It’s a well-known fact that the moment you drive a car out of the dealership it drops in value. But with the waitlist for new cars at an all-time high due to chip shortages, the global pandemic and the Ukraine crisis, the used car market is more competitive than ever before.
Thanks to the long factory lead times, used cars are holding their value, meaning if you’re looking to sell your motor, you’ll likely get more for it than you would have a couple of years ago. But how do EVs stack up?
To find out, we’ve analysed the price of new EVs and compared them against the average price of a 2019 version purchased secondhand. We’ve used this to create a top ten electric cars that depreciate the fastest, showing you which cars you may lose the most money on.
The Kia Soul almost halved its value in three years
Taking the top spot on our list is the Kia Soul which lost 49% of its value compared to the 2019 version. The SUV 4x4 saw the most severe drop in price, losing on average £17,851.
The latest version of the EV has an impressive 280-mile driving range from its powerful 64kWh battery. It was one of the first EVs that made it over to the UK and was also available in a petrol version but has now switched to all-electric only.
Picking up a slightly older version of Kia’s electric motor is an affordable way of getting behind the wheel of the Soul, making the most of the price depreciation.
Top 10 fastest depreciating EVs
|Average price of 2019
|Avereage % depreciation
|Renault Zoe Dynamique Nav
|Jaguar I-Pace S
|Smart ForTwo Premium
|Hyundai Ioniq Premium
|Tesla Model S 100D
|Nissan Leaf Tekna
|Hyundai Kona Premium
|Mercedes Benz EQC 400
|Tesla Model 3 Long Range
|Tesla Model X Performance
The Renault Zoe value dropped by 39% since 2019
In second place we have the Renault Zoe electric car in the Dynamique Nave version. It lost on average just under £10,000 or 39% from 2022 to 2019.
Now only available in the Zoe E-Tech Electric which offers a driving range of around 234 miles with a starting price of £30,495 after the plug-in government grant is knocked off.
The Jaguar I-Pace and Smart ForTwo lost 35% value in three years
The Jaguar I-Pace S version and Smart ForTwo Premium are tied for the third position, both losing 35% when compared to their second hand 2019 versions.
The Jaguar I-Pace S version is currently on the market for £65,620, the highest value vehicle in the top three. The 2019 model would set you back £42,519, meaning you’d lose £23,101 on average. The latest version is being released in 2023 with a range of 292 miles and o to 60mph in 4.5 seconds.
The I-Pace is tied with the Smart ForTwo Premium version, Smart’s compact electric two-seater. The city car has a range of up to 81 miles and a charge time of around 40 minutes - ideal for city driving and short trips.
The Tesla Model 3 Standard only depreciated by 15% in three years
If you were wondering which EV you should choose to avoid losing your hard-earned cash, the Tesla Model 3 Standard version didn’t quite make it into our top ten list as it dropped by only 15% in three years.
You can pick one up now for £48,590 brand new whereas, on a 69 plate, they average £41,348 losing just over £7,000. So if you can afford to pay a little more, buying new is a worthwhile acquisition that holds its value.
Two Teslas take the 10th spot on the list with 20% value loss
Two more Teslas take the number 10 spot on our list; the Tesla Model 3 Long Range and Tesla Model X. Both EVs dropped by just 20% in three years, making them a wise buy if you’re looking for a new car.
The Tesla Model 3 is available for £57,590 and offers an impressive 374-mile range, 70 miles more than the standard version.
The Tesla Model X is only available on pre-order at the moment for its latest version but offers an estimated range of 348 miles and 0 to 60mph in just 3.8 seconds for around £95K.
What this means if you’re looking for your next motor
From our study, you could interpret that the cars which depreciate the fastest are the worst investments if buying them new. But on the flip side, if you’re looking to pick up an amazing deal on a vehicle, choosing one of the fastest depreciating cars after it has been on the road for a few years can result in an amazing bargain.
Even some models with low mileage are pretty affordable, so buying a car a few years old could be the ideal choice for you if you're not precious about buying a new vehicle.
MotorEasy founder and CEO Duncan McClure Fisher said:
"Buying a new car at the moment is quite a challenge, thanks to waiting lists and inflated prices. While it’s difficult to predict when these supply issues may abate, if you’re in the position to keep your current car a little longer, it could make a sensible option.
If you’re happy buying used, a car two or three years old can save you a fortune. Try to find a motor with low mileage and a fair price and get it checked out by a mechanic to be safe, especially if you’re buying privately.
Remember though, that a car will likely fall outside of its manufacturer warranty period if it is older than 3-years. If this is the case, we would recommend purchasing an extended warranty to protect yourself against unexpected expensive repairs. A warranty will also protect you against the rising costs of repairs driven up by shortages in vehicle parts."
We analysed the price depreciation of EVs by calculating the average price of a 69 plate version of each vehicle on AutoTrader using at least ten results where possible. Current prices don’t account for government grants and the closest versions are always used.