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Electric car depreciation – will electric vehicles lose their value?

All vehicles lose value over time, so depreciation affects any car, electric or not. How much electric cars lose depends on many factors, however

Hands holding toy car and pile of coins

When any brand-new car is driven away from the supplying dealer, it immediately loses some degree of value. This is called depreciation and it’s sadly an inevitability when buying a new car. Exactly how much a given vehicle depreciates by is determined by many variables, such as how desirable and popular a given model or manufacturer might be, how old the car is, the mileage, how well it has been looked after and how dependable it is (or is perceived to be).

As a rough rule of thumb, cars tend to be worth around 40 to 50% of their new purchase price after 36,000 miles or 36 months (three years) on the road. But the number for a specific car can be far lower or higher: in other words, some cars are more prone to depreciation than others.

When electric cars first appeared on the market, in the shape of models like the Citroen C-Zero and Peugeot iOn, or 'quadricycles' like the Reva G-Wiz, owners experienced big drops in residual values when the time came to sell or trade in. This was because relatively few people were interested in buying (or even knew about) electric cars, new or used, due to the minimal driving ranges and long charging times of these early models.

Peugeot Ion

However, as electric and hybrid cars have become far more mainstream, they’re starting to retain their value better. This is down to the wider range of models on the market, as well as a better understanding among buyers of the benefits of hybrid and electric cars. There are still variations in how individual makes and models hold on to their value, though. 

As more drivers look to reduce their carbon footprint and make bigger running-costs and tax savings, demand for hybrid and electric cars has grown. This increased demand, along with the technological improvements that have made these cars more desirable, has helped to improve the overall values of electric and hybrid cars on the used market.

As can be seen in the tables below, it’s not just a simple case of buying the fanciest car and being safe, as a number of the fastest-depreciating models are also some of the priciest. Here are some examples of the slowest and fastest depreciating hybrid and electric cars…

Slowest-depreciating hybrid cars

Model

Price when new

Residual value

Percentage retained

Porsche Cayenne Coupé E-Hybrid

£75,390

£51,275

68.01%

Volvo XC40 T4 Core

£39,100

£26,300

67.26%

Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid

£72,630

£48,450

66.71%

Volvo V60 T6 Ultimate

£45,715

£29,975

65.57%

Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo E-Hybrid 

£84,775

£55,200

65.11%

Check out the top 10 slowest-depreciating hybrid cars here.

Fastest-depreciating hybrid cars

Model

Price when new

Residual value

Percentage retained

DS 9 E-TENSE Performance Line+

£54,100

£19,250

35.58%

Audi A8 60 TFSI e

£89,505

£32,150

35.92%

Audi A6 55 Saloon Quattro 2.0 TFSIe PHEV Vorsprung

£78,005

£28,825

36.95%

Kia Optima Sportswagon 2.0 h GDI PHEV

£35,345

£13,100

37.06%

Lexus LS 500 3.5 h V6 Premium Pack

£89,765

£33,300

37.10%

Check out the top 10 fastest-depreciating hybrid cars here.

Slowest-depreciating electric cars

Model

Price when new

Residual value

Percentage retained

Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo Turbo S

£140,415

£100,100

71.29%

Polestar 2 Dual-Motor Long Range

£45,900

£28,500

62.09%

Vauxhall Mokka-e Ultimate

£31,995

£19,525.

61.03%

Tesla Model 3 Long Range

£48,490

£29,425

60.68%

BMW iX3 M Sport

£60,970

£36,050

59.13%

Check out the top 10 slowest-depreciating electric cars here.

Fastest-depreciating electric cars

Model

Price when new

Residual value

Percentage retained

Smart EQ ForTwo Cabrio Exclusive

£25,795

£10,500

40.71%

Citroen e-Berlingo Feel XL 

£35,955

£15,225

42.34%

Smart EQ ForFour Exclusive

£23,445

£10,225

43.61%

Tesla Model S

£95,980

£41,975

43.73%

Audi e-tron 50 quattro Vorsprung 

£86,470

£39,050

45.16%

Check out the top 10 fastest-depreciating electric cars here

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