While most new cars will lose a significant proportion of their starting price, some will lose considerably more than others.

But with a bit of savvy buying, your car may hold far more of its value than you expect, or you may be able to target a one-year-old bargain. To help you pick a depreciation-buster, we’ve complied the top five cars that will hold on to the most of their original value last year – and the five that won’t.

Top 5 least depreciating cars of 2012


1. Audi Q5 2.0TDI (177) Quattro S line
New car price: £34,500
Price after a year: £30,375
Percentage of value kept after a year: 93%

When a car is in such high demand, as this version of the Q5 is, it helps to keep the used prices at a good level – it’s the law of supply and demand.


2. Range Rover SDV8 Vogue SE
New car price: £84,720
Price after a year: £77,171
Percentage of value kept after a year: 91%

People want and will pay for this car. However, this one is more sensitive to the variant. A supercharged V8 petrol version will not hold its value as strongly as a diesel and drivers want the best value for money – these factors influence the used car price of this model.


3. Land Rover Discovery 4 3.0SDV6 255 XS auto
New car price: £45,575
Price after a year: £41,022
Percentage of value kept after a year: 90%

Land Rover is a British success story of the past few years and the Discovery is no different. This is a car that people really want and are prepared to pay for, which means that its used value remains high.


4. Audi R8 Coupe 4.2 FSI 430 V8
New car price: £92,710
Price after a year: £81,603
Percentage of value kept after a year: 88%

The Audi R8 has been in demand ever since it arrived in 2007 – it demanded high premiums for a brand new one then and this high demand and remarkable customer satisfaction mean that remarkably few of them end up on the used car market. This means that it holds its value remarkably well, especially when compared with other supercars.


5. Porsche Cayenne 3.0 V6 Diesel
New car price: £47,390
Price after a year: £40,935
Percentage of value kept after a year: 86%

The fact that there are four SUVs (and all from ‘premium’ brands) in this list shouldn’t come as much of a shock. They are very much in vogue right now. The Cayenne has been Porsche’s cash-cow for a while and its popularity as a new buy has meant that used prices have remained remarkably buoyant.

…and the 5 most depreciating cars this year


1. Cadillac CTS-V
New car price: £68,957
Price after a year: £22,335
Percentage of value kept after a year: 32%

An American rival for the BMW M5 never really hit it off with UK buyers. Despite its monstrous performance, Cadillac’s brand in the UK is still seen as very gauche, very chintzy and just a little bit uncouth. Couple this with the fact that it could never keep up with its European rivals in terms of quality or ride and handling and their desirability and therefore price on the used market remains woeful.


2. Cadillac Escalade Sport Luxury
New car price: £65,158
Price after a year: £21,548
Percentage of value kept after a year: 33%

This is meant to be the USA’s answer to the Range Rover but it just can’t get anywhere near the class or sophistication of the British heavyweight. It’s huge, heavy, thirsty, quite ugly and with it’s chromed wheels it just does not appeal to British buyers. Add to this the fact that it’s only available in left-hand drive and this is why it’ll never be a popular car in the UK.


3. Perodua Myvi 1.3 EZi SE Auto
New car price: £9,399
Price after a year: £3,200
Percentage of value kept after a year: 34%

British drivers like to be proud about the badge that appears on the front of their car, and turning up in a Perodua just won’t cut the mustard. This is the key reason why the Myvi’s residuals don’t hold up – no-one wants one.


4. Vauxhall Zafira 1.6i (115) Design
New car price: £22,315
Price after a year: £8,051
Percentage of value kept after a year: 36%

Despite the fact that this isn’t a bad car – it’s very safe and has an extremely clever interior, most people will want a diesel version and that is what hits the resale value of this car hard. Add to this the fact that you’re likely to be able to negotiate a significant discount on its list price means that residuals are going to suffer from that point on. The supply may be there, but the demand isn’t.


5. Cadillac Escalade Platinum Edition
New car price: £69,724
Price after a year: £25,526
Percentage of value kept after a year: 37%

The second Escalade and third Cadillac in this list speaks volumes for the popularity of the brand in this country. The only reason that this one is slightly less catastrophic on the used market is that it is a slightly lower trim level and as such you’ll lose less on the used market. But no diesel option (only a thirsty petrol V8) means that this’ll never be loved in this country.

By James Richardson

@JARichardson1

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