Cars with the lowest depreciation

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

BuyaCar team
Jun 3, 2019

Depreciation is an unavoidable aspect of car ownership for almost all motorists, and while the majority of us buy our cars on finance, those paying outright for their new wheels might feel sharp depreciation more keenly than others.

That’s not to say drivers taking out PCP deals won’t be affected depreciation’s sting, though. Because the monthly repayments on a PCP deal are actually paying off a car’s depreciation over the length of the contract, a slower-depreciating car is quite likely to have more attractive monthlies 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.

It almost goes without saying that the options and trim you choose should be taken into consideration: specify an executive car with cloth seats and a manual gearbox and you may find it harder to sell than if you had equipped it to a level its next owner would expect.

Similarly, personalise your car to the nth degree (no, not everyone wants that Barbie-pink paint job offset with a flashy orange roof) and it’s likely you’ll become closely acquainted with the effects of depreciation.

So read on to find out how much value of 10 of the slowest-depreciating cars will retain over the next three years and 30,000 miles, and save yourself from the shock that can come with a painful trade in.


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 0-60 sprint in 5.5 seconds, while the Performance model can do 365 miles between charges, and hit 60mph in just 2.4 seconds if you tick the Ludicrous Mode option box.

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

2. Alpine A110

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 A110 features the same 1.8-litre turbocharged petrol engine as the Megane RS mated, in the Alpine’s case, exclusively to an seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox.

Power may be modest at 249bhp, 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 entertainment 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.
Alpine A110 buying guide

3. Jaguar E-Pace

Average value after three years 57.6% Average new price £36,821
Average depreciation £15,713

Latest Jaguar E-Pace deals from £27,490
Finance from £354 per month

Jaguar’s first foray into the SUV class may have been the seriously accomplished F-Pace, but it’s second off-roader, the smaller 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 it’s own character. Front and four-wheel drive models are offered, while you can get diesel engines with anything from 148 to 237bhp, and the petrol range tops out with a 296bhp 2.0-litre engine.

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.
Jaguar E-Pace buying guide

4. Range Rover Velar

Average value after three years 57.02% Average new price £57,785
Average depreciation £24,773

Latest Range Rover Velar deals from £36,900
Finance from £505 per month

Another SUV from the JLR stable, albeit a somewhat more expensive one, the 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 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 entertainment/car control 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.
Range Rover Velar buying guide

5. Skoda Kodiaq

Average value after three years 54.19% Average new price £29,830
Average depreciation £13,695

Latest Skoda Kodiaq deals from £17,500
Finance from £261 per month

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, harder to quantify quality the Kodiaq holds is 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.
Skoda Kodiaq review

6. Dacia Duster 

Average value after three years 54.11% Average new price £12,451
Average depreciation £5,745

Latest Dacia Duster deals from £11,999
Finance from £164 per month

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 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.
Dacia Duster buying guide

7. BMW 2 Series Convertible

Average value after three years 53.42% Average new price £35,482
Average depreciation £16,523

Latest 2 Series Convertible deals from £13,490
Finance from £193 per month

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.
BMW 2 Series buying guide

8. Mini Hatchback

Average value after three years 52.93% Average new price £22,874
Average depreciation £10,761

Latest Mini Hatchback deals from £7,100
Finance from £105 per month

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.
Mini Hatchback buying guide

9. Mercedes A-Class

Average value after three years 52.47% Average new price £27,321
Average depreciation £12,993

Latest Mercedes A-Class deals from £16,206
Finance from £262 per month

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.
Mercedes A-Class buying guide

10. Audi Q2

Average value after three years 52.39% Average new price £30,150
Average depreciation £14,355

Latest Audi Q2 deals from £15,890
Finance from £207 per month

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 114bhp 30 TFSI 1.0-litre petrol engine, takes in everything from the 148bhp 1.5-litre 35 TFSI to the 114bhp 1.6-litre 30TDI diesel, and ends with the silly-quick 296bhp 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.
Audi Q2 buying guide

Audi Q2 deals

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