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Guess which used cars lost value?

You don’t need us to tell you there’s a cost of living crisis. We are reminded of this daily. Rampant inflation has spread its tentacles virtually everywhere, and the ripple effect of ongoing supply issues has led to a well-publicized boom in used car values. You may have noticed. Anecdotal stories of overexcited dealerships calling on customers to buy back three-year-old models are now aplenty.

Nevertheless, the automotive market is both very large and wonderfully unstable. As always, there’s supply and there’s demand, and while the relationship between the two tends to favor the seller right now, it’s certainly not an overall scenario. For a myriad of reasons, depreciation continues to work its magic in favor of the buyer, even in a used-car market where prices would have risen 12.9% year-over-year.

We know this because our siblings at CarGurus bumped into the data and emerged (victoriously) with a list of ten cars where the average listing price melted like a 99 drop on the Brighton seafront . We won’t bore you with the whole list (because it naturally contains some cars that we don’t recommend you sample with a barge pole), but there are some notable takeaways for PH-conscious.

Number one is the 2019 BMW 2 Series – which happens to be number one thanks to a whopping 18.4% drop from an average list price of Β£27,532 in July 2021 to Β£22,458 last month. Now we should hasten to add that this not only includes the Coupe and Convertible (which are very good) but also the Gran and the Active Tourer (which are not) so obviously some caution should be exercised drawing topping-specific conclusions. Still, with the incoming new generation G42, it’s probably fair to say that the outgoing M240i looks like an increasingly decent investment. Here’s a lightly used 2019 car with at least Β£10,000 already deducted from its original list price.

Next up is the 2019 VW Golf Mk7. Again, there’s a lot of ground covered there, but a 16.7 reduction in average price (from Β£23,272 to Β£19,393) suggests the introduction of the Mk8 wreaked inevitable havoc. CG calls the Mk7 one of the most complete family cars VW has ever built, and we’re inclined to agree. Granted, the older, lighter versions of the GTI are heading into Β£10,000 territory – which sounds like a steal – but even the three-year-old stuff looks compelling for what’s a reputably rugged used buy: check out this 2019 GTI Performance manual for Β£22,850.

Of course, the introduction of a successor to a popular model will always have an effect on pricing, but CG’s listing suggests there are other forces at play as well. At number 5, with falling values up 15.1% from last year is the BMW G30 5 Series – a car that has yet to be replaced (the G60 is due next year). The fact that the average used price has fallen from Β£36,163 to Β£30,717 suggests that the model is also struggling with declining market-wide saloon sales.

Which is great news for savvy second-hand shoppers, as the G30 generally looks great. And the choice is endless: there are 854 on PH alone, and if you’re content with a 2.0-litre engine and a few miles on the odometer, you can pick up an older model for under Β£15,000 . For less than Β£30,000 you can get all the car you’ll ever need. Even the famously expensive M5 is approaching a vaguely competitive price after three years: this 2019 example with 31k on the clock is roughly half of what you’d pay for a brand new version.

That’s not to say stylish SUVs are immune to depreciation. Encouragingly – if you care to follow the Joneses – the Jaguar F-Pace and Land Rover Discovery Sport are at 7 and 8 in the CG recap, with an average price reduction of 13.4 and 13.0 per cent , respectively. Both models have been updated in recent years – the F-Pace in 2021 to great effect – but if you’re not concerned about the latest interior or engines, previous supercharged V6 models can be had for less than Β£30,000. The V8-powered SVR couldn’t be called a bargain – but Β£55,000 for a 2019 example with 12,000 pounds on the clock is still Β£20,000 cheaper than the car’s original starting price.

Guess which used cars lost value?

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