This is one of those lists where you don’t want to come first. You don’t even want to be on the list. Because this list shows those cars that burn through your money the fastest, the ones that lose value the quickest and which make the dream of owning a new car a bittersweet experience.
The falling value of a car can completely dwarf all other running costs, so it’s worth thinking about resale values before you buy. Here’s that top 10 list in full, so join us for a countdown of horrors.
10. Fiat Panda 0.9 TwinAir 85 Easy
List price: £11,245
Depreciation after year 1: £6470 (57.5%) Year 2: £7520 (66.9%) Year 3: £8245 (73.3%)
Most people are going to buy this sensibly priced car because money isn’t there to be thrown away. They’ll congratulate themselves on having got a lot of stylish city car for the money, which is true enough. But what is also true is that after only three years they’ll have little more than a quarter of that value left.
9. Fiat Punto 1.4 Pop+
List price: £11,735
Depreciation after year 1: £6985 (59.5%) Year 2: £7885 (67.2%) Year 3: £8660 (73.8%)
So far, so Fiat. The Punto has been around for a long time, too long some would say, as it’s really showing its age. And if you’re not worried about the less than contemporary styling and equipment, perhaps you should pause when you consider that, last year, this Punto scored a scary zero in the Euro NCAP safety tests.
8. Peugeot 308 1.6 Blue HDi 100 Active
List price: £19,650
Depreciation after year 1: £11,400 (48.0%) Year 2: £12,975 (66.0%) Year 3: £14,525 (73.9%)
Time to leave the Italians alone for a minute and switch to the French. You could argue this placement is a bit unfair as the 3008 isn’t a bad vehicle at all, with a stylish cabin, fuel-sipping engines and a vast boot. However, that still doesn’t stop it losing about 74% in three years so make sure you score a decent discount.
7. Alfa Romeo Giulietta 2.0 JTM-2
List price: £22,060
Depreciation after year 1: £12,510 (56.7%) Year 2: £14,610 (66.2%) Year 3: £16,310 (73.9%)
No, we’re back to the Italians again. This looks classically Italian handsome, no question, but looks simply aren’t enough to overcome mediocre handling – often an Italian strong point – as well as a smart interior but one that just doesn’t have enough room.
6. Skoda Rapid 1.4 TDI CR 90 SE
List price: £18,185
Depreciation after year 1: £10,610 (58.3%) Year 2: £12,160 (66.9%) Year 3: £13,460 (74.0%)
Well, at least this isn’t French or Italian. But neither is it rapid, except in the area of depreciation. This just isn’t as good as the other Skodas, with lots of noise and a poor ride as well as a dull interior so, for once, your Skoda is going to depreciate like a car that isn’t a Skoda.
5. Seat Toledo 1.6 TDI 115 Xcellence
List price: £21,970
Depreciation after year 1: £13,295 (60.5%) Year 2: £14,920 (67.9%) Year 3: £16,295 (74.2%)
You can’t say we’re not being fair – this time we’re targeting the Spanish. In this case it’s the Spanish version of the Skoda Rapid, so much of the same criticism applies, except it’s even worse as it’s several thousand more expensive to buy in the first place so you lose even more money.
4. Vauxhall Cascada 2.0 CDTi 170 Elite
List price: £32,990
Depreciation after year 1: £20,065 (60.8%) Year 2: £22,540 (68.3%) Year 3: £24,640 (74.7%)
This isn’t a bad car at all, a good-looking and comfortable convertible with plenty of room for four, but an asking price of well over £30,000 has clearly stretched the credulity of buyers second time around.
3. Fiat Doblo 1.6 Multijet 120 Active (Eco Pack)
List price: £24,487
Depreciation after year 1: £15,737 (64.3%) Year 2: £17,637 (72.0%) Year 3: £18,937 (77.3%)
Anyway, we’ve had a break with that British car, so now it’s back to the Italians. This may have useful sliding doors and a lot of room for five but, in the MPV market, you need a lot more than that, like a flexible, adaptable interior and a decent level of equipment. Those qualities and more are missing here, but high depreciation is most definitely present.
2. Alfa Romeo Mito 1.3 JTDM-2
List price: £15,980
Depreciation after year 1: £10,655 (66.7%) Year 2: £11,605 (72.6%) Year 3: £12,480 (78.1%)
Look, we’re not deliberately picking on the Italians okay? It’s just that the figures don’t lie, in this case a depreciation figure of over 78% in three years. Holy moly, it loses two thirds of its entire value in just the first year. Competitors like the Audi A1 keep about twice as much value as the Mito.
1. Renault Zoe I-Dynamique Nav Quick Charge
List price: £29,020
Depreciation after year 1: £21,770 (75.0%) Year 2: £22,845 (78.7%) Year 3: £23,920 (82.4%)
The killer here isn’t that the Zoe is a bad car at all, in fact it’s a very good example of a small electric car that’s enjoyable to drive, has a decent range and is very practical. The thing that destroys value at such a rate is the public’s lack of faith in electric technology not changing so fast that any electric car won’t be soon left behind. In the first year alone it loses three quarters of its value. That’s not just a figure, that’s a very real £21,770 you have just lost by buying it new and owning it for just one year. Heartbreaking.