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​Top 10 fastest-depreciating electric and hybrid cars 2022

These are the hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric cars that lose the most value – opening up the potential for keen secondhand bargains

Smart EQ family

Almost every new car suffers a degree of depreciation during its formative years – many the minute they leave the showroom. Inevitably, as a car piles on the miles, its value drops, with the associated wear-and-tear contributing to its lower perceived worth. But some cars are more susceptible to depreciation than others. Demand plays a big part in this; cars that are more highly sought-after benefit from higher residual value (RV), while those in excess supply may see their used prices adversely affected.

Depreciation can even play a part on how much you pay on a monthly PCP finance deal; more expensive cars often work out cheaper per month than their less prestigious equivalents, largely due to their more favourable RVs. If a manufacturer or dealer knows the car will be worth more when you trade it in, it can charge you less in the interim.

That said, list price does have a big effect on depreciation. More expensive models inevitably have more to lose; even if it’s worth pennies at the end of its life, a £10,000 city car will never drop by more than a few thousand pounds, whereas a £70,000 pure-electric SUV has much further to fall. It’s worth remembering that if you’re not fussed on a brand-new car, then used models with poor RVs can represent fantastic value for money. Once the first owner has taken that initial hit, these cars can be something of a secondhand bargain.

Here, we list the fastest-depreciating electric and hybrid cars, according to CDL Vehicle Information Services (CDL VIS) February 2022 numbers. The percentage figures indicate how much of each model’s list price is retained after three years or 36,000 miles on the road. You can also check out our list of the slowest-depreciating cars to get an idea of those that hold their value the best.

Fastest-depreciating electric cars

Smart EQ ForTwo - static

1. Smart EQ ForTwo (40.71%)

It’s a Smart double-header at the top of our electric-car depreciation list: with both of the brand’s models appearing in the top three. The ForTwo’s niche design won plenty of hearts at launch, but it seems that for some its limited practicality is a compromise too far. While no model fares particularly well, the sporty-looking Cabrio sheds the most of its initial purchase price.

Citroen e-Berlingo - tracking

2. Citroen e-Berlingo (42.34%)

The Citroen e-Berlingo is effectively a Vauxhall Combo-e Life or a Peugeot e-Rifter in all but name. The styling is subtly different, but the three models share a wide range of parts, as well as their batteries and electric motors. Loads of space, sliding doors, fast charging and a 170-mile range – each offers plenty of appeal for those after a practical family car. Just be sure to factor in relatively heavy depreciation when you look at buying one.

Smart EQ ForFour - tracking

3. Smart EQ ForFour (43.61%)

The other Smart to feature in our list of the fastest-depreciating electric cars is the four-seat, four-door EQ ForFour. Likely due to its modest range and limited practicality, the EQ ForFour – specifically in pricier Exclusive specification – will hold on to just 43.61% of its list price after three years or 36,000 miles.

Tesla Model S - tracking

4. Tesla Model S (43.73%)

While the Model 3 and Model X can be found on our list of the slowest depreciators, the longest serving Tesla still on sale, the Model S, isn’t quite so fortunate. Although the Model S is still a desirable car, with its class-leading technology and solid performance – especially if you opt for Plaid spec – it doesn’t seem to be quite as desirable when it comes to selling it on, with both variants of the latest Model S retaining less than 46% of their initial value after three years.

Audi e-tron - tracking

5. Audi e-tron (45.16%)

Audi’s first electric production car is impressive, but going up against rivals such as the Tesla Model X and Jaguar I-Pace meant the competition was fierce from day one. This applies to depreciation, too, as the e-tron is a mixed bag when it comes to holding value. While the best performer is the entry-level e-tron 50 Quattro Technik, retaining a reasonable 54.22%, the range-topping Vorsprung trim level fares much worse, dropping to 45.16% of new value.

Kia e-Niro

6. Kia e-Niro (45.90%)

While many eyes are now on the EV6, the more understated Kia e-Niro remains a great choice if you’re looking for an electric family car. Up to 282 miles of battery range, plenty of space, up-to-date technology and an array of safety kit all makes the e-Niro a tempting purchase. However, you’ll need to fork out for the larger 64kWh battery if you want to reduce your losses from depreciation.

Fiat 500e - tracking

7. Fiat 500C (46.03%)

We like the Fiat 500 a lot – so much so that we named it Best Urban Electric Car in the 2022 Driving Electric Awards. While it does many things well, one factor that no car can possibly change is the British weather, and this is affecting the 500C convertible’s resale value. Hardtop 500s fare better, but no 500 currently manages to exceed a 51% retention rate.

Zoe

8. Renault ZOE (46.10%)

The Renault ZOE finds itself in eighth place on this list, which is something of a surprise given its solid real-world range and reasonable price. However, recent revelations regarding the car’s Euro NCAP safety rating have done some damage to the little Renault’s reputation. The upsides, though, are that the latest ZOEs offer plenty of kit, plus the all-important rapid-charging capability.

Peugeot e-Rifter MPV - tracking

9. Peugeot e-Rifter (46.16%)

Unlike its sister car, the Citroen e-Berlingo, the Peugeot e-Rifter fares slightly better when it comes to depreciation. However, prices between the three models can vary considerably, so if you’re deciding between an e-Rifter, e-Berlingo or Vauxhall Combo-e Life, make sure to do your maths and shop around for the best deal.

Hyundai Ioniq Electric - tracking

10. Hyundai Ioniq Electric (46.33%)

While perhaps not as established as cars like the Renault ZOE or Nissan Leaf, the Hyundai Ioniq Electric – not to be confused with the Ioniq 5 – is still one of the true archetype electric vehicles, having been around since 2016. It doesn’t quite have the competitive range of more modern EVs, and the styling both inside and out leaves little to get excited about, but it’s efficient and should prove very easy to live with.

Fastest-depreciating hybrid cars

DS 9 E-TENSE - tracking

1. DS 9 E-TENSE (34.48%)

Big French saloon cars have long struggled in the UK market, with buyers favouring established German rivals instead. It’s no wonder, then, that the latest DS 9 E-TENSE finds itself at the top of our list of the fastest-depreciating hybrid cars. If you want one, we’d recommend the better-value Performance Line model; the Rivoli+ adds extra luxury features, but it’s expensive. Still, buy one secondhand and you could bag yourself a comfortable, refined, tech-laden executive saloon for a fraction of what it would cost new.

BMW 7 Series - tracking

2. BMW 7 Series (35.24%)

Big luxury cars have always suffered at the hands of the depreciation calculator – as you’ll soon see by reading this list – and the BMW 7 Series is no exception. Despite ditching its wheezy four-cylinder hybrid setup in favour of a punchier six-cylinder unit, a new, top-of-the-line 7 Series will drop in value faster than a boulder falling from a cliff edge. The big BMW isn't alone, however, as the next car on our list is one of its closest competitors.

Audi A8 - tracking

3. Audi A8 (35.92%)

Just like the BMW 7 Series, Audi’s flagship A8 limousine will take a huge hit when it comes to depreciation. The plug-in hybrids are actually some of the better performers when it comes to depreciation, which should give you an idea of the overall picture. It’s not as sharp to drive as the BMW, but that arguably makes it better to be chauffeured around in.

Audi A6 TFSI e - cornering

4. Audi A6 (36.95%)

It might surprise you to find even one Audi in the list of the fastest-depreciating hybrid cars, let alone three. The A6 saloon in range-topping Vorsprung spec will shed a whopping 63.05% of its value after three years, making a dent in even the deepest pockets. It’s no surprise, really, given that prices for this variant start at well over £60,000. The entry-level versions are much better value.

Lexus LS - front

5. Lexus LS (37.10%)

Yet another luxury saloon to make an appearance; the Lexus LS 500h opts for a full-hybrid setup rather than being a plug-in. While that limits the opportunity for a longer zero-emissions range, it should still prove admirably efficient for such a large car. Big drops in value are inevitable at this end of the market, but that means there are bargains to be had secondhand.

Audi A7 - tracking

6. Audi A7 (39.21%)

The third and final Audi on this list is the A7. This car is good-looking, crammed full of technology and comes with the option of an efficient plug-in hybrid setup. However, it can’t escape the apparent fate of all high-end Audis: every variant of A7 retains well below 50% of its initial value – and with such a high starting price, that’s a big drop.

Peugeot 508 Sport Engineered SW

7. Peugeot 508 Sport Engineered (39.63%)

Peugeot hasn’t used the GTi name for a few years. Now, the firm’s fastest models get the Peugeot Sport Engineered badge, plus aggressive looks and performance to match. The top-spec 508 is a 355bhp plug-in hybrid capable of 0-62mph 5.2 seconds and as many as 26 miles on electric power alone. List prices are high, though, and you’re likely to pay through the nose on a monthly finance deal.

BMW 530e xDrive

8. BMW 5 Series (39.77%)

It’s not just the flagship BMW that suffers the big losses – the 5 Series isn’t exactly a cheap car either, but it’s a lot more common on British roads. There are also plenty of variations to be had, so some versions fare far better than others. The 530e Touring leaves the biggest potential dent in your bank account.

Volvo S90 Recharge

9. Volvo S90 (41.38%)

Finishing things off in the executive-saloon depreciation stakes is the Volvo S90. Once again, there’s plenty to like about the level of luxury on offer, and the S90 certainly isn’t a bad car, but high starting prices and the shadow cast by Volvo's German rivals mean that the potential losses are greater than ideal.

Renault Megane E-TECH hybrid hatchback

10. Renault Megane E-TECH (42.60%)

Just as it started, this list finishes off with a French car, only this time it’s much smaller and more affordable. The Megane E-TECH hybrid feels dated compared to rivals, especially when it comes to the infotainment system and interior, but it does still offer stylish looks, up to 30 miles of electric range and pretty good value for money – especially if bought used.

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