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

Rachel Boagey
Apr 26, 2021

Whether you’re splashing 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 - the difference between the car's value when it's new and what it's worth when you sell it (or at the end of your PCP contract: effectively this difference is 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 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. Or, if you're going for PCP, a slow-depreciating car will result in lower monthly payments compared with the cash price of the car.

Meanwhile, if you're buying used, you're less likely to find super-low prices for slow-depreciating cars on the used market, as they're still worth a lot as they get older. However, finding a used car that holds its value well will still result in lower monthly payments with a PCP finance deal. Not sure which cars can help you with this?

Below, we’ve highlighted eight models that will ensure you’re not shortchanged at the end of the day - whether you're selling or financing.

The slowest depreciating cars

1. Jaguar I-Pace

Used deals from £47,480
Monthly finance from £844*

Rising electric car sales and the boom in crossovers - high-riding, SUV-like hatchbacks - were two trends Jaguar didn’t want to miss out on. Enter the brand's first electric SUV - the I-Pace.

Residual forecasting - that's predicting how much a car will be worth used - suggests that the I-Pace will retain around 74.6% of its value after three years, as motorists rush to get their hands on one of the most sought-after cars on the market.

Some of the thinking behind this is that electric cars should be among the best for retaining value, as they're in demand and they do without many of the unreliable components featred in petrol and diesel cars, so should be relatively reliable. Valuation specialist cap hpi recently found that electrified vehicles retain 47% of their value on average after three years and 30,000 miles, while in comparison, petrol models retain 43% and diesel just 40%.


2. Toyota RAV4

Used deals from £19,190
Monthly finance from £266*

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 £30,000 in the UK. According to residual forecasters, it keeps around 69% of its value, meaning it drops an average of just over £10,000 over three years and 60,000 miles. 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.


3. Porsche Macan

Used deals from £29,965
Monthly finance from £527*

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. 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 - meaning you get more back when you come to sell, or have lower monthly payments, depending how you choose to pay.

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.


4. Porsche Panamera

Used deals from £63,990
Monthly finance from £940*

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 £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 upmarket car - a type of car that normally loses value rapidly.


5. Peugeot 3008

Used deals from £7,995
Monthly finance from £183*

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 is included throughout the range, with low running costs, and a comfortable ride, so 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 £31,495
Monthly finance from £423*

The Jeep Wrangler isn't sophisticated and it's not the most easy 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.

The result? 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 £16,499
Monthly finance from £269*

Kia is becoming known for its plug-in hybrid cars. In 2016, it launched a 'PHEV' version of its mid-sized Optima 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, expect this Niro to retain between 56 and 58% of its original price when it reaches the three-year-old and 36,000-mile mark.


8. Audi e-tron

Used deals from £48,350
Monthly finance from £859*

Audi has already established itself in the SUV market, but the electric e-tron moves the game on and is a convincing step into the next-generation of electric cars for the manufacturer. Due to its 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.


*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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