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Ten cars that hold their value best over three years (and the worst)

Most drivers know that when they buy a brand new car and drive it off the forecourt, the value drops off a cliff. 

Depending on the model, more than 70 per cent of the value can be wiped off within three years too. 

While many drivers will be conscious that their next motor should have affordable running costs, including relatively low bills for fuel, insurance, MOTs, tax, servicing and maintenance, it is depreciation – or the avoidance of depreciation – that will serve best motorists looking to keep as much of their hard-earned cash as possible.

Cashback cars: We’ve teamed up with valuations experts CAP HPI to list the 10 slowest deprecating new models you can buy in showrooms today

To help drivers make the most informed decision, This is Money has teamed up with vehicle valuations experts CAP HPI to reveal the 10 slowest-depreciating new models in showrooms right now.

And for those who don’t want to buy a brand-spanking zero-mile motor that will depreciate as soon as it’s driven off the dealer’s forecourt, we’ve also exclusively listed the three-year-old cars that have lost the most significant chunks of their original value – meaning you can pick them up as a used bargain.

Depreciation is an often over-looked element of car running costs. But if you pick the right model it means you will keep hold of more of your initial outlay when it comes time to trade it in.

Earlier this month we reported on the 2021 cars that will hold value best and those that lose it quickest – figures shared by What Car? that were also obtained from CAP HPI data.

However, as pointed out by a number of our readers, many of the cars to feature in both lists were ultra-expensive models that will be out of the grasp of the majority of British motorists.

We’ve heeded your calls and asked CAP HPI to run their numbers again – this time specifically for drivers who want to know the ‘mainstream’ cars that are best at keeping their value.

To make sure the data is most useful to you, we’ve split it into two lists. 

The first being cars in showrooms today that depreciate slowest. This means buyers of the latest models will know which ones will retain the highest percentage of their original cost when it comes time to find a new motor.

And we’ve only selected volume-selling cars that are priced under £50,000, can seat four or more people and have boots big enough for a weekend’s stay of luggage or a fortnight’s grocery haul.

The second is a list of cars are those that would have depreciated the most from new in the last three years. These are the motors a second-hand buyer can pick up today at low cost knowing that the majority of value loss has already occurred.

All the data is based on the cars value loss over three years – the average finance period – and 30,000 miles on the clock, assuming the average mileage is 10,000 a year… 

SLOWEST DEPRECIATING CARS TO BUY NEW

10. MG ZS 

Avg value after 3yrs/30k miles: £8,450 

The ZS SUV is proving pretty popular thanks to its affordable purchase price. And despite being at the lower end of the market, it is holding plenty of its value

The ZS SUV is proving pretty popular thanks to its affordable purchase price. And despite being at the lower end of the market, it is holding plenty of its value

MG Motor is selling a record number of new cars at the moment. 

The brand, which is owned by Chinese firm SAIC, has seen sales increase by more than 50 per cent so far in 2021 with 8,307 new models registered by the end of April, making it the fastest-growing of the UK’s top 30 car manufacturers.

A driving force behind this upturn in demand is the ZS compact crossover, which is also available as an all-electric ZS EV.

CAP HPI says they are scheduled to retain close to three fifths of their value after three years of ownership.   

9. Volkswagen Polo

Avg value after 3yrs/30k miles: £10,255

The Polo is set to be replaced in showrooms in a matter of weeks after VW revealed the latest example. The outgoing car is proven to hold value exceptionally well

The Polo is set to be replaced in showrooms in a matter of weeks after VW revealed the latest example. The outgoing car is proven to hold value exceptionally well

Badge appeal is strong, even at the smaller end of the market. Buyers would rather be seen in a VW than a Skoda, which is why the Polo outsells the Fabia handsdown, despite the two being almost identical mechanically.

That brand kudos does mean better resale values for the Polo, with examples shedding just 58 per cent of their value after average mileage over three years.

A new Polo was revealed only a matter of weeks ago, so expect value retention to be very strong for the latest version. And you could also grab a bargain if your local dealer is trying to move stock of this outgoing example so the shiny 2021 car can take its place. 

8. Mazda CX-5

Avg value after 3yrs/30k miles: £14,825

The Mazda CX-5 will keep almost 60% of their value after three years of ownership from new, says CAP HPI

The Mazda CX-5 will keep almost 60% of their value after three years of ownership from new, says CAP HPI

From here on in its all SUVs of some size that dominate the list of new motors keeping the most of their value after 36 months – proving that demand for this category of vehicle remains very high and is likely contributing to the death of traditional family the saloon car.

The Mazda CX-5 is suitable for the average family with loads of space, a big enough boot and a bulletproof Japanese reliability record.

CAP HPI predicts they will keep three fifths of their value after three years. 

=6. Skoda Karoq

Avg value after 3yrs/30k miles: £14,232

Half a decade ago Skoda didn't have a proper SUV in its range. The Karoq is one of four in showrooms today - and one of the best mainstream cars for keeping value

Half a decade ago Skoda didn’t have a proper SUV in its range. The Karoq is one of four in showrooms today – and one of the best mainstream cars for keeping value

Skoda didn’t have a ‘proper’ SUV (forget the Golf-based Yeti for a second) five years ago. Fast forward to 2021 and the Czech brand has four of them! 

The Karoq is the mid-size model in the conventionally-fuelled range (the Enyaq iV being electric only) and is a great all-rounder for anyone in the market for a family hatch with a raised ride height.

Proof is in the pudding and Skoda’s decision to bolster its SUV range in recent years shows they got ingredients right. Demand is so high that a Karoq, on average, sheds just 39 per cent of its value in three years from new. 

=6. Skoda Kodiaq

Avg value after 3yrs/30k miles: £19,588

The Kodiaq is one of the few large SUVs to offer not just seven seats but a petrol engine

The Kodiaq is one of the few large SUVs to offer not just seven seats but a petrol engine

Like its smaller Karoq sibling, Skoda’s Kodiaq is currently retaining 61 per cent of its original value on average.

The biggest Skoda SUV in the range offers a seven-seat layout and is one of the few models to provide this additional passenger space combined with a petrol engine. 

While most other rivals only sell seven-seat models with oil-burning powerplants under the bonnet, Skoda’s 1.5-litre turbo petrol will make it very appealing for those who have already made their mind up about diesel being dirty.

=4. Peugeot 5008

Avg value after 3yrs/30k miles: £17,689

Another seven-seat SUV makes it into the list, this time the Peugeot 5008 that combines MPV space with a raised ride height

Another seven-seat SUV makes it into the list, this time the Peugeot 5008 that combines MPV space with a raised ride height

This one might come as a surprise to many car fans – a large French family car bucking convention and holding value exceptionally well.

The 5008, like the Skoda Kodiaq, offers a seven-seat layout for larger families – but at half the new price you’d pay for an upmarket rival like the Audi Q7 or Volvo XC90.

Also like the Skoda it can be chosen with a petrol engine. Plenty of style and lots of equipment as standard means it is desirable on the second-hand market, which is keeping depreciation levels low. 

=4. VW Tiguan Allspace

Avg value after 3yrs/30k miles: £20,542

Both the Tiguan and extended Tiguan Allspace (pictured) do a great job of keeping their value

Both the Tiguan and extended Tiguan Allspace (pictured) do a great job of keeping their value

Volkswagen medium-size family SUV, the Tiguan, is definitely a good choice for those buying in this sector and wanting to keep as much of their money as possible.

CAP HPI says the conventional Tiguan sheds just 40 per cent of its value in the first three years, but this extended Allspace version depreciates even slower than that.

It retains 62 per cent of its value after 36 months and 30,000 miles, meaning a driver spending £33,000 in a showroom can expect to get back £20,500 when they sell it on. 

3. Dacia Duster

Avg value after 3yrs/30k miles: £8,504

The Dacia Duster achieves something fairly unique - depreciating extremely slowly despite having a very budget price tag

The Dacia Duster achieves something fairly unique – depreciating extremely slowly despite having a very budget price tag

It’s very rare to see a car that costs so little from new depreciate this slowly. However, Dacia, a brand launched for the budget end of the market, is showing great value retention across its range.

The recently-replaced Sandero – the nation’s least expensive new car – retains 42 per cent of its original value after three years, according to CAP HPI. The only reason it’s not in our list is because it has already been replaced in showrooms.

The Duster, Dacia’s answer to a no-frills SUV, retains almost two thirds of the new value – an incredible feat for any car. 

2. VW T-Roc

Avg value after 3yrs/30k miles: £16,665

The T-Roc has plenty of rivals in the compact SUV sector, but the combo of badge appeal, space and sporty looks has seen second-hand demand soar - keeping depreciation low

The T-Roc has plenty of rivals in the compact SUV sector, but the combo of badge appeal, space and sporty looks has seen second-hand demand soar – keeping depreciation low

Another Volkswagen SUV to make it into the list is the T-Roc – one of the brand’s latest 4×4 cars that’s aimed at the compact market but offer more space than rivals.

It goes up against models like the Audi Q2, Ford Puma and Mini Countryman but is far more spacious and practical. And it’s good to drive to boot. There’s a convertible version too – but that will likely depreciate like a rock falling from a great height, so avoid that option.  

It loses less than a third of its original value after three years, says CAP HPI. That translates to a £25,665 car from new being worth £16,665 when it comes time to sell it on after you’ve put 30,000 miles on the clock.

1. Toyota Land Cruiser

Avg value after 3yrs/30k miles: £30,129

The hulking Toyota Land Cruiser retains a staggering 72% of its original value after three years - more than any other new mainstream model in showrooms currently

The hulking Toyota Land Cruiser retains a staggering 72% of its original value after three years – more than any other new mainstream model in showrooms currently

If you’re looking for a hulking SUV that can go anywhere you ask of it, the Toyota Land Cruiser is a great options. Reliability won’t ever be an issue – these massive off-roaders are built to last and withstand the most difficult terrain.

Given the end of production of the traditional Land Rover Defender- replaced with a flashy new version – and the limited availability of tough 4×4 vehicles, the Land Cruiser is a model that, despite relatively low production volumes, is in big demand. Not bad, especially considering you can only get them with a diesel engine.

They’re not cheap. The average price paid for one is just over £41,500. But after three hard years of ownership, keepers can expect to get £30,000 when they trade it in for a new model. 

RAPIDLY DEPRECIATING MODELS THAT ARE TODAY’S SECOND-HAND BARGAINS

While depreciation is bad news for new car buyers, for those looking to pick the very same cars up on the used market can pocket a very temping bargain.

Topping the chart is the now defunct Fiat Punto. 

Three years ago a first owner would have paid on average £12,598 for the Italian supermini. 

Fast-forward to today and it has lost 71 per cent of that value, meaning a second-hand buyers can get their hands on a relatively recent small car for just £3,669 on average.

The Punto was pulled from showrooms in 2018 after 13 years on sale. Just months earlier it had recorded the lowest ever rating in Euro NCAP crash tests – which probably hasn’t aided value retention. 

The Punto has been the fastest depreciating mainstream cars in the last three years, losing a massive 71% of its value. A poor Euro NCAP crash test rating in 2017 probably didn't help the little Fiat

The Punto has been the fastest depreciating mainstream cars in the last three years, losing a massive 71% of its value. A poor Euro NCAP crash test rating in 2017 probably didn’t help the little Fiat

And it’s not alone when it comes to shedding financial pounds. 

We’ve listed below the mainstream models that – according to CAP HPI – have depreciated fastest in the last three years  – meaning you can pick one up for a fraction of their new price today.

If you’re using the app and unable to see the table below, please click this link to view it on our website. 

MAINSTREAM CARS THAT HAVE DEPRECIATED THE MOST IN THE LAST 3 YEARS 
MAKE, MODEL (PRODUCTION YEARS)  CAR CATEGORY % VALUE RETAINED AFTER 3 YEARS AVG PRICE NEW AVG PRICE NOW 
Fiat Punto (2012-2018)  Supermini  29%  £12,598  £3,669 
DS DS3 Cabriolet (2015-2019) DIESEL Supermini  30% £20,854 £6,275
Citroen C4 (2011-2018) DIESEL Medium hatch  31% £18,595 £5,725
DS DS5 (2015-2018) DIESEL Luxury hatch  31% £31,356 £9,668
Seat Toledo (2012-2019) Medium hatch 31% £18,275 £5,663
DS DS4 (2015-2018) DIESEL Medium hatch  32% £26,082 £8,282
Vauxhall Cascada (2013-2018) Convertible  33% £29,118 £9,600
Peugeot 208 (2012-2020) DIESEL Supermini  33% £18,385 £6,090
Ford C-Max (2010-2019) DIESEL MPV 34% £25,989 £8,725
Suzuki Baleno (2016-2019) Medium hatch  34% £15,142 £5,081
Vauxhall Astra (2015-2020) DIESEL Medium hatch  34% £22,891 £7,695
Citroen C5 (2008-2018) DIESEL Large saloon  34% £26,790 £9,150
Fiat Tipo (2016-present) DIESEL Medium hatch  34% £18,426 £6,285
Nissan Pulsar (2014-2018) DIESEL Medium hatch  35% £18,887 £6,554
Ford Granf C-Max (2010-2019) DIESEL MPV  35% £27,839 £9,788
Skoda Rapid (2012-2019) DIESEL Medium hatch  35% £18,428 £6,484
Fiat 500X (2014-2019) DIESEL SUV  35% £21,318 £7,519
Peugeot 508 (2011-2018) DIESEL Large saloon  35% £29,313 £10,398
Vuaxhall Zafira (2012-2018) MPV  36% £24,657 £8,755
Citroen C4 Picasso (2013-2018) DIESEL MPV  36% £25,434 £9,117
Vauxhall Corsa (2014-2018) DIESEL Supermini  36% £16,511 £6,001
Fiat 500L (2013-2019) DIESEL MPV  37% £20,470 £7,494
Kia Venga (2010-2018) DIESEL MPV  37% £17,625 £6,475
Hyundai ix20 (2010-2019) DIESEL Supermini  37% £17,863 £6,575
Vauxhall Mokka (2012-2019) DIESEL MPV  37% £24,986 £9,208
Source: CAP HPI – data accurate at time of publishing 

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