Depreciation - A car's loss in value over time. This is the single biggest expense in owning a car. Pick a model which holds its value and you could save thousands of pounds over a typical period of ownership.
Choose a car which depreciates steeply and you won't recover much of your original outlay when the time comes to sell it on. However, a heavy depreciator can make a good used buy.
Whatcar.com has a depreciation calculator, which can tell you how quickly the price of your choice will be eroded and how much it will be worth after four years.
If a car only retains 30% of its original price, it means a whopping 70% of its value has evaporated.
When demand outstrips supply, some cars can be worth more second-hand to buyers who want to avoid the waiting list. Exotic cars built in small numbers, such as the Mercedes 55 AMG, are the most likely, though more humble but desirable cars such as the Mini can also command a premium.
As more of these models appear on the market, this effect will subside and the car will shed value.
For whatcar.com's guide to contract hire and leasing click here
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