The difference in residual values of cars after three years can have a huge impact on motoring costs. A £15k car that has strong residual values – like the Audi Q5, Skoda Yeti and Abarth 500, identified as the UK’s lowest depreciating cars by CAP (and published by Auto express) – could be worth as much as £10k after 3 years and 30,000 miles.
At the other end of the scale a car that depreciates badly could be worth only half as much over the same period – an extra £5k of motoring costs – which is the equivalent of getting all the fuel you use in the three years for free in the lowest depreciating car.
So we should all look at keeping motoring costs in check by paying closer attention to depreciation figures. Depreciation and residual values already impact on lease costs, but even if you’re buying outright then choosing an Audi Q5, Skoda Yeti or Abarth 500 will make a huge difference, with even the Abarth 500 retaining 60 per cent of its value over three years.
There’s no guarantee these three cars will remain the same over the next three years (although you can hedge against that by leasing instead of buying) but looking for cars with high demand and short supply is usually the key to decent future values.
It’ll save you far more than any difference in economy figures ever will.