Depreciation is arguably the biggest new car deterrent for most people. Some extremely popular cars made by extremely popular brands lose as much as 10-12% of the value after just a mile post-purchase. This is why the used market is on a roll in recent years, and there are no signs of slowing down.
If you don’t want the heavy depreciation hit, there are a decent amount of relatively achievable cars out there that won’t drop in value too much. It’s worth mentioning that super expensive classic cars, supercars, and hypercars are the ones to get if you want to retain as much value as possible.
This is mostly because these cars are limited in production, and the demand for such cars is always higher than the supply which means that the prices of these cars are always shifting, but mostly in a positive direction.
There are some cars out there like the Tesla Model S, Range Rover Velar, Mercedes Benz G-Class, Porsche 911 that are well known for great value retention. But some more limited cars like the 911 GT3 or a couple of classic and supercars are often appreciating above the MSRP price.
Tesla Model S
The popularity of Tesla has reached sky-high levels in recent years, and the Model S is arguably the best value proposition, for now at least. The Model S retains around 63% of the car’s original value after 3 years which is probably the best depreciation result for a popular sedan right now.
But the popularity of Tesla is so fast and steep in a trajectory that many people believe is only temporary. As much as 7 years after the release of the pioneering Model S, Tesla has sold more than 250k of these in 2018 alone.
Range Rover Velar
Range Rovers have always been popular, and many would agree that the Range Rover is the quintessential UK luxury barge. Ever since the RR went luxury, the popularity followed with each consecutive new RR model, and the Velar is no different.
The Velar retains around 57% of its original value after 3 years, and the Velar itself was introduced in 2017. The popularity of the Velar is rather obvious because this more compact RR SUV offers futuristic styling, great luxury, and improved reliability and dependability.
But if you want the value king, go for the 911 as Porsche 911s retain as much as 75-85% of the value after just 3 years of ownership. Some 911 models like the GT3 Touring, 911R, 911 Speedsters, 911 Sports Classics or special heritage editions can even appreciate after three years.
There is no better sports car value proposition out there than the 911. If you combine the value with stout reliability and dependability, one could argue that the 911 is potentially the best car money can buy right now, and I’d probably agree.
Mercedes Benz G-Class
The G-Wagon, a car equally loved by soccer moms and soccer players is equally impressive off and on-road, and it bears a legacy hardly any other SUV could ever match. All of this means that the G-Wagon retains as much as 70% of its original value after 3 years in production.
It’s absolutely insane that a 1990/2000s Mercedes G-Class sometimes costs 3-4 times more than a 1990/2000s Mercedes Benz S-Class in similar condition. G-Wagons are likely to never go out of style because the G-Wagon design is indeed timeless.
The Dacia Duster is probably not the car you’ve been expecting to see on this list, but the affordable car market should also be well represented, and the mighty Dacia Duster SUV retains around 54% of its original value after three years.
Considering how affordable the Duster is as new, it’s probably the least amount of money one can lose on an everyday affordable consumer car. Besides this, there is nothing interesting to say about the Duster.
Just like the Mercedes Benz G-Wagon, the Mini Cooper also is an automotive icon. And just like the Range Rover, the Mini is also a quintessential British automobile. If you combine these great attributes, the value retention of the Mini is a lot easier to comprehend.
A hatchback was never really the type of car to retain any value whatsoever after a few years, but the Mini Cooper hatchback retains as much as 53% of its original value after three years which makes the Mini one of if not the lowest depreciating hatchback currently on sale.
Which cars appreciate?
It’s hard to predict which cars will go up in value, but for some, the value trajectory is one-directional. Models like the Porsche Carrera GT are expected to double in the upcoming decades, so if you got around a million dollars lying around, you should buy one while you can.
Limited edition, historically important, expensive, powerful, desirable, not yet fully recognized… These are the qualities of a potential cash cow, and if you find a car that fits, carefully inspect the market, and if it seems right, you might even earn some money.
Can you make money investing in cars?
Car investments are fairly popular these days, but these require large sums of money to begin with. As mentioned previously, the Carrera GT is most definitely going to increase in value, but buying one right now is impossible for 99% of the population.
Cars like the Ferrari Big Five (288 GTO, F40, F50, Enzo, La Ferrari), Lamborghini Miura, 911R Porsches, McLaren 675lt… These are the models that are likely to be worth a few times their original price one day, but all of these cost way too much already.
How can I retain a car’s value?
The market is an unpredictable sum of causes and effects and it’s really hard to predict how well a model will sell or retain value. But there are ways one can retain as much value as possible from every car. Mileage is particularly important and so is the equipment and general maintenance.
All repairs and breakdowns should be kept to a minimum, and the general condition a car is in also works in favor or against the value of the car. Try to keep your car in the best condition possible, go for safe interior and exterior options and color combos and you should retain the maximum.