Top depreciation-busting cars

There is no getting away from the fact that any shiny new car will be worth a lot less money a few years down the line.

But, with a bit of careful planning, it is possible to lessen the pain by buying a model that’s likely to hold its value. 

When it comes to defying depreciation, doing your homework before you visit the dealer is key. Consider what future buyers of the car might find desirable, and not just what you want. A car in burnt orange paintwork with black alloys and boy-racer trim rather better suits a performance-orientated Ford Focus ST than an entry-level Fiesta.

In the same vein, some options are considered must-haves – such as leather seats for luxury models and climate control in most models ­­– but be careful not to overindulge or “overcapitalise”.

Additionally, looking after your car is crucial. Limiting your miles to under 20,000 per year, keeping good service records and generally maintaining your car might sound like overly obvious advice, but will all play a positive part when the time comes to sell.

Despite all the above, some models fare far better than others in holding onto their value. With the help of car cost experts CAP Automotive, we’ve crunched the numbers to find the top depreciation-defying model in five key segments and their predicted value after three years and 60,000 miles.


1. City car
Vauxhall Viva 

Model: Vauxhall VIVA 1.0 SL

Target price new: £8,740

Predicted value: £3,800 (retained 43.5%)

Building on the heritage of the 1960s Viva, the new-kid-on-the-block status is definitely counting in its favour as far as depreciation-busting goes. It comes in neatly under the £10,000 mark, and is well-specced for this segment with the SL model boasting electronic climate control over the entry-level SE trim. Vauxhall has been exercising a fair bit of self-restraint with the VIVA’s launch and has done a great job in making sure the market isn’t flooded, which further helps this model hold its value.


2. Supermini

 Audi A1
Model: Audi A1 1.6 TDI SE 
Price new: £15,540
Predicted value: £7,300 (retained 47%)

Everything that is great about Audi – solid build quality, fine performance and brand esteem – is wrapped into this handsome little package. No surprise then that the A1 appeals to a large market of both male and female drivers. Best of all, it is priced competitively against rivals like Ford’s Fiesta, which ensures a solid demand and in turn good value retention. Audi does a good job in marketing their used models through dealers and give buyers peace of mind with their “Audi Approved” reassurance, which also helps this model maintain firm used-market values. 


3. Executive

Jaguar XF

Model: Jaguar XF 2.0d Portfolio 
Price new: £37,580
Predicted value: £17,700 (retained: 47.1%) 
Jaguar’s second generation XF has performed well in the fleet market and executive segment since its launch in 2015, and the 2.0-litre diesel model is the pick of the crop for defying depreciation. Not only is the XF a looker, the new four-cylinder diesel engine boasts plenty of grunt and is impressively frugal. When combined with Jaguar’s automatic gearbox it’s a German-beating class winner. The Portfolio version was manufactured in smaller quantities than the entry-level Prestige, which CAP says will serve its resale value in three years.


4. MPV

 Mercedes-Benz V-Class
Model: Mercedes-Benz V-Class V220d SE
Price new: £40,995
Predicted value: £18,400 (retained: 44.9%)

Unlike many of its competitors, the Mercedes V-Class is not a high-volume car, and this low supply helps it retain its value. The Viano replacement also sits at the higher end of the MPV sector, which further limits supply while demand is strong. The V-Class is stylish inside and comes with plenty of equipment as standard on the entry-level SE trim, including reversing camera and heated seats, which makes that model the best value retainer. 


5. SUV

 Porsche Macan
Model: Porsche Macan S Diesel
Price new: £45,942
Value retained: £26,775 (retained: 58.3%)
SUVs perform especially well in retaining their value at the moment because of the growth in this sector, and none more so than the Porsche Macan. Not only does it ooze elegance, it is also the sportiest SUV on the block and its sporty handling puts it leagues ahead of rivals, especially in the range-topping Turbo model which tears from 0-62mph in just 4.8 seconds. All Macan models hold onto their value well, but the mid-range S Diesel performs best and is a great drive thanks to Porsche’s exceptional PDK gearbox.