The CAR Top 10: worst first-year depreciators

Published: 17 July 2015

Ever wondered what your vehicle might be worth in 12 months/12,000 miles after purchase?

If your car features in the list below, you might want to look away now. Trade valuations experts Glass’s have compiled a list of the top 10 worst depreciating cars after one year (or 12,000 miles). Significantly, the list includes three electric vehicles, whose values have dropped by as much as 65%. Ouch. On a positive note, that means great potential bargains for the brave on the second-hand market…

(Percentage marks the value retained after 12 months/12,000miles)

1) Renault FLUENCE E Z.E. (95bhp) Expression+ saloon four door auto – 27.21%

Renault Fluence tops the list

Big saloons aren’t exactly flavour of the month with UK buyers these days to start with; throw in a dash of range anxiety and it’s no surprise the Fluence’s residual value drops so rapidly.  

2) Vauxhall MERIVA 1.4 16v (99bhp) Expression MPV five door (2010 MY) – 29.05%

The Vauxhall Meriva, a popular MPV, takes a close second

Vauxhall’s clever-doored miniature people carrier takes a hefty hit after 12 months, although the base Expression model’s lack of standard kit will no doubt be partly to blame.

3) Chevrolet CRUZE 1.4 (100ps) 4X4 LS station wagon five door 1398cc (2014 MY) – 31.78%

The budget Chevy Cruze loses 70% of its value

Chevrolet’s already packed its bags and left the UK market, leaving behind a budget estate that’s jettisoned almost 70% of its value.

4) Citroen C-ZERO E hatchback five door auto – 32.07%

The Citroen C Zero. Another electric vehicle to depreciate quickly

The C-Zero was part of the early-adopter EV crowd but it’s now a generation or two off the development pace. As it dates, its values take a nosedive.

5) Nissan LEAF E hatchback five door auto – 33.23%

The base Nissan Leaf is second electric vehicle to feature in the top 10

This might appear something of a surprise entry. The Nissan Leaf is the UK’s top-selling pure electric vehicle, after all. The E is the entry-level version, however, which means stingy equipment levels. Still, a 12 month-old Nissan Leaf for £6k could represent a bargain to some.

6) Renault MEGANE 1.6 (100bhp) Extreme estate five door  - 33.26%

Megane wagon loses over 60% of its value

More bad news for French car fans, as the Megane wagon loses more than 60% of its value.

7) Vauxhall INSIGNIA 1.4i 16v Turbo (140ps) SRi saloon 4d 1364cc (2012.5 MY) – 34.98%

The motorway mileage mounter is no surprise to the list. This is the Vauxhall Insignia

Ahh, the fleet car you’ll see in every business car park. Getting a hammering up and down the motorways of the UK isn’t always a great recipe for sturdy residuals, and nor is a small petrol engine and four doors rather than the more practical five-door hatchback layout. Value retention that dips below 35% is the result.

8) Peugeot 207 SW 1.4 8v (75bhp) Access estate five door – 35.62%

A small engine, and bad looks probably helped depreciate the Peugeot 207 SW

One from the era before Peugeot remembered how to make cars pretty again. This particular derivative mixing a small petrol engine with a largish (but not quite large enough to be properly practical) body might go some way towards explaining its low retention. 

9) Chevrolet ORLANDO 1.4 Turbo (140ps) LS five door 1364cc (2014 MY) – 35.96% 

The budget car which just got cheaper, Chevy's Orlando took a hammering after a year

Chevy’s first attempt at an MPV for the world resulted in a built-to-a-price car that couldn’t compete with Picasso, Galaxy and co. Prices might have been affordable to begin with, but a 64% drop in value after a year has gotta hurt.

10) Peugeot 308 1.6VTi (120bhp) Access hatchback five door 1598cc (2013.5 MY) – 36.04%

Peugeot 308

A second appearance for Peugeot in the bottom 10, although the previous-generation 308 wasn’t actually such a bad car. The wide-mouthed grille wasn’t for everyone – CAR likened it to Julia Roberts wearing braces – but it was good to drive, well-built and comfortable. Now it’s been replaced by a better all-rounder, its second-hand values have dropped a notch.

By Matt Bell

Former digital intern at CAR