It's obvious: objects of daily use lose value over time. This also applies to cars. But what only a few people know is that the loss in value is more rapid than we think. Even in the first year, a new car loses a quarter of its list price. The loss in value of cars also varies according to make and model; electric cars in particular have a low residual value.

Massive depreciation in the first few years

A four-year-old car is still worth about half its list price. Even people who were aware of the rapid depreciation of the car probably have to swallow at first at this figure. In fact, a new car is a luxury, but one that many people are happy to afford. Expensive and large cars are still considered a status symbol. In addition to the purchase price, there are other cost factors. Of course, factors such as the mileage and condition of your car play a role, but so does the year of manufacture.

Every day reduces the value of a used car

After the first four years, the depreciation slows down, but still amounts to five to seven percent per year. It is impossible to say exactly how much this is, as many factors influence the exact value. In addition to the age and mileage of your car the residual value is calculated on the basis of other factors. The colour also has a major influence on the resale value and thus the depreciation of your car. Common and timeless paintwork in black, silver or white is more stable in value than gaudy colours or extravagant foiling. Camouflage looks, yellow or light blue make it more difficult for you to achieve a high resale value.

The brand is crucial

Red can also be complicated - unless you have a Ferrari, in which case it's a different story. The model and make of the car also have an influence on the residual value. With cult brands like Porsche or Mini, the depreciation of the car is lower. Vehicles that enjoy high demand on the used car market can be aVW Golf or a Śkoda Octavia. Mercedes, BMW and Audi also perform well when calculating the residual value of cars.

Residual value of electric cars mostly low

Electric cars have a particularly hard time on the used car market. On one hand this is due to rapid technological progress: the ranges are doubling from one model generation to the next; on the other, the current high demand will be saturated in a few years. No one will have to wait months (or even years) for a new vehicle to roll off the production line. This will automatically bring prices down. But there is another component that has a negative impact on the residual value of electric cars: the loss of battery power. Tesla, for example, currently limits its battery and drive unit warranty to eight years. As one of the most expensive components of the car, replacement hardly makes sense from an economic point of view; still too few models have batteries that can be replaced by plug & play. Although it can be assumed that this problem will be solved in the next few years, thanks to the industry's high level of innovation, it will take several years before this becomes apparent on the used car market.

By the way, the situation with diesel cars is quite the opposite. Whereas in the past it was considered to be very stable in value, things look different today. The emissions scandal, diesel driving bans in cities and the boom in electric cars are having an impact on the cars' depreciation.

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