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Convertibles, coupé-cabriolets and supercars that hold their value


R8 close-up

In a recent blog we introduced our latest tool which allows you to discover how well (or otherwise) just about any mainstream car retains its value. You can discover what a new car will be worth in three years as well as how much the cars of 2016 will be worth when they reach six years of age in 2022. In that last article we looked at some of the key players within the city car, supermini and small family hatchback segments. Those are the cars that sell in big numbers, but what about some of the more aspirational cars? How do the models that sell in smaller numbers fare, when it comes to losing or retaining value?

Convertibles

With summer about to hit, we’re going to look at what in theory is one of the most seasonal segments of all – the convertible. Despite the UK’s frequently inclement weather, we buy a lot of open-topped cars; in fact we buy more of them than any other European country. Whereas convertibles used to be noisy and leaky so you had to be an enthusiast to own one, when the roof is up on a modern drop-top it can be as refined and comfortable as a saloon. As a result, year-round use is perfectly possible, which is why values are less seasonal than they used to be.

For new cars, at the top of our retained value table is the latest Porsche 911. Incredibly, 19 of the top 20 places are taken by Porsches, with the outgoing and incoming 911s dominating things – although the 718 Boxster also appears several times. The sole top 20 place that isn’t taken by a Porsche is taken by the Bentley Continental GTC in 6.0-litre W12 form. That’s a car that is expected to retain 56.9% of its value, whereas the Fiat 500C at the bottom of the table will be worth just 30.8% of its new list price after three years. However, while the Fiat will shed around £10,000 in that time, the Bentley will go down in value by £70,000 or so.

It’s a similar picture where the convertibles of 2016 are concerned; by the time these reach their sixth birthday in 2022 it’s the Porsche 911 and Boxster which will have held their value the best. Again, 19 of the top 20 cars are Porsches with only the Range Rover Evoque 2.0 Si4 HSE Dynamic breaking up the party with an appearance at number 12. At the top of the pile is the limited edition Boxster Spyder which is expected to hold on to 38.7% of its value; at the bottom of the table this compares with the Vauxhall Cascada 2.0 CDTi Elite which is pegged at just 14.4%.

The Cascada’s showing reflects how important an aspirational brand is to buyers; we would all prefer to own a car that’s seen as premium rather than mass-market. As a result, eight of the 10 bottom places are taken up by the Vauxhall Cascada, Citroen DS3 or the DS 3. What may be more of a surprise is that the other two slots are taken by the BMW 6 Series convertible in 640d form. Although coming from a premium brand, the 6 Series perhaps never gained the following that BMW wanted, and is no longer in production. However this BMW will be surprisingly affordable in 2022; in 640d SE form we expect it to be worth just 14.6% of its new list price when six years old.

Coupé-cabriolets

We separate coupé-cabriolets from convertibles with a cloth roof, and what’s interesting is how few drop-tops are now available with a folding hard top. There was a time when convertibles were all going this way, but now there’s just the two-seater Mercedes SLC and the four-seater BMW 4 Series – and the former is about to go out of production. By the end of the summer the only coupé-cabriolet on sale in the UK will be the BMW 4 Series.

We expect the Mercedes to hold on to more of its value than the BMW (41.1-44.0% compared with 28.6-35.2%) and if we look at the 2016 coupé-cabriolets the situation is mirrored there, with the Mercedes (which was then called the SLK) and the 4 Series both dominating the top of the table. The only other contender is the Renault Megane, which unsurprisingly trails the two Germans thanks to its lack of a premium badge.

Supercars

Supercars are generally the most expensive and exclusive cars you can buy; the only models that can compete are ultra-luxury saloons from the likes of Rolls-Royce. As a result, while the Ferrari 488GTB retains more of its new list price than any of its rivals, with a forecast residual value of 64.5% it will still shed over £70,000 within three years.

Throughout our supercars table Ferrari is up against Aston Martin and Lamborghini, with the Audi R8 bringing up the rear. It’s interesting that the Audi trails its more prestigious rivals by quite so much; the 5.2 V10 coupé will retain as little as 37.5% of its value whereas the lowest-performing Lamborghini is pegged at 47.7%, while the lowest-performing Aston Martin is rated at 52%. On the Audi’s part it’s certainly not because of any lack of ability as this is one of the best driver’s cars out there – it’s all down to the badge not being as aspirational as those of its rivals.

Looking at the supercars of 2016, and what they’ll be worth in 2022, once again it’s Ferrari that leads the table with the top seven places. Lamborghini takes the next seven slots with various iterations of the Aventador and Huracan, with the Audi R8 taking places 15-19. Perhaps the most interesting thing about taking this longer-term view is how much more mixed up things are. Things are very polarised within those first three years, but by the time these supercars have reached their sixth birthday, some versions of the Audi R8 hold on to their value better than an array of Aston Martins, Lamborghinis and Ferraris. Indeed, at six years old the Ferrari FF is at the bottom of the supercar table as it’s expected to hold on to just 24.3% of its value, which means you should be able to buy one for a mere £60,000 or so. However, this is one of the last naturally aspirated V12 cars ever to be made and in small numbers therefore, from a collector’s perspective they could easily turn the other way.

Richard Dredge

April 2019