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Which small car will have the best resale value?


We're looking at changing my wife's car for something smaller as our daughter is learning to drive. The car is a 2002 Volvo S60 (2.0T petrol, tax €600) and from talking to dealers will be hard to sell privately or get over €2k trade-in.

We were thinking of going for a Skoda Combi (1.2T petrol, €105 tax), but are concerned with resale value. Other smaller cars (e.g. Ford Fiesta, VW Polo) are more expensive, offer less kit and space, but might have better resale values in five years. Any thoughts of suggestions on what to do, or go for?

Filed under choosing new car - Asked by Pat Rowan (Dublin) - Sun, 15 Aug 2010 20:50


Hello Pat,

As a trade-in it would probably be accurate enough to assume that your Volvo would be worth about €2,000, although you might get a little more if you sold it privately.

When you say the Skoda Combi I am assuming that you mean the Fabia Combi, which is Skoda's small estate model. It is indeed a nice little car, but perhaps something of an odd-ball and it might not be the best car to choose if you are focusing on resale value. 

There is really only one car that stands head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to residual value in the small car segment and that is the Volkswagen Polo. If you look back at the classifieds you will notice that these command a used price significantly higher than any other car in the class, so if you are buying with a view to the car being worth something in five years, this is where you should be putting your money.

It isn't necessarily the best car in the segment though - for us the Fiesta would claim that particular title. There is no doubt that if your budget is restricted then you won't get a Polo with tons of equipment thrown in and it might be shorter on power than some of its rivals, but I'd go for a 70hp 1.2 Comfortline Polo in a safe colour (silver, black or red) and you will get decent money for this car in five years time.

I hope this helps

Answered by: Complete Car Adviser

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