It makes sense to think of large purchases such as cars not only in terms of cost, but also value over time. We list the 10 motors expected to hold their value in 2012.
Cars are notorious for plummeting in value the moment you drive them off the forecourt.
Phill Jones, commercial director of used car specialist Motors.co.uk says: "Motoring costs are escalating across the board.
"So it's more important than ever to make the right choice when it comes to one of your family’s biggest purchases.
Research before you buy
"The budgets of UK consumers are coming under increasing pressure with rising fuel and living costs.
"By doing a bit of research, you can ensure you make the right choice when buying a used car."
Motors.co.uk has compiled a list of 10 cars which best retain their value in 2012.
There is obviously a good deal of variation between makes and models. But as a rule of thumb small cars tend to be the best bet.
1. BMW 1-series
The Beemer family line comes in at number one for the lowest depreciation. A 2010 model, as pictured above, will cost around £19,197. These cost around £20,329 brand new so that’s a mere 5.6 per cent annual drop in value.
2. Ford Focus
Another good family runaround, this depreciates at a very modest rate of about 6 per cent. A new model bought last year for £11,919 will cost £11,207 now.
3. Fiat 500
This is a very popular first car in the UK. It’s a compact wee thing and looks a bit like a mouse. A model at £9,815 in the showroom will now have dropped around 7 per cent and should cost around £9,137. As such, the 2011 and 2010 versions are worth checking out.
4. BMW 5 Series
This is the first mid-size motor on the list. An executive car at an executive price, these cost about £35,590 on average last year. It’s dropped 11 per cent since then, so a year-old vehicle would now cost about £31,758.
5. Audi A3
Another family vehicle, the Audi A3 has a rate of depreciation of around 12 per cent. A year-old model will cost around £18,437. It would have been on the forecourt for about £20,994.
6. Vauxhall Corsa
For young drivers, the Vauxhall Corsa is a reliable car with a reliably good resale value. It drops in value by about 13 per cent each year so a Corsa that cost £9,475 twelve months ago can now be picked up for around £8,206.
7. Ford Ka
The second Ford on the list, a Ka will drop in value by just 13 per cent annually. So if you bought a new model last year for £8,866, it would now sell for around £7,659.
You’ll be amazed at a Mazda’s resale value. It drops by only 14 per cent a year. A brand-new Mazda6 would have cost roughly £18,379 a year ago. Now it would fetch about £15,876.
9. Mercedes C-Class
The final German car in the top ten, the C-Class loses around 14.2 per cent in value over a year. So a model which would’ve cost £26,468 last year will now cost about £22,703. It’s an executive car but it's still fairly compact.
10. Ford Fiesta
Another modestly-sized British car and a decent investment to boot - the Fiesta drops by 15 per cent in value over a year, which isn’t half bad. If you bought one for £11,133 last year, it will now cost around £9,469.
Don't forget your car insurance
Another factor to take into consideration when buying a vehicle is the cost of car insurance.
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