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Used 3-drs Worth More Than Used 5-drs

Tue, 03 Apr 2007
(Press release)

EurotaxGlass’s has uncovered a ‘depreciation trap’ affecting some
of Britain’s best-selling cars. The publisher of Glass’s Guide has
revealed that five-door variants of some family hatchback models, such
as the Vauxhall Astra, Citroën C4 and Renault Mégane, suffer from
significantly higher rates of depreciation than their three-door

In the case of a Vauxhall Astra 1.6 Design, a five-door model bought
last March (’06-plate) would have had an identical list price to the
three-door version, yet just one year and 12,000 miles later the trade
value of the five-door model is £1,250 less than the three-door (see
Table 1 below for details).

The trend is all the more remarkable given that some of the affected
five-door cars have a list price up to £500 greater than their less
practical three-door siblings. EurotaxGlass’s reports that a
five-door Citroën C4 1.6 VTR Plus bought a year ago would have cost
more than the three-door model, but would now be worth £175 less.

Similarly, a five-door Renault Mégane 1.6 VVT Dynamique bought in
2006 would have cost £500 more than the three-door model with the same
engine and specification, but after one year and 12,000 miles the
five-door has a trade value just £25 greater than the three-door car.

“These three cars have very clear visual differences between the
three- and five-door variants,” comments Jeff Paterson, Senior Car
Editor at EurotaxGlass’s. “The sportier appearance of the
three-door models helps to give them broader appeal compared to their
five-door siblings, in particular attracting style-conscious younger
buyers who are less concerned about rear-seat accessibility. In the
used car market the higher level of demand for three-door hatchbacks
translates into stronger residual values.”

Paterson continues, “With other cars in the C-segment, such as the
Peugeot 307 and Volkswagen Golf, the visual differences between the
three- and five-door models are more subtle and consequently the
differential in residual values is less marked.”

Another factor influencing price differences between some three- and
five- door models is supply. Paterson concludes, “Five-door models
are preferred by rental companies, responding to demand from their
customers. This means that, when these cars are offered to the motor
trade after six months, there is a significant imbalance of supply,
depressing prices for five-door models.”

Table 1: Comparison of retained values of three- and five-door family
Vehicle / Cost new in April 2006: ‘06-plate / Glass’s trade value
after 12 months and 12,000 miles / Retained value (% as proportion of
cost new)

Vauxhall Astra
1.6 Design three-door / £14,862 / £9,550 / 64%
1.6 Design five-door / £14,862 / £8,300 / 56%

Citroën C4
1.6 VTR Plus three-door / £13,907 / £8,425 / 61%
1.6 VTR Plus five-door / £14,307 / £8,250 / 58%

Renault Mégane
1.6 VVT Dynamique three-door / £13,087 / £7,375 / 56%
1.6 VVT Dynamique five-door / £13,587 / £7,400 / 54%

Peugeot 307
1.6 S three-door / £12,512 / £7,450 / 60%
1.6 S five-door / £13,112 / £7,875 / 60%

Volkswagen Golf
1.6 FSI S three-door / £13,707 / £10,425 / 76%
1.6 FSI S five-door / £14,207 / £10,808 / 76%


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