It’s no secret that as soon as you drive out the showroom your brand-new car loses a big chunk of its value. While this doesn’t stop more than 2 million Brits a year from upgrading to new vehicles, it is worth looking at what types of cars hold their value. After all, you never know when you may want to sell, upgrade or downsize.
To help you make a savvy auto investment, here’s a look at some of the top performing brands and models that hold their value in a second-hand market.
Cars with the slowest falling value
Iconic for good reason, the Mini is a British favourite that’s been charming motorists since 1969. According to the latest data from Autocar, Minis are one of the best brands in the UK when it comes to resale value, losing just under 50% of their value after clocking up around 35,000 miles.
Born and bred in UK production plants, Minis offer motorists the peace of mind they’re driving a premium-quality, British-made vehicle. Another factor worth noting is that Mini drivers tend to be proud, aesthetically conscious people. Sure, this is a bit of a generalisation but most of the time second-hand Minis are in fantastic condition thanks to their fastidious owners who love to keep them clean, polished and showroom ready.
Synonymous with luxury, Audis seem to hold timeless appeal for British motorists. Similar to the Mini, they lose less than 50% of their value after covering 35,000 miles and are highly sought after in the second-hand market. The Audi A4 is the third most popular car in the UK and also offers excellent resale value. Other sought-after models include the Audi TT, Audi A5 and Audi A6.
Despite the high-profile emissions scandal, Volkswagens remain one of the best brands in terms of slow depreciation rates. The precision German engineering, high-quality parts and genuine street appeal are some of the factors that contribute to the excellent resale value of Volkswagens. Camper vans are especially timeless, with the VW California offering incredible versatility and enduring aesthetic appeal.
With waitlists topping five years for bespoke Ferraris, it’s no surprise the luxury brand has good resale appeal, especially when it comes to the more affordable models. The 488 GTB V8 model falls into the mainstream class and while it does lose around 55% of its value after three years, the depreciation curve is nowhere near as sharp as other luxury cars. Plus, there’s also the possibility that if you hold onto your Ferrari for long enough it will start to appreciate.
Porsche is another manufacturer where demand tends to outstrip supply and help owners secure good prices for second-hand vehicles. In particular, the Porsche Panamera sidesteps serious depreciation thanks to its sharp handling, excellent performance and low running costs. One of the most affordable models in the Porsche range, the Cayman is another reliable purchase that holds just over 58% of its value after three years. Not bad at all for a luxury car.
Cars with the fastest falling value
Wondering what not to buy? Here’s a look at some of the manufacturers and models that lost their value much faster than the average car.
While Fiats are great cars, resale data suggests they’re also top performers when it comes to depreciation. For example, the popular Fiat Doblo XL Combi held just 26% of its value after clocking 30,000 kilometres, or the equivalent of three years on the road. The Fiat Tipo Station Wagon is another money pit, losing more than 75% of its value over a period of three years.
While it’s a hugely popular car, the Vauxhall Astra in particular isn’t a fantastic financial decision according to resale data. After three years on the road Astras tend to lose around 72% of their value, leaving sellers with very little cash to upgrade. Getting talked into extras like leather seats and dual-zone climate control only adds to the initial expense and makes the resale blow even harder to swallow.
Not even French prestige can save Citroen from finding itself on the list of fastest depreciating cars. While there’s plenty to love about the Citroen range, models like the Citroen C1 don’t always appeal to city drivers in search of a second-hand bargain. As a result, it can be hard to recoup your cash on these compact models. The C3 is also a questionable investment, retaining just over 27% of its value after three years of use.
Like the Citroen C1, models such as the Peugeot 108 suffer from a high showroom price tag and low resale value. When it comes to the second-hand market they just don’t seem to hold their value like other smaller models. As a result, owners encounter a steep depreciation curve when trying to sell Peugeot 108s. The Peugeot 308 is another tough car to sell, retaining less than 22% of its value after three years. This is largely due to its cramped interior and slack handling, which can be a major turn off for buyers.
How to maintain value
While data is important, there are some things you can do to retain value and increase the resale value of your car, even if you own a high depreciation model such as a Fiat or a Citroen. Attention to detail is key, with things like regular servicing and twice annual oil changes helping to keep your car in great condition.
Looks are also important, with regular deep cleans and detailing working magic on the overall appeal of your vehicle. Needless to say, smoking is an absolute taboo and can make or break a sale. Even after a deep clean, the smell of smoke in your car will usually be apparent.
Financing your car purchase
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