Slowest depreciating cars: the motors that retain the most value

Depreciation doesn't have to be a disaster – some models lose value at a much slower rate. Here are the motors that have lost the smallest amount of value over the last three years.

Depreciation is a sad fact of life when buying a new car. There’s no getting around it ‒ just driving the motor off the forecourt may see it lose some of its value.

But cars don’t all depreciate at the same rate.

While some see their value drop sharply once they are no longer classed as new, others see a much more moderate rate of depreciation.

The team at AutoTrader crunch the numbers every month to see which cars are falling most quickly in value, but crucially which cars are doing the best job at retaining their value as well.

Holding value

According to AutoTrader, the average price of a used car was £17,843 in April, which is up by 1.5% on March and 2.7% year-on-year. 

AutoTrader pointed out that used car prices have grown on an annual basis for a whopping 37 straight months, which is great news if you are about to sell a used motor.

This is largely down to supply.

There has been a big shortfall in the production of new cars, but no drop in demand from motorists for a new (or at least, new to them) vehicle.

That imbalance is pushing up the price of used cars, and stemming the usual tide of depreciation for the most in-demand motors.

Incredibly, in some cases, there are used cars going for more than they would have cost new.

The slowest depreciating cars

According to AutoTrader, these are the cars that have held their value the best over the 12 months to April.


Average asking price April 2023

Price change year-on-year

Peugeot Partner Tepee



Fiat Panda



Hyundai i10



Renault Twingo



Hyundai ix20



Volkswagen up!



Citroen C1



Kia Picanto



Citroen Berlingo



Hyundai i30



The standout thing to take from here is that i tis budget motors that seem to be holding their value most strongly, with not a single car going for above £15,000 on the list.

Keeping depreciation at bay

If you want your motor to retain its value, then understanding the factors that drive depreciation is important.

That way you can attempt to keep them at bay, and ensure that when you sell the car on, you get the best possible price.

There are certain factors that you simply cannot do anything about.

Just leaving the forecourt with a car will inevitably mean it drops in value ‒ the fact that a car is second-hand rather than brand new will dent its value immediately.

However, there are other aspects that are worth considering.

The mileage for example is an important one.

The reality is that if a car has travelled relatively few miles, then it is likely to be in better overall condition than one with many miles on the clock.

If you want to get the maximum back when you sell your vehicle on, then regular trips the length of the country may not help.

The car’s service history will also be important.

Any buyer of a second-hand car will want to be confident that the car has been properly looked after, not only by its previous owner but by the mechanics checking it over for its regular service.

If there are holes in that service history, then expect it to have an impact on the price you get for your car.

Other aspects like the car’s reliability, desirability, size and warranty will play a part as well.

Check out our full run-through of the factors that wipe value from your car. 

How am I going to sell my car?

Finally, it’s also worth thinking about how you plan to go about selling that second-hand motor.

While trading it in part exchange will be the easiest, it’s also likely to deliver the worst return, even if you have a desirable car and an impeccable service history.

We explain the best way to sell your car and get a decent value.

*This article contains affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission on any sales of products or services we write about. This article was written completely independently.


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