Two-seater sports car is least depreciated sports car still on sale; it’s only beaten by discontinued exotic supercars

The Lotus Elise is Britain’s slowest depreciating performance car, retaining its list value more than any other ‘affordable’ sports model after four years.

According to data supplied by Autocar's sister title WhatCar?, an Elise 1.8 220 that’s purchased for £37,150 loses just £1900 of its value after a year and 12,000 miles, which is about half the depreciation rate of a Bentley Continental GT V8.

After double that time and mileage, the Elise’s original value has dropped by £8150, and after four years and 48,000 miles, the British roadster holds onto £54.71% of its list price.

This ranks the car close to far more expensive and exotic models like the Ferrari 458, which retains 55.97% of its new value (£178,491) and the Ferrari FF, which keeps 56.41% of its £227,107 list price.

But both of those models are discontinued, and the 458 will likely remain the last naturally aspirated Ferrari V8 model to make production, helping to inflate values. By contrast, the current Series 3 Elise is still on sale and isn’t due to be replaced until 2020, meaning its strong residual values are purely organic.

The Lotus also beats the Alfa Romeo 4C, with the £52,505 Italian sports car losing 62.8% of its value after 48,000 miles and four years. Even the previous Porsche Cayman, which has the accolade of being the last to get a naturally aspirated flat-six engine, is expected to shed nearly two-thirds of its list price in the same period.

The car that holds its value best after a year, according to the list, is the Bentley Continental GT W12 model. It is predicted to hold on to 98.6% of its list price after 12 months and 12,000 miles. After four years and 48,000 miles, it’ll be worth 55.75% of its original £189,550 price.

2017 Lotus Elise launched

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Our Verdict

Lotus Elise

Is the Lotus Elise still the last word in open-top British sports car fun?

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3 April 2017
I don't doubt What car's figures, but could the Elise's value retention have a lot to do with the fact that it is bought by private buyers who cherish their cars, spend money on extras and do very little mileage? Or that the new price has shot up considerably in recent years, or that so few Elises are sold that the data is unreliable? And is the "depreciation" calculated from new price to trade in value, or is it simply the difference between new and used prices at a dealer?
It would be interesting to hear the views of a customer with actual experience of the costs involved.

3 April 2017
What about a Morgan Plus 4 or 8????

3 April 2017
Good to see two British built cars top the list.

4 April 2017
I lost about 40% on my 2009 SC after 5 years. It ended up being low mileage with about 3500 miles a year. Lovely car.

4 April 2017
I lost about 40% on my 2009 SC after 5 years. It ended up being low mileage with about 3500 miles a year. Lovely car.

4 April 2017
Sheehan bandies about so many differently stated numbers, fractions, percentages, cash, years, miles, amount lost, amount retained, that he confuses even himself, resulting in the senseless "£54.71%" slipping under the proofreading radar.

Why not keep it simple and express all of the values in the same terms, such as percentage lost over same years and same miles, to make comparison straightforward. For example he states that the Bentley W12 tops the list due to its one year-old value but it drops below the two Ferraris after four years and there is no mention of their one year value.

I don't need to put my name here, it's on the left


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