Cars that hold their value

With heaps of cool kit and high-quality attributes, we pick out the cars that depreciate least and offer you the highest resale value

Rachel Boagey
May 30, 2020

Whether you’re flashing the cash on your new car purchase or opting for a more wallet-friendly PCP finance deal, by far the biggest expense associated with new car ownership is depreciation (effectively this is what you're monthly payments are covering if you opt for PCP - the difference between the car's value new and what it's expected to be worth at the end of the contract).

It's no secret that brand new cars lose a substantial amount of value as soon as they are driven off the forecourt. However, the figures show most cars lose a whopping 50-60% of their value in the first three years, with the biggest hit taking place in the first 12 months.

So, choosing a car that holds its value well is an important way to cut costs and ensure you get more back when you come to sell - if you plan to buy a relatively new car and sell on in a year or two. Meanwhile, if you're buying used, you're less likely to find super-low prices for these cars on the used market. However, finding a used car that holds its value well will bring about lower monthly payments with a PCP finance deal.

Below, we’ve highlighted eight models that will ensure you’re not shortchanged at the end of the day.

The slowest depreciating cars

1. Jaguar I-Pace

Used deals from £48,000
Monthly finance from £594

Rising electric car sales and the boom in crossovers were two trends Jaguar didn’t want to miss out on. Enter the marque’s first electric SUV - the I-Pace.

Residual forecasting – dark art as it is – suggests that the I-Pace will retain around 74.6% of its value after three years, as motorists clammer to get their hands on one of the most sought-after new cars on the market.

Some of the thinking behind this is that electric cars are among the best for retaining value. Valuation specialist cap hpi recently found that electrified vehicles retain 47% of their value after three years and 30,000 miles, while in comparison, petrol models retain 43% and diesel just 40%.


2. Toyota RAV4

Used deals from £16,700
Monthly finance from £247

Hybrid vehicles are also facing a demand exceeding supply situation as drivers seek to lower their emissions, creating some strong used value for these types of vehicles.

The RAV4 is an affordable hybrid model from Toyota, priced from £28,719 in the UK. According to residual forecasters, it keeps around 69% of its value, meaning it drops an average of just £10,341 over three years and 60,000 miles. To top it off, the RAV4 offers generous levels of equipment and low CO2 emissions, meaning you’re unlikely to regret having it on your driveway.


3. Porsche Macan

Used deals from £28,745
Monthly finance from £362

Following the huge success of the Cayenne, Porsche introduced the smaller Macan to appeal to buyers wanting a highly agile premium SUV in a more compact package, albeit one that still impresses with punchy performance, great handling and a high-quality and comfortable interior.

A major Macan buying incentive lies with this car's impressively high residual values. This car leads its competitors in this regard by a handsome margin. Over three years and 36,000 miles, expect a Macan to hold on to 10% more of its value than an equivalent Jaguar F-Pace, for instance. Independent experts predict a residual value of 62.6% for this Porsche in this period, which is pretty impressive.

As if this isn’t enough to get you to the dealership, you also get a fair bit for your money with even the entry-level Macan, featuring 18in alloy wheels, a powered tailgate, cruise control, part-Alcantara seats, three-zone climate control, power-folding door mirrors, and automatic lights and wipers.


4. Porsche Panamera

Used deals from £62,990
Monthly finance from £807

Okay, the Porsche Panamera isn’t best known for its good looks but beauty is only skin deep, right? Once considered the ugly duckling of the Porsche range, the Panamera now claims the spot as the slowest car in the line-up when it comes to depreciation. A score of 63.4% on an average list price of around £93,254 means a loss of £34,642 after three years and 60,000 miles.

What's even more impressive is that this score is for an executive model in a class that doesn't normally excel for depreciation.


5. Peugeot 3008

Used deals from £5,395
Monthly finance from £109

Peugeot is definitely doing something right with its 3008 SUV, which offers buyers an interior made of high-quality materials that many rivals struggle to match. Additionally, plenty of kit throughout the range, low running costs, and a comfortable ride, and it’s no wonder the 3008 has secured its place on this list.

On average, the model is predicted to retain 55.2% of an average range price of £24,483. Thanks to these lower prices, a loss of around £11,000 is one of the most palatable in this list.


6. Jeep Wrangler

Used deals from £21,480
Monthly finance from £298

The Jeep Wrangler isn't sophisticated and it's not the most easiest car to drive or the most economical, but its classic style means that it does retain its value well - and that is a big plus point. The benefit is that while cash prices are high, it's desirable as a used car.

This means that cash buyers get more back when they come to sell and monthly payments are lower on PCP finance than you might think - as these cover the difference between the car's price at the start of the contract and its expected value when you hand it back.


7. Kia Niro

Used deals from £13,450
Monthly finance from £197

Kia is becoming a competitive player in the plug-in hybrid segment. In 2016, it launched a PHEV version of its mid-sized Optima model and it followed that up a year later with this car, a plug-in version of its Niro crossover model. Under the skin, this car shares its technology with the Hyundai Ioniq, which means it’s sporting some pretty impressive kit.

As with all Kias, the Niro is covered by Kia’s seven-year, 100,000-mile warranty that is longer than any other car in the same class and includes the battery and all of the parts that make up the hybrid power system. On to residual values, predict to see this Niro retain between 56 and 58% of its original price when it reaches the three-year-old and 12,000-mile mark.


8. Audi e-tron

Used deals from £56,600
Monthly finance from £707

Audi has already established itself in the SUV market, but the E-tron moves the game on and is a convincing step into the next-generation of electric cars for the manufacturer. Due to tits electric drivetrain, the e-tron is more refined, more comfortable and more practical than the equivalent Q5.

As an electric car, how much the e-tron costs to run will obviously depend on where and when you charge it. But what you can have a clearer view on is how well this car will hold its residual value. Luckily, Audi claims best in class residual values for this new model, and at around 54% after three years or 36,000 miles, it pretty much matches the Jaguar I-Pace pound for pound.



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