UK Car Depreciation Revealed

Interesting article on PistonHeads showing what are the best and worst depreciating cars in the UK.

Mostly unsurprising, but there are a few points worth noting:

  • The Alfa 166 is serious bargain as a used car. I’ve suspected this for a while, but these figures confirm it. Very positive reviews on
  • Quite surprised by the poor performance of the Land Rover Freelander. The early ones don’t do well on, but I still would have expected a 4×4 from a brand like Land Rover to do better
  • I’m amazed that the Volvo S80 is in the list. Maybe it’s because the model listed is a saloon. I suspect most people who want a big Volvo, are looking for an estate. Rather mixed reviews on too
  • I feel rather sorry for the Fiat Marea. It seems to be well liked by reviewers on, but it loses 87.47% of its value in 3 years (admittedly as a 1.6 Auto). Could be a very good deal for someone on a tight budget
  • The Kia Sorento does very well. It was well priced to start with, has held its money well, and gets good writeups on Anyone who bought one new must be feeling pretty happy right now

Myself and some my closest friends seem to have picked our cars pretty well:

  • My previous Civic Type-R is good, although unfortunately it was a company car, so I didn’t get the benefit of it holding its value
  • Based on the Golf R32 performance, my current Golf GTI should do well. I did go a little over the top on the options list, but I knew what the tradeoff was. I’d rather have the exact car I want, rather than compromising to save a few pounds in the longterm
  • A Mini Cooper and an A4 Cabriolet feature as new or nearly new purchases made by friends. Good choice guys, and I’m sure you’ll have enjoyed reading the article

6 thoughts on “UK Car Depreciation Revealed

  1. Stephen

    I know that at the time I bought my Mini, a low-mileage second-hand one was more expensive than a brand new one, because there was a 3-6 month waiting list at the factory and a lot of people had more money than patience.

  2. Gary

    Did I make a bad choice by getting the Freelander then?

    The report doesn’t cover my 5 door 04 plate, so hopefully I’ll not be hit as hard by the depreciation. I think the early models have depreciated a lot from the head gasket issue that they were plagued by.

  3. Steven Post author

    Gary, the Freelander isn’t great for holding its value. I think the early build quality issues and the head gasket problems with the 1.8 engines were pretty damaging.

    However, your 5 door should do much better than the 2 door 2.5L soft top auto highlighted in that report. And given that you bought it used, you should have been spared the worst of the depreciation (the previous owner took the hit).

    As long as you’re going to keep it a while, and it makes you happy, I wouldn’t worry about it. After all, I added quite a lot of options to my Golf, even though I knew that I’d never get the money back.

    Stephen meanwhile should be laughing all the way to the bank. A nice new car for 3 or 4 years, and he’ll not lose too much money. One of those rare occasions when buying a new car doesn’t mean taking a big depreciation hit.

  4. Mike

    I’ve been looking for an offroader for a while and the freelander would be nice to get. A far cry from my 96 Viper… but I’m all about the depreciation.

    BTW, is the US version of the Freelander any better/worse than the UK version?

  5. Steven Post author

    Hi Mike,

    All Freelanders are built in Solihull in the UK, so in general the build quality should be the same in the US as the UK. The North American Freelander reviews at show a similar pattern of variable quality to the UK reviews.

    On the positive side, a lot of the issues with early Freelanders in the UK were due to the 1.8 K Series engine, which was never offered in the US Freelanders.

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