What Car? Reveals Britain’s best and worst depreciating cars

New electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid cars are now the country’s least depreciating models, outperforming petrols and diesels, according to research by the UK’s leading consumer champion and new car buying platform, What Car?.

What Car? found electrified vehicles retain 47% of their value on average after three years and 30,000 miles, while petrol models were found to retain 43% and diesels just 40%*. Together with valuations specialist cap hpi, What Car? analysed more than 7000 different makes, models and trim configurations, to name Britain’s least and worst depreciating cars, with an overall retained value industry average of 42.1% across all makes and models.

The findings are timely, because 2019 is set to be the year of the electric vehicle, with up to 20 new models due to be launched, as reported in the new What Car? Electric Vehicle White Paper. The White Paper found that consumers have a “knowledge gap” when it comes to understanding electric vehicles and their benefits, including how much they depreciate over time.

Electric and hybrid vehicles have some of the strongest residuals across many segments, with models like the new Audi E-tron, Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid and Toyota RAV4 all retaining more than 63% of their purchase value after three years and 30,000 miles in specific trim configurations.

It wasn’t all good news for buyers thinking of going electric, because the Renault Zoe in R110 i Dynamique Nav form was found to be one of the UK’s worst depreciating cars, holding on to just 26.6% of its value. However, like other electric cars, the Zoe is eligible for a £3500 government grant, which helps offset this.

Overall, premium brands were found to offer the best value for money, with Land Rover topping the ratings. The new Range Rover Evoque P250 R-Dynamic was rated as the UK’s least depreciating new car, retaining more than 70% of its £38,675 price tag after three years and 30,000 miles.

More affordable models to make it into the list of top 10 performers included two hybrids from Toyota, the Prius and RAV4, proving that you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a car that will hold its value well

Steve Huntingford, editor of What Car? said: “When the first electric and hybrid cars arrived, they suffered from heavy depreciation. But with the technology now becoming mainstream, buyers are starting to see far better residuals, which will no doubt boost sales further.

“The worst depreciating table is a reminder that new car buyers need to do their homework before signing on the dotted line. Securing the best deal possible on a new car helps offset the money it will lose.”

To help car buyers, What Car’s team of mystery shoppers search out the best deals across the UK every month and compile a Target Price report. These prices show the level of discounts motorists should expect to achieve, and are the maximum people will pay if they use the What Car? New Car Buying service.

Depreciation per fuel and gearbox type*

Type of vehicle 30k/3yr residual
Electrified 47%
Petrol 43%
Diesel 40%
Automatic 43%
Manual 40%

Least depreciating cars*

Make Model Trim Edition OTR 30k/3yr Residual Price Drop Retained value %
Land Rover Range Rover Evoque R-Dynamic P250 £38,675 £27,100 £11,575 70.1%
Porsche Cayenne   E-Hybrid £67,208 £43,850 £23,358 65.2%
Audi E-tron   55 quattro £71,520** £46,575 £24,945 65.1%
Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo   4 E-Hybrid £85,945 £55,800 £30,145 64.9%
Porsche 718 Cayman GTS 2.5 £61,892 £39,925 £21,967 64.5%
Audi Q8 S line 55 TFSI quattro £64,810 £41,750 £23,060 64.4%
Alpine A110 Pure   £46,910 £30,075 £16,835 64.1%
Porsche Macan   2.0T £47,254 £30,200 £17,054 63.9%
Toyota RAV4 Icon 2.5 VVT-i Hybrid 2WD £29,650 £18,675 £10,975 63.0%
Toyota Prius Active 1.8 VVTi £24,255 £15,250 £9005 62.9%

Worst depreciating cars*

Make Model Trim Edition OTR 30k/3yr Residual Price Drop Retained value %
Fiat Doblo XL Combi SX 1.6 Multijet 120 £26,183 £6825 £19,358 26.1%
Fiat Tipo Easy Plus 1.6 Multijet DDCT £20,510 £5650 £14,860 27.5%
Maserati Quattroporte   V6 Diesel £74,320 £20,575 £53,645 27.7%
Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer SRi 1.6 CDTi 136 Auto £26,735 £7475 £19,260 28.0%
Peugeot 308 SW Active 1.5 Blue HDi 100 £21,895 £6150 £15,745 28.1%
Jaguar XJ Luxury LWB 3.0 V6 Diesel £65,400 £18,800 £46,600 28.7%
Renault Zoe i Dynamique Nav 80kW R110 40kWh £28,520 £8350 £20,170 29.3%
Hyundai i40 SE Nav 1.6 CRDi £24,000 £7125 £16,875 29.7%
BMW 4 Series Convertible Sport Prof. Media 420d £44,535 £13,475 £31,060 30.3%
Infiniti Q50 Luxe 3.5h £43,450 £13,225 £30,225 30.4%

Note: The depreciation data in the tables relates to individual trim and edition configurations and is not fully representative of the entire model range.

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