The 10 fastest-depreciating cars 2021
We've delved into our data to reveal the models on sale today that lose the highest percentage of their value over three years...
Depreciation is often overlooked when people are deciding what car to buy. But while other running costs, such as fuel consumption, servicing and road tax, are important, they rarely add up to as much as the amount a new car loses in value over the first few years of ownership.
True, depreciation isn't all bad news; if you're buying used and choose carefully, it can allow you to get a lot of car for your money. Just bear in mind that a car that loses a lot of value initially is likely to continue depreciating faster than rivals.
Here, then, we've used our residual value data to reveal the 10 models that lose the highest percentage of their original price in the first three years. All figures are based on the trade-in value for an example that's covered 36,000 miles.
10. Citroën Spacetourer
Model 1.5 Blue HDi 120 Business M List price £37,005 36k/3yr resale value £12,500 Price drop £24,505 Retained value 33.8%
This van-based people carrier can seat up to nine people and offers a comfortable ride. However, interior quality is likely to disappoint someone used to a regular MPV, and the Spacetourer doesn't hold its value as well as most of them.
9. Vauxhall Astra
Model 1.5 Turbo D SRi Nav List price £23,675 36k/3yr resale value £7900 Price drop £15,775 Retained value 33.4%
The latest version of Vauxhall's Astra family hatchback is spacious and decent to drive, plus big discounts are available if you buy through our New Car Buying service. You'll need every penny you can save upfront, though, to offset what you'll lose in the first three years.
8. BMW 2 Series Convertible
Model M240i Nav List price £45,385 36k/3yr resale value £15,075 Price drop £30,310 Retained value 33.2%
A premium badge doesn't guarantee strong resale values, but in most other respects there's a lot to like about the 2 Series Convertible – particularly in sporty M240i form. It's surprisingly comfortable for something so composed, and the six-cylinder engine is an absolute gem.
7. BMW 2 Series Active Tourer
Model 216d SE List price £27,975 36k/3yr resale value £9200 Price drop £18,775 Retained value 32.9%
BMW's five-seat MPV is nicely finished and good to drive. However, it isn't as desirable as the firm's SUVs, and that's reflected in heavy depreciation. The fact that the 216d model is a diesel probably doesn't help, given how unfashionable that fuel is right now.
6. Mercedes SL
Model 500 Grand Edition List price £89,235 36k/3yr resale value £29,325 Price drop £59,910 Retained value 32.9%
An all-new SL will go on sale next year, which partly explains why the current car is such a money pit. You also have to put up with a dated infotainment system, but the SL is a comfortable choice, and the engines offer huge performance.
5. Peugeot 108
Model 1.0 72 Active List price £12,785 36k/3yr resale value £4000 Price drop £8785 Retained value 31.3%
As a city car, you'd expect the 108 to feel nimble in town, and it doesn't disappoint. What's more it's very cheap to run – right up until the point when you sell it and you see how much you've lost in depreciation.
4. Mercedes S-Class Coupé
Model S560 Grand Edition List price £125,010 36k/3yr resale value £36,800 Price drop £88,210 Retained value 29.4%
Despite featuring on this list, the S560 is a sensational car. From its monstrously powerful yet exceptionally smooth engine to its luxurious and spacious interior, it's a coupé that makes life effortless. Massive discounts are available, too.
3. Fiat 500C
Model 1.0 Mild Hybrid Pop List price £15,910 36k/3yr resale value £4650 Price drop £11,260 Retained value 29.2%
Lots of people love the 500's retro styling, so it's a huge seller. However, that's a double-edged sword, with the sheer number of secondhand examples that are available pushing down values.
2. Vauxhall Combo Life
Model 1.2 Turbo 130 Elite List price £28,260 36k/3yr resale value £8150 Price drop £20,110 Retained value 28.8%
The Combo Life makes sense if you go for one of the cheaper versions, because it's comfortable and practical. But there's no disguising its van origins, which contributes to the near-vertical depreciation curve of this high-spec Elite version.
1. Audi A8
Model 55 TFSI quattro Vorsprung List price £106,305 36k/3yr resale value £28,975 Price drop £77,330 Retained value 27.3%
Sometime you just don't get what you deserve in life. The A8 is even more refined than the brilliant Mercedes S-Class limo, plus its ride is incredibly supple and the interior feels like it's been constructed to the very highest standards. Yet despite all these strengths, it loses a higher proportion of its value than any other car currently on sale.
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