Best Cars for Keeping Their Value

When deciding which car to buy, cost is going to be a factor for most people. But the price you pay upfront isn't the only number to consider. Most cars will end up getting sold on at some point, so the long-term impact on your wallet depends partly on the car's depreciation and how much you'll get back for it. Check out our guide to which cars hold their value best, so you can recoup a decent chunk of your outlay when the time comes.

White VW California

1. Volkswagen California

Volkswagen’s iconic camper van doesn’t come cheap, especially when it’s tricked out with a few options. But you can make a sound financial case for buying one, especially if you go away with it often and use it as your regular car. This is especially true of the newer models, dubbed the California. If you need to persuade someone that buying one of these is a sensible move, be sure to mention how slowly it depreciates. There’s a big used market for all versions of this desirable model, with the rise of staycations and the growth of the campervan converter market helping to drive it. The California typically retains well over half of its original value after three years.

Black Porshe Panamera

2. Porsche Panamera

Another expensive car that you can recoup much of your outlay on after a few years, the Porsche Panamera is quick on the road but slow to depreciate. Delivering massive performance, the interior and ride of a luxury car, and a wealth of technology, this is a high-end car that ticks a lot of boxes. Buying one is a serious investment, so it’s good to know that all that value isn’t going to evaporate in a hurry. Plus, you’ll likely get years of serious fun owning a Panamera before you decide to sell it on.

Red Lamborghini Aventador SVJ

3. Lamborghini Aventador

Not only is the Adventador one of the fastest, showiest cars a great deal of money can buy, it’s also one of the slowest depreciating cars in the UK. After three years, a low-mileage example will have lost hardly any of its value. This is because supercars are prized by collectors who are willing to pay top dollar for a box-fresh example of an old car. What that means for those with the capital available is the chance to own an Aventador for a couple of years, then sell it on without ending up out of pocket. It’s even possible to turn a profit. Of course, the more you drive it, the more depreciation ramps up, but even a ten-year-old Aventador with a lot of miles on the clock will only have lost around 30-35% of its list price.

White Peugeot 3008

4. Peugeot 3008

Not all the cars with the lowest depreciation are luxury cars. The Peugeot 3008 is an affordable family car that holds around half of its value after three years. With an impressive drive, equipment and interiors, as well as striking looks, it’s easy to see why the 3008 remains highly sought after, making a used example something you can sell for a decent price. The second-generation models from 2020 come with the much better styling and an improved feel on the road, so look to these over the first-gen variants. Excellent, efficient performance comes thanks to a range of petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid options.

Orange Elise 250

5. Lotus Elise

Outside of collector’s items such as discontinued supercars, the Lotus Elise is one of the best sports cars for slow depreciation out there. If you’re looking to get the maximum driving fun for the minimum outlay, the Elise is a solid choice. It offers incredible grip, balance and pure speed for what in sports car terms counts as a reasonable price. After a year and a few thousand miles it will still be worth almost as much as a brand new model, and after four years it will still be hanging on to nearly half its value.

White Range Rover Evoque

6. Range Rover Evoque

The good-looking Evoque has always been one of the best cars for depreciation thanks to its desirability. The second generation, unveiled in 2019, brought in a raft of new equipment along with an enhanced drive feel and a comfortable, quality interior. All of this means it retains around 55% of its value after three years. Whatever trim you go for, you’ll bag yourself a serene ride on the road as well as all the tech and swanky features you could need – that slow depreciation is just the cherry on top.

Black Tesla Model 3

7. Tesla Model 3

With a model hurtling through outer space and a brand that’s synonymous with the performance end of the electric car sector, Tesla is certainly a manufacturer that’s making waves at the moment. The Model 3 is considered by many its best car, boasting a host of futuristic features, impressive acceleration and the kind of practicality you might not expect. It’s also relatively affordable, considering its phenomenal performance and tech – particularly when you take into account that it holds more than 55% of its value after three years.

White Porsche Taycan

8. Porsche Taycan

Of course, Tesla isn’t the only manufacturer in the electric sports car game. Porsche has been giving Elon Musk’s outfit a run for its money when it comes to generating headlines, notably with its first pure electric car, the Taycan. The performance, interior quality and handling don’t disappoint, and after three years you should be able to sell one on for around 57% of its list price. With futuristic tech, brutally fast acceleration and the fierce, sporty looks to match, it’s no surprise that demand for these stays up.

Blue Subaru WRXSTI

9. Subaru Impreza WRX

Drivers of a certain age might remember the Impreza as a car for rally drivers and boy racers, but the modern incarnation is more of a reliable family hatchback. The WRX iterations, though, still retain that much-loved, performance-focused feel. Buttressing its credentials as a sensible purchase is its status as one of the best cars for depreciation – it retains around half of its value after three years. It’s no surprise that a large reason for this slow depreciation is the WRX’s name alone being somewhat legendary, but the thrilling drive in most iterations more than lives up to that hype.

Silver Toyota CH-R hybrid

10. Toyota CH-R hybrid

If you’re looking for a hybrid that will hold its value, the Toyota CH-R is one of the best on the road. It’s great fun to drive, comes bristling with kit even in the lower-end trim options, and boasts a resale value knocking on 60% after three years. That’ll be in part down to Toyota’s stellar reputation when it comes to both hybrids and reliability in general. With hybrids and electrics being the way of the future, and no sign of Toyota losing their crown in this segment any time soon, expect these to stay in demand for a good while yet.

If you want to buy a car and recoup a big chunk of what you paid for it, your best bet is an exotic supercar. But for the rest of us that aren’t in the market for wildly powerful and shockingly expensive models, there are plenty of more affordable options. Check out our hub for more information on car value and depreciation.

Latest best of articles

Latest advice articles