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Electric car depreciation – will electric vehicles lose their value?

Depreciation affects all cars, electric or not and the amount electric cars lose in value depends on many factors. Let’s take a look…

Hands holding toy car and pile of coins

As soon as any brand-new car is registered, it immediately drops in value and almost all cars then continue to lose money over time. This is called depreciation and is sadly impossible for most car buyers to avoid, whether you're buying an electric car or not. 

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The amount of value any given vehicle loses over time depends on many variables, such as how desirable a given model or manufacturer might be, the specification selected when purchasing the car, how old the car is, the mileage the vehicle has covered, how well it has been looked after and how dependable it is (or is perceived to be). Ultimately, the value of a car comes down to market demand, positive factors increase desirability and value, negative ones reduce them. 

As a rough rule, cars tend to be worth an average of between 40 to 50 per cent of their brand-new price after 36,000 miles driven or three years on the road. But some cars can be worth far more or less: in simple terms, some cars depreciate quicker than others.

Do electric cars depreciate faster?

Back when the electric car revolution was in its infancy, and choice was limited to models such as the Citroen C-Zero and Peugeot iOn, or 'quadricycles' like the Reva G-Wiz, owners experienced massive depreciation when they decided to sell or trade in. This was due to relatively few people being interested in purchasing electric cars because of the small driving ranges and long charging times of these early models. 

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EV residual values also suffered as a result of the plug-in car grant that made new electric cars more affordable but meant that buyers were actually paying well below the list price from which depreciation is calculated. 

As EVs have become more mainstream and prices have come down, they have started to retain their value better. This is down to more options on the market, better technology and buyers being more educated on the benefits of electric cars. However, there are still disparities between how different EV models and brands retain their value.

With more drivers looking to reduce their carbon footprint and increase how much they save from running-costs and road tax, demand and desirability of electric cars continues to grow. This increased demand, along with the technological improvements both in range and reliability, has helped to boost the second-hand values of electric cars on the used car market.

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As shown on the tables below, it’s not just a case of buying the fanciest car to be safe, as a number of the models that face the fastest drop in value over time are also some of the most premium and expensive. 

The trick is to buy cars that represent good value when new and will retain their desirability over time. Below we’ve listed the fastest and slowest depreciating electric and hybrid cars on today’s market to give you an ides of which models hold their value well, and which don’t…

Slowest-depreciating hybrid cars

ModelPrice when newResidual valuePercentage retained
Land Rover Defender 110 P300e PHEV Sedona Edition£86,600.00£59,375.0068.56%
Range Rover P460e PHEV£115,805.00£74,625.0064.44%
Land Rover Discovery Sport P270e PHEV Dynamic SE£52,770.00£33,575.0063.63%
Range Rover Sport P460e PHEV Dynamic SE£93,200.00£59,000.0063.30%
Lexus NX 350h Urban£45,445.00£27,550.0060.62%

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

Fastest-depreciating hybrid cars

ModelPrice when newResidual valuePercentage retained
DS 4 E-TENSE Performance Line£40,965.00£13,025.0031.80%
Audi A8 60 LWB TFSIe Sport Technology Pro Pack£105,175.00£34,625.0032.92%
SEAT Leon 5Dr Estate e-Hybrid PHEV£37,465.00£12,400.0033.10%
DS 9 E-TENSE Opera£64,800.00£21,700.0033.49%
Peugeot 3008 PHEV Allure£41,920.00£14,125.0033.70%

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

Slowest-depreciating electric cars

ModelPrice when newResidual valuePercentage retained
Polestar 3 Single Motor Long Range£69,898.00£45,875.0065.63%
Volkswagen ID.Buzz Pro Life£58,915.00£36,575.0062.08%
Tesla Model X Plaid£110,980.00£68,275.0061.52%
Lexus RZ 450e DIRECT4 Premium£59,995.00£36,700.0061.17%
Lotus Eletre£90,805.00£54,925.0060.49%

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

Fastest-depreciating electric cars

ModelPrice when newResidual valuePercentage retained
Vauxhall Corsa Electric Ultimate£36,685.00£10,800.0029.44%
Citroen e-C4 e-series£36,510.00£10,925.0029.92%
Lexus UX 300e Takumi£57,095.00£18,000.0031.53%
Vauxhall Mokka Electric Ultimate£42,045.00£13,275.0031.57%
Fiat 500e Red£28,195.00£8,925.0031.65%
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Content Editor

Hello, I'm George Armitage. I joined the DrivingElectric team in 2024 as a content editor and I also contribute to Auto Express. Formerly, I restored classic cars and worked in car sales. Starting with freelance writing, I progressed into automotive journalism, fuelling my passion for storytelling and connecting with audiences to explain the amazing world of EVs.

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