the windscreen help the E-Pace assert its own character. Front and four-wheel drive models are offered, while you can get a 2.0-litre diesel engine offering a variety of power outputs from 150 to 300hp.

There is one small thorn in the E-Pace’s side, though. While the Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Discovery Sport it once shared a platform with now use an all new architecture, the E-Pace still sits on far older mechanicals and feels somewhat heavy as a result – though it remains an adept cruiser, nonetheless.


4. Range Rover Velar

Average value after three years 57.02%
Average new price £57,785
Average depreciation £24,773
Used deals from £32,980
Monthly finance from £0*

Another SUV from the Jaguar Land Rover stable, albeit a somewhat more expensive one, the Range Rover Velar launched to great acclaim in 2017, and it still cuts a modern dash on the streets today.

Designed to occupy the “white space” between the smaller Range Rover Evoque and the larger, more expensive Range Rover Sport, the Velar is the sleekest model in the Range Rover lineup, with recessed handles that pop out of the doors on unlocking, and a twin-screen setup that certainly has the wow factor, even if it takes some time to get used to.

Power comes by way of a range of 2.0-litre petrol engines and 2.0 or 3.0-litre diesels, while those who savour serious performance, the whine of a supercharger and the burble of a V8 (as well as the frequent site of the petrol station forecourt) are likely to be drawn to the 5.0-litre SVAutobiography.

While the Velar line-up spans a huge range of price points, costing anywhere between around £45,000 and £85,000 depending on engine and trim, residual values are generally strong across the board.


5. Skoda Kodiaq

Average value after three years 54.19%
Average new price £29,830
Average depreciation £13,695
Used deals from £14,395
Monthly finance from £0*

Yes, it’s another SUV (don’t blame us, you’re the ones who keep buying them), but the Skoda Kodiaq has two key facets that appeal. The first is value; here is a seven-seat SUV that can be had new for just under £27,000 (or £1,000 less if you go for the five-seater), democratising a class of car that was previously the preserve of the well-heeled.

Another quality that's harder to quantify is the Kodiaq's charm. With handsome looks, a tall stance and a driving position that makes no pretence at offering a car-like slouch, the Kodiaq has character in spades. It’s also a fantastic car for family buyers, with acres of bootspace, decent rear legroom and pretty good economy for so large a car.

But don’t just take our word for it – the used market likes the Kodiaq, too, so much so that it should retain 54.19% of its value after three years and 30,000 miles.


6. Dacia Duster

Average value after three years 54.11%
Average new price £12,451
Average depreciation £5,745
Used deals from £9,259
Monthly finance from £0*

Dacia made a name for itself when it launched the Sandero hatch in the UK with a £5,995 staring price (though the Sandero now begins at £6,995), but it’s the Dacia Duster SUV that Brit buyers have taken to their hearts.

The original Duster of 2009 was certainly an appealingly honest car, even if rust problems marred some early owners’ experiences.

Dacia eventually got things right the Mk1, but the Mk2 Duster here is a far better-rounded car, offering more modern engines and a significantly upgraded interior. It’s still true to the Mk1’s roots, though, getting new buyers behind the wheel of an SUV for as little as £10,000.

Bear in mind most customers side-step the basic Access model and pick Ambiance, Prestige Lauréate, or another higher trim level – partly as Access cars are really basic.

Go for a more modern, TCe engine if you’re after a petrol, and stick with two-wheel drive to keep the costs down – though those who need to venture off road should rest assured that a 4x4 Duster is a properly capable machine when the going gets rough.


7. BMW 2 Series Convertible

Average value after three years 53.42%
Average new price £35,482
Average depreciation £16,523
Used deals from £13,388
Monthly finance from £0*

There aren’t that many small convertibles on the market, but those after a soft-top with diminutive dimensions would be well advised to turn to the BMW 2 Series if they’re after rock-solid residuals.

While the recently launched 1 Series has switched to front or four-wheel drive, BMW’s rear-wheel drive signature is still on display on the 2 Series – for now, at least – meaning this is a car that can be enjoyed as much for its handling prowess as it can for the open-aired fun it offers.

Powerplants range from the frugal three-cylinder of the 218i, to the brawny six-cylinder of the M240i – though be warned prices, and running costs, increase relatively sharply as the cylinder count grows.

Something that won’t grow too much, however, is depreciation: retaining an average of 53.42 per cent of its value after three years, the 2 Series manages to be a fun car that you can make a solid, rational case for on a purely financial basis.


8. Mini Hatchback

Average value after three years 52.93%
Average new price £22,874
Average depreciation £10,761
Used deals from £7,995
Monthly finance from £0*

Another fun machine from the BMW stable, the Mini Hatch retains the spirit of the go-kart-like handling offered by the Issigonis Mini of 1959, but updates it for the modern age with greater reliability, much improved crash protection, and higher levels of comfort.

As well as being an homage to one of the greatest cars ever made, the modern Mini offers more personalisation options than almost any other car, with the popular Chili pack being offered alongside with colour-coded roofs and wing mirrors, and even 3D-printed personalised dash and body inserts.

That personalisation is all well and good, and undoubtedly part of the Mini’s charm, but don’t get too carried away – customise your Mini too much and you may find that impressive average depreciation figure of 52.93% is far lower when it’s time to trade in.


9. Mercedes A-Class

Mercedes A-Class front three quarters view

Average value after three years 52.47%
Average new price £27,321
Average depreciation £12,993
Used deals from £15,478
Monthly finance from £0*

The new (ish) Mercedes A-Class may initially represent an evolution in the styling stakes compared to the car it replaces, but one glance at the sharp-looking front and rear lights leaves you in no doubt the latest model is a seriously modern machine.

And there’ll certainly be no chance of you mistaking the A-Class for anything other than a cutting-edge car inside: two huge twin entertainment and driver information screens dominate the dashboard (assuming you tick the right option box), giving a tech-heavy vibe that might leave S-Class owners wondering why the office junior of the Mercedes car park is kitted out with similar levels of equipment.

Another modern aspect is the engines: go for the A200d or the A220d and you’ll be getting motors that meet the latest RDE2 standards, meaning company car buyers avoid the 4% Benefit-in-Kind charge levied on almost all the A-Class’s diesel rivals.

Average depreciation of 52.47% is, arguably, the icing on a convincing premium-small-hatch cake.


10. Audi Q2

Average value after three years 52.39%
Average new price £30,150
Average depreciation £14,355
Used deals from £14,910
Monthly finance from £0*

The A-Class may have a huge number of things going for it, but there’s one thing that it certainly isn’t, and that’s an SUV. And while Mercedes may cater for customers after greater road presence and a higher ride height with the GLA, the Audi Q2 is a more modern offering in this class.

Offered with front-wheel drive by default (quattro four-wheel drive is an option), the range starts with the 116hp 30 TFSI 1.0-litre petrol engine, takes in everything from the 150hp 1.5-litre 35 TFSI to the 116hp 1.6-litre 30 TDI diesel, and ends with the silly-quick 300hp SQ2, which shares its 2.0-litre engine with the VW Golf R.

Whichever model you choose you’ll be getting a funky small SUV with Audi’s typically impressive interior design, together with characterful looks and some seriously sharply pressed bodywork. Oh, not to mention strong residuals, with average depreciation pegged at an impressive 52.39% after three years and 30,000 miles.


*Representative PCP finance - Ford Fiesta:

48 monthly payments of £192
Deposit: £0
Mileage limit: 8,000 per year
Optional final payment to buy car: £2,923
Total amount payable to buy car: £11,926
Total cost of credit: £2,426
Amount borrowed: £9,500
APR: 9.9%

BuyaCar is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.


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