Big saloons have always shed value faster than shares in a high street bank, but that’s no bad thing if you’re on the prowl for a used bargain.

530d And the better news is that the more popular diesel versions are suffering from the same savage depreciation.

The current ‘E60’ BMW 530d is a cracking choice, and early examples are now touching the £10K barrier. Between £3000 and £4000 more is enough to land a mint, early low-miler. Like this 04-reg auto with just 36,500 miles showing, full leather and a full service history. All for £13,500, the price of a new 1.4 TDI Polo.

The current Audi A6 is slightly less desirable, both new and used, and values reflect that. We found this 05-reg 2.7 TDI with 35,000 miles on offer for just £11K.

Or how about a Merc? Pre-facelift versions of the current E-class have been falling hard in recent months and we dug up this gleaming 53-reg E320CDI Avantgarde with 39,000 miles for £13,850. If all else fails, you can always become a Stuttgart taxi driver.

Behind the bling, the diesel Chrysler 300C is a thoroughly sensible mile-muncher, and remember that it’s based on the previous-generation Mercedes E-Class. A dealer is asking just over £13,500 for this 06-reg CRD diesel auto, which is still under manufacturer warranty.

Or, a final suggestion, why not buy British? Time has not been kind to the Jaguar S-Type’s residuals, and even the excellent twin-turbocharged diesel version hasn’t been spared the savaging. This 54-reg example is on for just £9950 despite only 44,000 miles, satnav and a full service history.