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Glass's Names its Heaviest Depreciators

Wed, 26 Aug 2009

According to Glass's Guide, Alfa Romeo’s 166 holds the dubious honour of being the worst depreciating car in the UK, retaining a mere 14.4 per cent of its original list price after three years.  Rover and MG cars, such as the 45/ZS and 75/ZT, fare little better, just managing to hold on to 20 per cent of their values over the same period.  Models from a number of other manufacturers feature in the ‘bottom 10’ - including Proton, Mitsubishi and Nissan - and none of these achieves a residual value better than 25 per cent.

The findings come from detailed analysis by Glass’s Guide of its 'book' values of all three-year-old cars available in the UK - over 6,500 model ranges in total.

The 10 worst-performing cars all share one feature which has a negative impact on their low retained values: obsolescence.  Adrian Rushmore, Managing Editor of Glass’s Guide, comments, “None of the bottom 10 models is currently in production.  In fact, for almost all of them the last year they were available to buy as new cars was 2006.  The used-car market has been offering these models for many years and they have been overtaken by a younger generation of cars with more stylish, modern designs.  In the case of Rover/MG-badged cars, it’s not just the models that are obsolete - even the manufacturer has gone.”

Rushmore highlights another notable characteristic of certain entrants. “Many consumers would struggle to identify models like the Proton Impian and Mitsubishi Space Star.  These cars sold in very limited numbers when new and, having failed to attract buyers then, will suffer from similarly low levels of demand as used vehicles.”

But it’s not all bad news for the cars at the bottom of the depreciation pile, as Rushmore explains.  “What might at first seem like a curse could be a blessing - these vehicles represent fantastic value for money to would-be buyers.  For example, a three-year-old Rover 45 could be purchased from a dealer for around £4,000 - some £2,500 less than an equivalent Ford Focus and £3,750 less than a comparable Volkswagen Golf.”

One product segment is particularly well represented at the far end of the residual-value table: non-prestige upper mediums.  “The Rover/MG 75/ZT is the worst performer in this depressed sector,” notes Rushmore, “but other ranges are lurking just outside the bottom 10, including the Nissan Primera, Fiat Croma and the Vauxhall pairing of Vectra and Signum.”

The 10 models which retain the least of their original list price (as a percentage) after three years and 39,000 miles are as follows:

1.  Alfa Romeo 166, 14.4%
2.  Rover 45 / MG ZS, 20.3%
3.  Rover CityRover, 20.4%
4.  Rover 75 / MG ZT, 21.3%
5.  Proton Impian, 22.0%
6.  Mitsubishi Space Star, 22.5%
7.  Nissan Terrano, 22.9%
8.  Alfa Romeo 156, 24.2%
9.  Renault Laguna, 24.3%
10.  Cadillac CTS, 24.8%

Honest John comments: Production of Alfa Romeo 166s was officially discontinued in February 2006, and some 166s sold as new were up to two years old on date of sale. Very few were actually sold in the UK. Production of all Rovers ended in April 2005, so any sold after that date were not, in fact, "new" cars at all. Not only that, none of the cars on the list were actually bought at anything like "list price", so have not actually depreciated in real terms by as much as the figures suggest.


More at Glass's Guide


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