Cars are a constant drain on our wallets - what with insurance, tax, servicing and so on - but depreciation is the biggest cost of all. Depending on the model, cars lose between 47 and 77 per cent of their value in the first three years.
To help you pick a car that holds as much of its value as possible, we've asked our car-price expert to predict losses for cars bought now and sold in three years. He does this by carefully analysing the market and making a calculation for each model. His analysis takes account of a variety of factors such as the manufacturer's reputation, when the model will be replaced by a new version, demand for the used model and its availability. The figures reflect what you're likely to get for your car from a dealer in part-exchange for another.
Our league tables show the percentage value our expert predicts you will lose over three years as well as the actual amount. Those that depreciate least are at the top of the table and those that depreciate most are at the bottom. For example, at the bottom of the luxury car table is the Alfa Romeo 166 2.0 Twin Spark, which costs £24,400 new. If you sell it after three years, you would lose 77 per cent of its new value, or £18,630. But, if you forked out £28,340 for a Mercedes-Benz E Class (at the top of the table), you'd lose 54 per cent of its value, or £15,140. So despite spending £3,940 more on the Mercedes, after three years, the Alfa leaves you £3,490 worse off once you've sold it than you would be if you'd bought and sold the Mercedes.
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