Do British car brands hold their value?

    British car manufacturers are known for craftsmanship and classic designs. From Aberdeen to Southampton, British-made cars continue to be popular choices on UK motorways and country roads alike.  

    UK brands typically hold their value well in the used car market, with factors including brand reputation, quality engineering, and limited production runs contributing to retained value. 
    However, depreciation rates vary among different car makes, models, and brands. Understanding these nuances can help you get more money if and when you decide to sell your British-made vehicle.

    British car manufacturers 101

    British car manufacturers like Vauxhall and MINI typically perform well in the resale market.

    The heritage of British car manufacturers is perhaps best embodied in iconic vehicles like the Range Rover, MINI Cooper, and Aston Martin. 

    A classic British car brand, Land Rover (part of Jaguar Land Rover) first specialised in off-road vehicles for the countryside. The brand has since moved into the luxury space with SUVs and crossovers, including their premium Range Rover line, which is hugely popular in the UK. 

    In fact, YouGov found Land Rover to be the UK’s third most famous car brand in 2022. Land Rovers are known for their luxury appeal, high-spec factory fitted options, durability, and versatility. 

    MINI is one of the most instantly recognisable car brands of all time, dominating the ‘small luxury car’ segment. Owned by BMW since 2000 and manufactured in Oxford, MINI continues to be a firm favourite on British roads, with models like the MINI Cooper and Countryman celebrated for their unique styling, engaging driving experience, and premium build quality. 

    Jaguar, owned by Tata Motors Limited, is another British car brand synonymous with luxury and performance. Jaguars exemplify timeless sophistication, from their cameos in James Bond to their use by the British royal family. Models such as the Jaguar XE and F-PACE boast elegant designs, advanced technology, and powerful engines. 

    Like Jaguar, Aston Martin, Bentley, and Rolls-Royce are all revered for their sleek premium vehicles and appeal to automotive enthusiasts and collectors worldwide.

    A jack-of-all-trades, Vauxhall is another British car brand that produces a wide range of vehicles, from compact cars to hatchbacks to SUVs. Popular for their affordability, practicality, and reliability, Vauxhall vehicles cater to a broad spectrum of UK drivers across various price points. According to the most recent data from the DVLA, Vauxhall vehicles were the most popular British car brands, with over 3.15 million cars and vans cruising the country.

    Regardless of where they’re made, all cars decrease in value over time. However, the rate at which their value changes is highly individual, with factors such as brand, price, and condition impacting resale price.

    Understanding depreciation is crucial for both buyers and sellers in the automotive market. With Motorway, you can track the value of your vehicle to make the most informed decision on when to sell based on your changing valuation trends. 

    While many British car brands maintain their value well over time, this is not universal. We explore some of the top trends driving the resale prices of UK-made vehicles below.


    BrandResale value reputationValue retention factors
    MINI😁 Excellent– Iconic design
    – Performance
    – Fun driving experience
    Land Rover😁 Excellent– Luxury
    – All-wheel drive capability
    – Strong brand image
    – Performance
    Aston Martin🙂 Good to varied– Performance
    – Luxury
    – Sleek design
    – Strong brand image
    Jaguar😐 Varied– Luxury
    – Sleek design
    – Repair costs and parts sourcing
    – Strong brand image
    Bentley😐 Varied– Luxury
    – Craftsmanship
    – Limited-edition 
    – Strong brand image
    Vauxhall😐 Varied– Affordability and mass-market appeal
    – Reliability  
    – Practical

    Maintanence and upkeep

    Regular maintenance is paramount for preserving the long-term value of British cars. Adhering to manufacturer-recommended service intervals and proactively addressing minor issues can help minimise depreciation and maximise resale value. Keep all service documents for reference.

    Regular washing, waxing, and interior cleaning also help preserve your car’s paintwork and surfaces, maintaining the aesthetic appeal that British brands are known for. Putting in the elbow grease can help boost your resale value.

    Use of genuine parts

    Jaguars are often made with rare parts, which can have a negative effect on resale value as mileage increases.

    When replacing components or performing repairs, opting for genuine manufacturer parts ensures compatibility, reliability, and keeps your vehicle in line with its brand’s vision. This is especially important for British brands such as Jaguar, whose premium performance is due to their speciality parts. 

    To note, Jaguars are often made with parts that are hard to source. Some of their high-spec models contain parts from their high-end sister-brand Land Rover. The costs associated with replacing and repairing these parts are very high, so some of this risk is absorbed by a low resale price.

    Model popularity and demand 

    Here are three British car models that fetched higher prices on Motorway in 2023 compared to 2022, indicating strong values across the used car market:

    🚘 Vauxhall Corsa – Over the past calendar year, the price of used Vauxhall Corsas has increased by over 25% on Motorway. Increased demand for mass-market subcompacts and city cars, in combination with Vauxhall’s reliability and affordability, all help boost sales of used Corsas.   

    🚘 MG ZS – While the current MG brand is a bit different from the original British company, it still carries the legacy of the MG name. This, combined with a wealth of advanced features, stylish design, and after-sales support makes this compact SUV a top pick among car enthusiasts. Resale prices in the UK have increased by 19% from 2022 to 2023.

    🚘 Vauxhall ASTRA – Like the Corsa, the ASTRA has a reputation for reliability and practicality, at an accessible price point. Many ASTRA models are equipt with fuel-efficient engines (great for shifting emissions standards) and come in a variety of trim levels. 


    What is the most reliable British car brand?

    Amongst British car manufacturers, Jaguar, Land Rover, and MINI stand out for reliability, thanks to stringent quality standards and advanced engineering. Their consistent performance in reliability surveys reflects their commitment to excellence and customer satisfaction in the UK market.

    What British cars depreciate most in value in the UK?

    According to Motorway data, MINI Coopers, Jaguar F-PACEs, and Land Rover DISCOVERY all depreciated in value from 2022 to 2023. 

    What is the best used car to buy in the UK?

    While this depends on what you’re looking for in a vehicle, British models including the Vauxhall Corsa, Vauxhall ASTRA, and MG SZ all hold their value well over time, with their valuations increasing from 2022 to 2023. Vauxhalls are the most popular British car on UK roads with Land Rovers and MINIs are a distant second and third.

    How can I track the value of my car?

    If you’re not sure what your car’s value is to begin with, it’s hard to know how much its brand may impact the price.

    All vehicles depreciate at varying rates, with no rule of averages accurately describing any one car’s changing value. Motorway’s Car Value Tracker provides a free, reliable monthly price alert for up to six vehicles at once. 

    Follow changes to your car’s value to choose the best time to sell, and make informed choices about investments in your car’s maintenance.

    Ready to sell your car?

    Want to read more about owning, valuing, and selling your car? Check out more of our guides here, covering everything from depreciation to maintaining your car’s value. Understand your car’s worth in the wider market.