Kia cars best for retaining value, say experts

Parkers has compiled a list of the cars that drop the least in value after a year and found two Kia models took the top two places for 2010.

The small Kia Picanto city car was the best car for retaining value, losing just £1,247 in the first year. In second place, the Kia Rio supermini lost £1,642 of its value within 12 months.

Kieren Puffet, Editor Parkers., said: "A car with low depreciation is great news for its owners especially in these tough economic times. The Kia Picanto and Rio have performed brilliantly thanks to low purchase prices and losing the least amount of money over a year."

Kia’s small cars topped the list because of the low starting price – as little as £6,670 for an entry-level Picanto – and the industry-leading seven-year warranty offered with all Kia cars.

According to Parkers, ‘vastly improved model ranges’ from budget brands such as Kia means small cars dominated the top 50 models.

These included the Fiat 500, which finished fourth after losing £1,943 in 2010. The Mazda2 also appeared in the top ten, losing £2,022 of its value after 12 months.

This is in stark contrast to the worst ten cars for depreciation. The huge executive Maybach 62 was the biggest culprit, losing a staggering £149,552 of its original purchase price in a single year.

The Maybach 57 fared little better at £132,098 – nearly half of its original value. The rest of the worst ten were taken up by models from Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Ferrari, Mercedes and Lamborghini.

The average depreciation for a new car after one year or 10,000 miles was up in 2010 to 34 per cent, one per cent higher than the 2009 level.