Depreciation, or loss in value over time, is usually the biggest single cost when you buy a new car. However, some cars will lose you much more than others. We dish the dirt on the worst depreciation disasters.
A new car could cost you thousands of pounds before you’ve even turned a wheel. In fact, Which? Car staff writer Tim Pitt – an avid proponent of used cars – once likened buying a new car to ‘burning a bonfire of £50 notes’.
If you can afford to buy new, it’s sensible to choose a car with a decent residual (resale) value. Many cars only retain around 40% of their original purchase price after a typical three years and 36,000 miles of ownership – but some are worth significantly less than that.
We’ve already named the best depreciation-busting cars. Now, to compile our list of resale rogues, we’ve calculated the worst car in each of the main categories: superminis, medium cars, large cars, luxury cars, MPVs, 4x4s and sports cars.
As most people don’t end up paying list price for a new car, we’ve included the Which? Car Target Discount when working out loss in value. This is the price you could realistically expect to pay if you haggle hard.
Warning: this list could make for uncomfortable reading if you’ve just bought a Proton…
Proton Savvy 1.2 Style
List price: £8,151
Discounted price: £8,151
Residual value: £1,956 / 24%
No discounts when new and no kudos in the used market mean there’s every reason to avoid the ironically-named Proton Savvy.
Proton Gen-2 Persona 1.6 4-dr
List price: £11,230
Discounted price: £11,230
Residual value: £2,808 / 25%
Buy a Gen-2 Persona at list price and it’ll be worth less than £3,000 after three years – a quarter of what you paid. Ouch.
Read our Proton Gen-2 first drive or all of our Medium Car reviews
Cadillac BLS 2.0T Elegance 4-dr
List price: £23,155
Discounted price: £18,987
Residual value: £5,326 / 28%
Even with an 18% new discount, the depreciation on Cadillac’s BLS saloon is so severe that it crashes to the bottom of our chart.
Chrysler 300C 6.1 V8 SRT-8 4-dr auto
List price: £44,910
Discounted price: £44,910
Residual value: £10,778 / 24%
The 300C is in its final year on sale. Despite this, we couldn’t find any discounts – and the SRT-8 model absolutely plunges in value.
Fiat Scudo Panorama 2.0 Multijet 163
List price: £29,415
Discounted price: £29,415
Residual value: £7,354 / 25%
Fiat’s huge van-based people mover is expensive when new and very cheap used. Plus there’s no discount offered – a perfect depreciation storm.
Nissan Murano 3.5 V6
List price: £38,595
Discounted price: £33,964
Residual value: £10,807 / 32%
Even after a 12% discount, you’ll still lose 68% of the V6 petrol Murano’s value over three years of ownership – the UK’s worst 4×4 performer.
Alfa Romeo Brera 3.2 V6 JTS Q4
List price: £32,878
Discounted price: £32,878
Residual value: £9,535 / 29%
A flawed if beautiful coupe, the Brera isn’t highly regarded on the used market, especially the thirsty 3.2 V6 version.
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