Worst cars for depreciationWe reveal the cars that lose most cash

23 June 2011

Cadillac dealer

Cadillac dealer: please don't visit

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...

If you're buying a new car, read our free buying a new car advice guide for essential tips. Or read our guide to calculating car depreciation.

Proton Savvy

Proton Savvy


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.

Read all our Supermini reviews

Proton Gen-2

Proton Gen-2

Medium cars

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

Cadillac BLS

Large cars

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.

Read all of our Large Car reviews

Chrysler 300C

Chrysler 300C

Luxury cars

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.

Read our Chrysler 300C review or all of our Luxury Car reviews

Fiat Scudo

Fiat Scudo


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.

Read our Fiat Scudo review or all of our MPV reviews

Nissan Murano

Nissan Murano


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 4x4 performer.

Read our Nissan Murano review or all of our 4x4 reviews

Alfa Romeo Brera

Alfa Romeo Brera

Sports cars

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.

Read our Alfa Brera review or all of our Sports Car reviews


Which? Car on Twitter

Follow Which? Car on Twitter

The Which? Car team is on Twitter, to offer you help and advice as and when you need it.

We're monitoring our Twitter account every day, so if you have an account, please send us you thoughts and questions to @whichcar.

Don't worry if you haven't got a Twitter account - you can still stay in the loop by regularly checking www.twitter.com/whichcar.