RAC Cars News


The best used cars to avoid depreciation

By raccars Published

Jaguar XF

How to avoid the dreaded depreciation hit

Nobody wants it – that sick-in-the-stomach feeling when you run an online car valuation and learn that your car is worth a lot less than you thought it was – you can get a FREE car valuation with RAC Cars

So how do you at least reduce your depreciation risk? Two answers – buy well and also look after it (in the right way)

Buying well

The best small car

• Fiat 500 – go for anything after the 2007 re-launch and avoid the pumped-up 500L version – see our pick of the week here

• Mini Cooper – covered in one of our earlier weekly newsletters, an amazing drive for the money – see our pick of the week here

• Audi A1 – often forgotten, the baby of the Audi fleet can be picked up for well under £5000 and it’s probably the best of the super-minis for retaining value – see our pick of the week here

The best medium and large-size cars

• Mercedes C Class Coupe – often the fleet driver’s car of choice. Look for the exec pack for best value – see our pick of the week here

• Toyota Prius – not just an environmentally-conscious or trendy drive, it’s a great car in its own right – see our pick of the week here

• Jaguar XF – the executive’s favourite, often available with higher mileage but excellent service histories – see our pick of the week here


• Nissan Juke – you either love or hate the Juke’s bold looks, but you can only love its residual values. See our pick of the week here

• Kia Sportage – you can’t argue with a seven year manufacturer warranty. Trim 2 offers the best in terms of value and creature comforts. See our pick of the week here

• Honda CR-V – bags of space make this a really desirable car for families. Mixed with Honda reliability and this car has to be considered. See our pick of the week here

The Upper End

• Audi Q5 – somewhat ‘safe’ exterior styling accompanied with a delightful and spacious interior – see our pick of the week here

• Range Rover Evoque – its seen a massive surge in popularity, testament to its supreme build quality and lasting residuals – see our pick of the week here

• Porsche 911 – ok so it’s not an everyday choice (except for the lucky few) but the 997 version from 2005-2011 is cracking value today – see our pick of the week here

Maximising resale value

• Colours count – while the heavy discount of an orange car with blue leather seats might have appealed, the next owner of your current car is looking for something safer – muted colours outside, ideally leather (black or grey) inside. Exceptions exist – especially sports cars – but chose with caution

• Optional extras – the usual rules apply, that useful electronics (satellite navigation, in-car entertainment); sunroof and so on will add value – although the premium reduces over time as mileage and servicing condition become crucial

• Service history – it naturally follows that the older the car the more important that is been appropriately cared for, which means regular servicing with an established garage and also on-time MOTs with verified mileage

• Keys! – it might sounds trivial but having the master key and any other spares is critical – a replacement key can easily cost between £100-200 and is also a sign that the car has not been well cared for

Wishing you a week of happy, safe and economical driving

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