Do Swedish car brands hold their value?

    Swedish car brands are a bit of a dark horse in the UK automotive market. Although they carry a reputation for durability, advanced safety features, and sleek designs, Swedish manufacturers are still overshadowed by mass-market corporations such as Volkswagen and Ford.   

    Brands like Volvo and Saab have built a legacy of reliability and longevity, with robust engineering and meticulous attention to detail. Along with the new electric-first brand Polestar, Swedish companies are continuing to make their way onto UK roads. But do these qualities translate into sustained value over time? 

    Long-term value retention should be top of mind for any car owner, as well as anyone looking to purchase or sell a vehicle. To help you get more money for your automotive investments, we take a deep dive into Swedish car manufacturers to determine whether these brands hold their value in the UK market.

    Swedish car manufacturers 101

    volvo dealership
    Volvo is arguably the most well known Swedish car manufacturer.   

    In the UK, Swedish car manufacturers hold a small but steady position in the automotive market, with Volvo leading the pack. 

    Renowned for its unwavering commitment to safety and innovation, Volvo has solidified its reputation as one of the top choices for discerning motorists. The multinational manufacturer of luxury vehicles prides itself on its strong brand heritage and Scandinavian design, even though its parent company is now the Chinese automotive company Geely Holding Group. 

    From the sophisticated XC90 SUV to the stylish S60 sedan, Volvo offers a diverse lineup that caters to various preferences while consistently delivering exceptional build quality and advanced technology. In fact, resale prices for the XC90 SUV increased by 4% from 2022 to 2023, according to Motorway data. 

    Born out of Volvo’s racing heritage and commitment to sustainability, Polestar represents the vanguard of Swedish innovation with its focus on electric vehicles (EVs). Dually owned by Volvo Cars and Geely, Polestar combines exhilarating performance with eco-conscious designs to create cars that redefine expectations. Polestar is swiftly gaining traction in the UK market, appealing to drivers seeking excitement and environmentally-conscious transportation options. 

    Cutting-edge models like the new Polestar 2 are making waves for their striking design and impressive range – to innovative factors reshaping how we think about EVs. With increased emissions regulations and consumer focus on alternative-fuel vehicles, Polestar stands poised to play a significant role in the future of mobility in the UK and beyond.

    Although no longer producing new vehicles, Saab continues to feature in the UK used car market. Revered for its pioneering spirit, Saab crafted vehicles that were celebrated for their distinctive design and engineering. Financial troubles ended production in 2014, but Saab cars maintain a loyal following among enthusiasts. While availability may be limited, certain Saab models remain sought-after.

    Where your car is designed and made is just one of the many factors shaping its resale value. You also have to consider its age, mileage, fuel type, history of accidents, and current condition, to name a few. 

    Since the story of every car is unique, it’s essential to do your homework before buying or selling. By tracking the value of your specific vehicle, you can see how market trends impact your resale price and make the most informed decisions for your situation. 

    For Swedish-made cars in particular, a few additional elements play a heavy hand in valuations:


    BrandResale value reputationValue retention factors
    Volvo😁  Excellent– Brand reputation
    – Reliability
    – Quality engineering
    – Safety features 
    Polestar🙂 Good to mixed– Innovative electric technology
    – Quality engineering
    – Emerging brand, still building reputation so resale values can vary
    Saab😐 Mixed– Unique styling
    – Brand production ceased in 2014; parts availability varied based on location

    The perception of Swedish car brands is synonymous with safety and innovation, fostering strong customer loyalty worldwide. Brands like Volvo have cultivated a reputation for producing vehicles that prioritise driver and passenger safety above all, earning them the trust of generations of consumers. 

    From sturdy chassis to efficient powertrains, Swedish cars are designed to withstand the test of time, making them a wise investment for those seeking long-term durability and peace of mind on the road.


    a polestar electric vehicle
    Many Swedish car manufacturers are focusing on sustainable, electric vehicles.

    Swedish manufacturers’ commitment to sustainability and ethical business practices resonates not just with environmentally-conscious buyers, but with UK consumer interests in lower emission, greener vehicles. 

    For example, thanks to Polestar’s innovative engineering, its electric fleet that can drive farther between charges than ever before, helping ease range anxiety for motorists. Combined with the brand’s association with Volvo’s quality and safety standards, this emerging brand seems poised for strong value retention on the resale market, even as valuation trends have yet to be fully established.

    Not to be outdone, Volvo is also expanding its offerings of all-electric crossovers and SUVs. This sustainable focus positions Swedish brands well in the UK, especially as we head towards the electric vehicle switchover in 2035.

    How do Swedish car brands stack up against German and British counterparts?

    Competition in the UK car market is fierce, with established players like German, British, and Japanese automakers vying against Swedish brands and other manufacturers with smaller market shares for consumers. 

    Additionally, newer entrants like Polestar are disrupting the market with their innovative offerings. 

    We break down their selling points below:

    Swedish BrandsGerman Brands
    Focus– Safety
    – Reliability
    – Sustainability
    – Performance
    – Luxury
    – Engineering precision
    Design– Minimalist
    – Sleek
    – Sleek
    – Sophisticated
    Technology– Cutting-edge– Cutting-edge
    Pricepoint– Mid-market and above– Offers across all price points
    UK Presence– Growing appeal– Strong presence
    Average Resale🙂 Good to strong🙂 Strong, but varies


    What Swedish car brand is most reliable? 

    Volvo has an established reputation for producing quality, durable vehicles that are built to last. The brand’s reliability has helped it gain a dedicated customer base in the UK, and has positively influenced resale demand and pricing. 

    Can I still buy a Saab in the UK?

    While Saab officially closed its doors and ceased making new vehicles in the mid-2010s, you can still find Saabs cruising around the UK’s used car market. Car dealerships, private sales, and online marketplaces are all excellent locations to look for used Saabs. In fact, there’s an active market in the UK amongst Saab enthusiasts! 

    However, keep in mind that the availability of Saabs may be limited compared to cars produced by active manufacturers. If you’re interested in making your next set of wheels a Saab, we recommend thoroughly researching the specific make and model that you’re interested in, as well as inspecting the vehicle’s condition carefully, before making a purchase.

    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. With Motorway’s Car Value Tracker, you can track the value of up to six passenger vehicles for free. 

    In addition to instant valuations, you can also sign up to receive reliable monthly price alerts that visualise changes in your vehicle’s value. 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.