The 10 slowest-depreciating cars 2021
Want your next car to hold onto as much of its value as possible after three years? You'll need to buy one of these...
Forget the cost of fuel, servicing and car insurance; by far the biggest expense of almost any new car will be depreciation. That’s the amount of value it starts to lose from the moment you drive it away from the showroom.
According to car pricing expert Derren Martin at CAP HPI, a Volkswagen Golf will lose 20% of its list price after the new owner has driven it just 1000 miles.“That’s a good level of depreciation; models from other brands will lose more value,” he says.
On average, a new Golf will have lost half its as-new value by the time it’s three years old and has covered 60,000 miles, while a Ford Focus will have lost 55%, and a Vauxhall Astra takes a 65% hit.
Depreciation isn’t all bad news, though. If you’re buying second-hand 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 at a faster rate than its rivals.
To help you choose a model that won’t put a massive hole in your finances, we’ve used our residual value data to reveal the 10 models that hold on to 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 has covered 36,000 miles.
10. Porsche Cayenne
Model E-Hybrid List price £71,110 Resale value £40,925 Price drop £30,185 Retained value 57.6%
The Cayenne luxury SUV was viewed as an affront to sports car enthusiasts when it first went on sale in 2002, yet it’s now one of Porsche’s best-selling models, alongside the smaller Macan. Fine handling and strong performance are its key strengths, but buyers will also be pleased that it holds on to its value well.
9. Tesla Model 3
Model Long Range List price £49,990 Resale value £29,100 Price drop £20,890 Retained value 58.2%
Not only is the Model 3 Tesla’s most affordable car, but it’s also its best. As an added bonus, our current Large Electric Car of the Year holds on to its value better than the main rival, the Polestar 2. Once you factor in Tesla’s fast, well-maintained public charging network, it’s not difficult to see why the Model 3 is on this list.
=7. Land Rover Defender
Model 110 P300 S List price £53,910 Resale value £31,950 Price drop £21,960 Retained value 59.3%
Land Rover has made the new Defender even more desirable than the iconic original by creating a model that’s much better on the road, and just as capable off it. The long-wheelbase 110 version can be bought as a seven-seater and is more practical than the three-door 90. It’s also one of the brand's best models for depreciation.
=7. Range Rover Evoque
Model P250 R-Dynamic S List price £42,400 Resale value £25,150 Price drop £17,250 Retained value 59.3%
With the launch of the Evoque in 2011, Land Rover shook up its image by targeting a younger, more fashion-conscious crowd. This second-generation model features a high-quality interior, along with frugal mild hybrid and plug-in hybrid engines to appeal to non-diesel advocates. Like the original Evoque was, it’s the best family SUV for residual values.
6. Porsche 911
Model Carrera PDK List price £86,835 Resale value £52,800 Price drop £34,035 Retained value 60.8%
The Porsche 911 is without doubt the greatest sports car for those who want a dash of practicality as well as seriously rapid performance and an interior that doesn’t feel stripped out like a race car’s. It’s also remarkably easy to live with. All versions hold their value exceptionally well, even the entry-level version.
5. Porsche Taycan
Model 4S 79kWh List price £83,635 Resale value £50,950 Price drop £32,685 Retained value 60.9%
The Taycan was the first pure electric car to provide real driving pleasure. While rivals offer straight-line acceleration that’ll throw your head into the headrest, they’re underwhelming on twisty A-roads. It’s also practical, with space for four adults and a reasonable boot, and it holds its value better than any other electric car, including the Tesla Model 3.
Model 1.8 Turbo Legend GT List price £59,155 Resale value £36,625 Price drop £22,530 Retained value 61.9%
The original Alpine A110 won the first World Rally Championship in 1973, and this modern incarnation is one of the most entertaining sports cars you can buy. It regularly beats equivalent four-cylinder versions of the Porsche Cayman in our group tests, offering sprightly performance and nimble handling, as well as impressively strong resale values.
3. Porsche Macan
Model GTS List price £60,905 Resale value £38,000 Price drop £22,905 Retained value 62.4%
The Macan may be smaller than the Cayenne, but it’s even more rewarding to drive. Even though it’s practical enough to transport a family, it’s still seriously fast and fun. You need to opt for air suspension to get the best handling, but with such strong residual values, you’ll get back a fair chunk of your original outlay when you sell it on.
2. Lamborghini Urus
Model 4.0T FSI V8 auto List price £174,711 Resale value £110,150 Price drop £64,561 Retained value 63.0%
The Urus blends jaw-dropping pace with comfort and enough practicality to be usable every day. It’s also mind-bogglingly fast with clever technology and ultra-wide tyres that ensure it sticks to the road like a limpet, yet it has a compliant ride and a hushed interior. It’s eye-wateringly expensive new, but you’ll get a fair chunk back after three years.
Model 4.0 GT4 List price £78,495 Resale value £56,800 Price drop £21,695 Retained value 72.4%
The Cayman is proof that you don’t have to break the bank to get a great sports car that’ll hold on to much of its original value after three years.The GT4 is the pinnacle of the Cayman line-up, but lesser versions also hold on to their value better than rival cars. It’s a joy to drive and those with six-cylinder engines have a glorious soundtrack.
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