Cars that hold their value

With heaps of cool kit and top-notch desirability, we pick out the cars that depreciate least and offer you the highest resale value

Shane Wilkinson
Nov 9, 2021

If you’re looking to splash the cash on a brand new car, there’s one big factor that will be looming the very second you drive your new wheels out of the showroom - depreciation. Depreciation is by far the biggest expense associated with new car ownership, this is the value that is lost between when the car is new and when you come to sell it on. If you are on a PCP finance contract, this difference is essentially what your monthly payments cover.

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 that many 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.

It’s a good idea to choose a car where previous examples have held their value well over previous years, in order to give you a better chance of losing less money. Also, if you’re financing through a PCP plan, a slow-depreciating car will result in lower monthly payments compared with the cash price of the car.

Alternatively, if you go for a used car instead, even one that’s just a year old, depreciation will have already hit to some extent.

Somewhat unsurprisingly, many of the slowest-depreciating cars are also some of the rarest and most expensive. However, there are plenty of more affordable day-to-day cars that also hold their value well. We’ve highlighted eight of these models that will ensure you’re not shortchanged at the end of the day - whether you're selling or financing.

Each example is based on a three-year-old car with 36,000 miles.

The slowest depreciating cars

1. Range Rover Sport

Residual value 71%
Used deals from £32,499
Monthly finance from £465*

The Range Rover Sport is designed to be the athletic sister car to the more luxury-oriented standard model. That said, the Sport can still dominate an all-out off-road course in the morning and take on the school run in the afternoon.

This all-round versatility means that the Range Rover Sport is popular, if not pricey. However, buyers do enjoy residual values that take some of the sting out of the starting price of well over £60,000. Expect a Range Rover Sport to hold on to over 71% of its original value, which is the highest percentage before entering the world of rare and exotic cars, which is very impressive.

As you’d expect of a flagship Land Rover model, features are plentiful. Even if it's not as luxury-focussed as the standard Range Rover, even the base-model Sport still features soft leather seats, heated front seats, front and rear parking sensors, an electric tailgate, Adaptive Dynamics suspension and large 20-inch alloys.

RANGE ROVER SPORT BUYERS' GUIDE

2. Ford Mustang

Residual value 68%
Used deals from £27,994
Monthly finance from £411*

There are few cars more iconic than the Ford Mustang, and when the model was finally brought onto the UK market in 2015, it proved a hit. Fast forward five years later and desirability has clearly helped to keep the Mustang’s value high.

This legendary American pony should hold onto around 68% of its value after 36,000 miles. Given that a number of these cars are only used as leisure vehicles, lower mileage models could fare even better. So, along with the thundering V8 engine in the GT model, there are plenty of reasons that a Mustang should be tempting.

FORD MUSTANG BUYERS' GUIDE

3. Toyota RAV4

Residual value 67%
Used deals from £24,495
Monthly finance from £353*
Hybrid vehicles are also facing a demand exceeding supply situation as drivers seek low-emission cars that offer all the range of petrol and diesel alternatives. This in turn creates some strong used value for these types of vehicles, as you can expect lots of people to want one in a few years' time.

The RAV4 is an affordable hybrid model from Toyota, priced from just under £32,000 in the UK. According to residual forecasters, it keeps around 67% of its value. To top it off, the RAV4 offers strong levels of standard equipment and low CO2 emissions, meaning you’re unlikely to regret having it on your driveway.

TOYOTA RAV4 BUYERS' GUIDE

4. Jaguar E-Pace

Residual value 67%
Used deals from £18,880
Monthly finance from £297*

Good looks, sporty driving, plenty of technology and a spacious interior are just a few of the qualities that make up the Jaguar E-Pace, the brand’s first crossover. A smaller alternative to the F-Pace SUV, pricing for the E-Pace starts from just over £38,000.

For this price, you get a smaller SUV that will still sit 4 adults in comfort with a huge amount of luggage space to boot, not to mention the luxury and driving pleasure that comes with driving one of the big cats. What’s better is that experts predict that the E-Pace should hold onto around 67% of its value, meaning that prestige and being financially savvy can finally come together.

JAGUAR E-PACE BUYERS' GUIDE

5. Lexus NX

Residual value 66%
Used deals from £21,497
Monthly finance from £255*

A brand new Lexus NX is about to arrive on the market, but the outgoing model still makes a very good case for itself as a solid buy. Lexus has enjoyed a solid reputation for reliability and customer service, plus owning one even comes with an aura of exclusivity, too.

As with its distant Toyota RAV4 cousin, the NX is a hybrid, so its low emission status helps towards the overall desirability with used car buyers, with experts believing that the NX should retain around 66% of its value.

LEXUS NX BUYERS' GUIDE

6. Hyundai Kona Electric

Residual value 65%
Used deals from £31,995
Monthly finance from £555*

As the demand for low-emission vehicles increases, so of course does the demand for electric vehicles. The Hyundai Kona is also available as a petrol-powered car, but it is the electric model where value is upheld the most. In fact, the Kona is the only electric car to appear on this list, but don’t be too surprised if more start to appear soon.

With a range of up to 300 miles, this practical crossover is an electric car that you can genuinely use every day, and with pricing starting from £27,950 (after the government’s £2,500 plug-in car grant) it shouldn’t break the bank, either. When the time comes to move on to your next car, the Kona Electric should retain around 65% of its value, so the money you make back mixed with the fuel savings should make for a solid amount.

HYUNDAI KONA ELECTRIC BUYERS’ GUIDE

7. Audi A1

Residual value 65%
Used deals from £15,699
Monthly finance from £228*

For a car to stay desirable, it doesn’t have to be the biggest or the flashiest, and the stylish yet understated Audi A1 is a perfect example of this. While the A1 is at the lower end of the Audi range, it still packs plenty of the brand’s luxury touches but within a more subtle hatchback body.

Used buyers clearly think that this is the best of both worlds as the A1 enjoys one of the best predicted residual values of any current Audi, with an estimated 65% retention.

AUDI A1 BUYERS’ GUIDE

8. Porsche Macan

Residual value 63%
Used deals from £30,370
Monthly finance from £537*

Following the huge success of the Cayenne SUV, Porsche introduced the smaller Macan to appeal to buyers wanting a highly agile upmarket 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. Independent experts predict a residual value of around 63% for this Porsche, which is pretty impressive.

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

PORSCHE MACAN BUYERS' GUIDE

*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.

 

Latest best cars & vans

  1. Most customisable cars

  2. Cars with suicide doors

  3. Best American cars