Top 12 Cars That Depreciate the Least

Roman Danaev

Best cars27 December 2023

When it comes to the financial aspects of car ownership, we often consider expenses like fuel, tax, and maintenance. Yet, there’s a silent heavyweight — depreciation. But hold on because it can actually work in your favour when buying used.

If you’re intrigued by the idea of fantastic cars that retain their value like a champ, you’re at the right place. We’ve done the legwork to find the slowest depreciating cars.

Also, at Carplus, we’re always here to guide you through the car market maze and offer support with smart car finance options. Make your journey informed and financially savvy with us!

What Is Depreciation?

Depreciation is the reduction in a car’s value from the time of purchase to its resale value. The process is particularly swift for new cars, with an average depreciation of up to 20% within the first year. Over the initial five years, car prices commonly drop about 40%.

Used cars typically depreciate at a slower rate than new ones, so you get the most value for your investment.

Fun fact: selecting a car with slow depreciation, strong resale value, and reasonable initial prices yields higher savings over time compared to fuel efficiency.

What Causes Car Depreciation?

Any car loses value from the natural wear and tear of daily use, which impacts various parts like tires and transmission. Here’s a breakdown of factors contributing to depreciation:

  • Mileage — Cars have specific mileage limits for components.
  • Vehicle type — Large luxury cars lose value faster than smaller cars.
  • Age — Older cars may use discontinued or expensive-to-source parts.
  • Perceived value — Newer models are often perceived as more desirable.
  • Efficiency — Newer cars have more efficient systems, especially relevant for electric and hybrid models.
  • Condition — Damage from accidents or wears lower a car’s resale value a lot.

Top 12 Cars That Depreciate the Least

Now, let’s get to the top 12 slowest depreciating cars. These are the best cars on the market for smart and financially savvy buyers.

1. Porsche 911

Price for a used carFrom £14,900
Body typeCoupe
Gearbox typeAutomatic, manual
Doors2
Seats2, 4
FuelPetrol, diesel
Drive typeRear-wheel drive, four-wheel drive
Fuel efficiency18-36.37 mpg
Boot spaceUp to 128 litres with seats up
SegmentPremium and luxury

The Porsche 911 has earned a reputation as the slowest depreciating car among sports cars. The range includes three wheelbases and offers a diverse selection of 14 body styles.

The vehicle is renowned for its everyday liveability, and although priced higher, it offers world-class performance, even in its lower-end models. Earlier versions featured naturally aspirated flat-six engines, and the 2015 updates introduced turbocharged 3.0-litre engines with various power outputs. In the past few years, the automaker went completely upmarket.

On the road, the 911 shows rapid acceleration, precise steering, and phenomenal grip. Despite its firmer ride in faster models, it’s beautifully balanced and well-controlled.

2. Land Rover Defender

Price for a used carFrom £9,400
Body typeSUV, van
Gearbox typeAutomatic, manual
Doors3, 5
Seats5, 7
FuelPetrol, diesel, hybrid
Drive typeFour-wheel drive
Fuel efficiency17-85.6 mpg
Boot spaceUp to 397 litres with seats up
SegmentMid-range value

The Land Rover Defender is a durable modern classic known for its off-road prowess and resilience in all weather conditions. You have to account for its high initial list price, but it’s a practical long-term investment thanks to low depreciation.

The Defender excels in tackling challenging terrains with remarkable ease — steep slope navigation, water wading, and impressive approach and departure angles. The ride quality may feel less smooth on open roads, but the robust design and enduring appeal entirely make up for it.

The well-crafted interior adds to the overall quality, but potential buyers should prioritize a complete service history. There may be reliability challenges in older Defenders.

3. Porsche Macan

Price for a used carFrom £17,900
Body typeSUV
Gearbox typeAutomatic, manual
Doors5
Seats5
FuelPetrol, diesel
Drive typeFour-wheel drive
Fuel efficiency17-25 mpg
Boot spaceUp to 488 litres with seats up
SegmentPremium and luxury

The Porsche Macan surprisingly falls into the realm of affordability among luxury cars, contrary to expectations for a Porsche. Keep in mind that Porsche has a tendency to make desirable features optional. So, choosing the right model and specs is crucial for maintaining its strong resale value and slowest depreciating status.

This small SUV brings in punchy engines, precise steering, and ample grip. That said, its sporty appeal extends to a comfortable ride, which makes it an unexpectedly practical choice for families. On the used market, the Macan offers a high-quality build with a plush interior, chunky switchgear, and attractive leathers.

4. Jeep Wrangler

Price for a used carFrom £12,400
Body typeSUV
Gearbox typeAutomatic, manual
Doors3, 5
Seats4, 5
FuelPetrol, diesel
Drive typeFour-wheel drive
Fuel efficiency17-29 mpg
Boot spaceUp to 365 litres with seats up
SegmentPremium and luxury

The Jeep Wrangler is designed for rugged off-road adventures and holds a unique position in the market. It was originally crafted as a robust off-road vehicle. The Wrangler faces few direct competitors, but if you think about how it may depreciate, its uniqueness becomes even more apparent.

You get robust power with the Wrangler, which is equipped with a 174bhp (later 197bhp) 2.8-litre diesel engine. The Rubicon variant provides a choice of two petrol engines. Four adults will sit comfortably, and five will feel a bit of a squeeze, but everyone will enjoy the charming design that forgoes modern aesthetics.

You’ll definitely hear raving reviews about the vehicle’s reliability from the previous owner.

5. Toyota Tacoma

Price for a used carFrom £3,900
Body typeTruck, coupe
Gearbox typeAutomatic, manual
Doors4
Seats5
FuelPetrol, diesel
Drive typeRear-wheel drive
Fuel efficiency17-24 mpg
Boot spaceUp to 230 litres with seats up
SegmentBudget-conscious

The Toyota Tacoma is a highlight of the truck market and gets enduring recognition and loyalty. The model is acknowledged as one of the toughest trucks. Such a well-established reputation for longevity and durability ensures these cars depreciate slowly.

The Tacoma is available in various styles, including options for off-road enthusiasts. But in reality, any Tacoma offers go-anywhere-anytime capability and a generally comfortable rough-road ride. Some owners express a desire for a smoother ride, though.

Another factor contributing to slow-paced depreciation and retained value is that the Tacoma has flexible suspension and rugged equipment — both helping with its robust performance.

6. Range Rover Evoque

Price for a used carFrom £7,900
Body typeCoupe
Gearbox typeAutomatic, manual
Doors3, 5
Seats5
FuelPetrol, diesel, hybrid
Drive typeFour-wheel drive
Fuel efficiency21-201.8 mpg
Boot spaceUp to 591 litres with seats up
SegmentMid-range value

The Range Rover Evoque is a popular choice among Land Rover’s new vehicles. As a compact SUV, it provides a more affordable entry into Land Rover ownership. And when buying used, you can stretch your budget even further.

It’s better to opt for the lower trims—Evoque, Evoque S, R-Dynamic—to get the best value. If you want something nicer, the higher-end plug-in hybrid Autobiography trim comes with a steeper price.

The Evoque is notable for its curb appeal and suits families looking for a comfortable cruiser with added sophistication. When it comes to average depreciation, the Evoque does better than rivals like the Audi Q3 and the Volvo XC40.

7. Ford Mustang

Price for a used carFrom £9,000
Body typeCoupe, hatchback
Gearbox typeAutomatic, manual
Doors4, 5
Seats4
FuelPetrol, diesel
Drive typeRear-wheel-drive
Fuel efficiency17-43 mpg
Boot spaceUp to 408 litres with seats up
SegmentMid-range value

The Ford Mustang is a budget-friendly gateway to owning a V8-powered car that’s both exciting and recognizable. Brand new models come with a hefty price tag, but the used car market offers great deals. Plus, the V8 is worth it.

The Mustang’s iconic design, sharp lines, and retro touches make it instantly eye-catching. Beyond looks, it delivers a thrilling driving experience with a well-engineered chassis for handling and a comfortable ride.

Any version packs a punch, but the 443bhp GT and the 453bhp Mach 1 are standouts. Beware of some hard black plastics in the interior, which feel slightly cheap but don’t affect how the Mustang depreciates.

8. Tesla Model S

Price for a used carFrom £24,200
Body typeHatchback
Gearbox typeAutomatic
Doors5
Seats5
FuelElectric
Drive typeFour-wheel-drive
Fuel efficiencyN/A
Boot spaceUp to 745 litres with seats up
SegmentPremium and luxury

The Tesla Model S was a game-changer in the world of electric cars. It offered impressive speed, extended range, quick charging, spacious interiors, and an appealing design. In short, it redefined the electric car experience.

The Model S delivers instant and smooth acceleration, and it outperforms many traditional sports cars. The standard Model S has 661bhp, and the Model S Plaid has 1,006bhp and can go from 0-60mph in under two seconds.

The larger size limits Model S’ agility on typical roads, but it exhibits the traits of a well-tuned sports saloon on suitable routes. Notably, the Model S stands out for retaining its value, defying the reputation of a depreciating car in large luxury sedans.

9. Toyota Corolla

Price for a used carFrom £2,500
Body typeHatchback
Gearbox typeAutomatic, manual
Doors5
Seats5
FuelPetrol, diesel, hybrid
Drive typeFront-wheel drive, four-wheel drive
Fuel efficiency30-133 mpg
Boot spaceUp to 422 litres with seats up
SegmentBudget-conscious

The Toyota Corolla takes its spot as one of the slowest depreciating and sought-after cars in the UK. Popular among car buyers, it’s the smallest and most affordable in Toyota’s lineup.

The most affordable models will be diesels, but in the hybrid version, the Corolla is more exciting. It provides options like the 1.8-litre for everyday driving and the more powerful 2.0-litre for those seeking extra performance. Car buyers note secure handling and a reasonable grip as significant benefits.

Inside, the Corolla is reasonably spacious, and its hatchback design comes with a practical and decent-sized boot.

10. Audi Q7

Price for a used carFrom £5,000
Body typeSUV
Gearbox typeAutomatic, manual
Doors5
Seats7
FuelPetrol, diesel, hybrid
Drive typeFour-wheel drive
Fuel efficiency19.8-156.9 mpg
Boot spaceUp to 295 litres with seats up
SegmentBudget-conscious

The Audi Q7 is an outstanding three-row luxury SUV that made this list with some of the lowest depreciation rates and some of the highest value retention rates. Expect a plush interior, smooth performance, and cutting-edge tech. All of this creates a comfortable ride for up to seven adults and offers ample boot space.

Over the years, the Q7 has had different engine options. The most common is the 3.0 TDI diesel. However, all models may feel a bit slow compared to the SQ7 with its 429bhp 4.0-litre V8 engine.

What makes the Q7s hold their value is its enduring appeal and Audi’s commitment to performance and innovation.

11. Volkswagen Polo

Price for a used carFrom £3,150
Body typeHatchback
Gearbox typeAutomatic, manual
Doors3, 5
Seats5
FuelPetrol, diesel
Drive typeFront wheel-drive
Fuel efficiency33.6-80.7 mpg
Boot spaceUp to 351 litres with seats up
SegmentBudget-conscious

The Volkswagen Polo is a great pick for first-time drivers and families, particularly when considering its value for money.

If you opt for a secondhand Polo with a TSI turbo engine in SE or Match trim, you’re guaranteed a refined and classy ride. Facelifted models offer even better engines and improved infotainment. The base non-turbo petrol engines lack power, but it shouldn’t discourage you because the Polo prioritizes safety and comfort in its driving dynamics.

When it comes to how it will depreciate, the Polo impresses — it retains over 90% of its original value after three years. It remains strong thanks to a sturdy build.

12. Hyundai i10

Price for a used carFrom £2,500
Body typeHatchback
Gearbox typeAutomatic, manual
Doors5
Seats5
FuelPetrol
Drive typeFront-wheel-drive
Fuel efficiency55.4–70.6 mpg
Boot spaceUp to 252 litres with seats up
SegmentBudget-conscious

The Hyundai i10 has sold over 110,000 units in the UK since 2008, and now the i10 has undergone a transformation with the latest model. Hyundai improved the i10 while keeping prices low and making it more appealing and sophisticated.

You have a choice between a peppy 1.0-litre engine and a more robust 1.2-litre four-cylinder unit. The recent N Line variant has a turbocharged 1.0-litre engine for an added punch. There are notable chassis tweaks, including new rear shock absorbers and revised suspension springs.

Financially, opting for a used i10 makes more sense as it has already depreciated significantly from the new.

Final Words

It would be nice to be able to predict a car’s depreciation. But even the experts can’t guarantee accuracy. Some popular cars might face higher depreciation, but surprises, whether good or bad, can happen.

However, don’t base your purchase solely on depreciation assumptions. The most important factor is enjoying your ride. Ideally, find an example that strikes the right balance between being one of the slowest depreciating cars and providing driving pleasure.

And here’s a handy tip: Carplus simplifies the car buying process. Get approved for car finance and enjoy the ride in no time.

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