James Ruppert: how to take advantage of depreciation

I had to look at some stats the other day and it seems that electric cars outperform diesel and petrol when it comes to holding their value. Apparently a study of more than 7000 cars by our sister title What Car? revealed electric and hybrid models retain most value over three years and 30,000 miles, with diesels depreciating the fastest. 

That’s interesting, because for me it brings into sharp focus just how irrelevant resale value is. Apparently everyone now buys cars on a PCP basis, so although the future value affects the monthly payments, the used cash buyer wants to hear the bad resale news because it makes that model cheaper for them to buy. 

Just so you know, the new car money is going into the premium brands. They will be buying Range Rover Evoque P250 R-Dynamics, which lost the lowest percentage over three years (retaining over 70% of its £38,675 price tag) and 30,000 miles. Audi A3 e-tron, Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid and Toyota RAV4 all retain more than 63% of their purchase value in specific trim configurations. 

The less resilient ’lecky and hybrid cars are headed by Renault’s Zoe in R110 i Dynamique Nav trim, holding just 26.6% of its value. Meanwhile, the other high depreciators are all oil-fired and include the Fiat Doblo and Tipo, Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer and Peugeot 308 SW diesel. A prestige badge, however, does not protect anyone from a drop in value, so the Maserati Quattroporte V6 diesel, BMW 420d convertible and Jaguar XJ V6 are also at the bottom end of the chart. 

So there’s your instant guide to what you should be buying in a few years’ time when the PCP expires. I would leave it even longer for a full shakeout of values, and, mostly for the stupidest of reasons, it doesn’t look at all good for diesels. 

Answer: Last year, sister magazine What Car? surveyed 251 new car models and found that just 8% of them came with a full-size spare wheel, 30% with a space-saver and 55% with a repair kit. The rest had run-flat tyres. You’ll find most versions of the cars you mention have a space-saver wheel. Certainly, all Aygos do. On the C1, a space-saver is available from Feel trim upwards but on the 108 you’ll have to splash out on Allure to get it. John Evans