Buyers urged to focus more on depreciation than fuel economy

Depreciation is the real cash-killer not fuel economy.

Depreciation is the real cash-killer not fuel economy. - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Focus more on a car's value not its fuel economy if you want to save money – that's the advice from leading valuation experts CAP Automotive.

According to the independent experts, millions of pounds are wasted by drivers who focused on performance at the pumps when they chose their car, instead of the real cash-killer – depreciation.

Consumer research consistently reveals British motorists' obsession with the cost of filling up with fuel. But figures released by CAP reveal how choosing a car that holds its value well delivers much bigger savings over time than focusing on fuel efficiency.

According to CAP's ownership cost figures, the average cash value lost by the typical medium family car bought three years ago is £12,559 – and rising.

However the same cars, driven 12,000 miles a year, have only burned an average £4,000 of fuel. Depreciation has therefore cost the typical motorist three times as much as they have spent filling up at the pumps.


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Yet recent research has seen motorists continuing to place fuel at the top of their list of motoring cost concerns.

Philip Nothard, CAP's retail and consumer expert, said: 'Everyone assumes consumers are well informed these days because there are a lot of car information sources on the internet, but our research consistently shows that motorists have a lot to learn about the real savings they could make over the long term with their car choices.

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'The problem is that motorists either think there is nothing they can do about depreciation or they simply don't understand that fuel costs should be the least of their worries when you compare what they'll spend at the pumps with how much they'll lose by choosing one car when another holds its value so much better.'

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