When considering the cost of buying and running a new car, how quickly a model depreciates is often overlooked. Things like fuel economy, road tax and servicing costs are often analysed in detail, but if the vehicle loses many thousands of pounds in the first couple of years, such savings are wiped out. Indeed, most cars lose a substantial amount of value as soon as they're driven off the dealership forecourt.
Here we look at the top 10 fastest-depreciating cars in the UK, based on data from What Car? The car magazine used its residual value data to work out which models depreciate fastest, based on yearly mileage of 12,000.
- Vauxhall Astra
Model 1.5 Turbo D Ultimate Nav List price £27,855 36k/3yr resale value £7,400 Price drop £20,455 Retained value 26.6%
Pleasant to drive and very spacious, the Astra is refined and well-established on the UK car scene. However, when it comes to resale value, the Astra sees a substantial fall of 26.6%, according to What Car? Data - a classic example of oversupply.
- Fiat 500C
Model 1.0 Mild Hybrid Launch Edition List price £19,800 36k/3yr resale value £5,225 Price drop £14,575 Retained value 26.4%
This throwback to the 1960s and 70s has proved hugely popular among those seeking a retro runabout. Sadly, owners looking to resell are a victim of the car's success: with so many about, the 500 retains just over a quarter of its original value after 36 months.
- Jaguar XF
Model 3.0d V6 Portfolio List price £50,550 36k/3yr resale value £12,950 Price drop £37,600 Retained value 25.6%
The XF is a lesser-seen alternative to German luxury saloons - and it holds its own against the 5-Series and Audi A7s of this world. However, while more fun to drive than its Teutonic counterparts, it does less well in the value retention dept.
- Citroën C1
Model 1.0 VTi 72 Feel 3dr List price £12,795 36k/3yr resale value £3,275 Price drop £9520 Retained value 25.6%
The C1 is quick, handles well, and boasts low running costs. However, these savings are largely wiped out when it comes to sales.
- Peugeot 108
Model 1.0 72 Allure 3dr - List price £14,140 36k/3yr resale value £3,475 Price drop £10,665 Retained value 24.6%
The 108 is pretty much a carbon copy of the C1 - and fails to retain its value in a very similar fashion. Oddly, the Toyota Aygo, built to the same modular design, doesn’t lose its value so dramatically.
- Mercedes S-Class Cabriolet
Model S560 Grand Edition List price £125,010 36k/3yr resale value £30,300 Price drop £94,710 Retained value 24.2%
The world's motoring press have been bowled over by this S560's meaty yet smooth engine, and by the sheer opulence of its interior. But owners would be wise to make the most of these pleasures, because when it's time to resell you'll barely have enough to buy a Vauxhall Astra.
- Audi A8
Model L 55 TFSI quattro Vorsprung List price £107,535 36k/3yr resale value £24,925 Price drop £82,610 Retained value 23.2%
It may be on this ignominious list, but the A8 is nevertheless a wonderful car - a smooth, refined ride with a superbly-built interior.
- Peugeot 308
Model 1.5 Bluehdi 100 Active List price £22,740 36k/3yr resale value £4,875 Price drop £17,865 Retained value 21.4%
Cost-efficient to run, nice to look at, and with plenty of luggage space, one might think the 308 can hold its own against key rivals such as the Ford Focus. Sadly its handling is much derided and back-seat passengers have little space to stretch their legs. And that's before you consider the whopping four-fifths loss of value after three years.
- Fiat tipo
Model 1.6 Multijet Lounge List price £21,815 36k/3yr resale value £4,600 Price drop £17,215 Retained value 21.1%
This well-equipped family hatchback is fairly cheap to buy in the first instance, but a none-too-enjoyable ride and an eye-popping loss of value make it one to avoid.
- Maserati Quattroporte
Model V6d List price £75,735 36k/3yr resale value £15,775 Price drop £59,960 Retained value 20.8%
The Quattroporte is perhaps a more daring alternative to most luxury saloons, but is let down by a lack of refinement and an infotainment setup that already looks over the hill. Oh yes, and it loses sixty grand in a mere 36 months.