UK's "Most Affordable SUV", Dacia Duster, Becomes One Of Country's Least Depreciating New Cars


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LONDON – Jan 25, 2013: Ever thought that buying a car with a headline-grabbing price tag only made sense in the short term? Then think again.

New figures for the Dacia Duster SUV from leading UK residual value provider, CAP, prove that you can have your cake and eat it (though whether you’d want to eat any more after overdoing it these last few weeks is another thing). Showing that as well as being one of the best value new cars, they forecast it’ll also be a good buy in the long run too. And it’s all down to being one of the least depreciating cars on sale today.

On the back of a bulging pre-order bank (over 2,000 if you’re counting) for its Duster SUV and Sandero supermini, in true James May style, the “good news” just keeps on rolling in for consumer champions, Dacia.

The latest boost for Europe’s fastest-growing car brand comes in the wake of CAP’s announcement that a typical Duster will retain an impressive 34% of its value after three years/60,000 miles. Or, in simple terms, save customers up to £3,260 more than plenty of the competition.

Holding onto a sizeable chunk of its value isn’t something that the multi-award-winning Duster finds difficult, whatever end of its price list you look at.

Up first is the UK’s “most affordable SUV”. At a shade under £9,000, compared to every other compact crossover, it’s hardly going to leave you penniless at the outset. Even so, a fair few buyers treat themselves to a Dacia as their first new car, with modern reliability, frugal engines and a comprehensive three year/60,000 miles warranty included as standard. In which case, like every other new car buyer, they will want the peace of mind that it’s still worth something further down the line.

Well, they’ll be in luck. The entry-level Access is forecast to retain an impressive 34% of its value (£3,025) after three years/60,000 miles. For that kind of money, it doesn’t take a betting man to assume that after hearing way too many glowing ownership tales, even the Jones’ next door might go out and treat themselves to one. Chances are though, that by then the word on the street will be out, so tracking down a used one is going to prove pretty tricky. In fact, due to its appeal, the entry-level Dusters have already picked up a not-to-be-sneezed-at five-month waiting list. So, if wannabe UK owners aren’t quick off the mark, soon the queue will likely be halfway to India (where they’re built, in case you’re wondering).

The news is just as sweet for the Duster flagship, Lauréate. Canny buyers will hopefully be all smiles when they learn that depreciation here too, is forecast to be unbeatably low. Thanks to a tidy combination of appealing, chunky styling and reliability, against a P11D value of £12,940, CAP believe that the dCi 110 4x2 will lose £8,540 over the same period. In simple terms, a lot less than everything else in its class, where the average loss is nudging £12,000. So, not only will a Duster prove a good buy initially, even over the longer term, it’ll still come out trumps.

Even when you look at it in purely percentage terms, it’s still a bleak picture for its rivals. Forecast to hold onto a respectable 33% over the same period, it falls just 2% shy of pricier SUV rivals from the likes of Hyundai, Kia and Skoda. Clearly, compared to its bargain £12,995, you’d have shelled out a lot more for these challengers in the first place.

Speaking on the news, Dacia UK Marketing Director, Phil York, said, “We know that the Dacia Duster is a great package for anyone after a practical, reliable and affordable SUV. CAP’s view just reaffirms our belief that its got bucketloads of appeal for British buyers. After living with one, I doubt most owners will ever want to be parted from their trusty Duster. But, if they do have to sell it, or maybe even trade it in for a newer Dacia, they won’t be hugely out of pocket. I can’t help but think the residual value forecast for Sandero is going to blow the competition away too, in the not too distant future.”

Due to unprecedented demand for Duster production from all right-hand-drive markets, including the UK, which has already taken more than 1,700 orders for it, even before test drives began at Retailers, deliveries of the award-winning model will begin in March. Customers who placed an order during the pre-launch period are naturally being given priority in the queue.

As expected, orders for the £8,995 Access version have been impressive. In a blow to some critics who claimed the attention-grabbing entry price purely a marketing stunt, it makes up a fifth of all orders. In fact, almost a third more than Dacia UK’s initial sales forecast. A little like 4x4 orders, which, at a heady 40%, are almost double predictions too. Clearly, British buyers have done their homework. Including when it comes to going off the beaten track. They’ve cottoned onto the fact if you put a proven four-wheel-drive system into a well-built, robust car designed to take on extremes of road and climate around the globe, it’s a winning, yet still “shockingly affordable”, combination. So, like the company’s current TV ad campaign and its strapline, “You do the maths”, why pay more? Especially now, in austerity Britain.

Rounding off the rosy picture, orders for the range-topping Lauréate, which make up around two thirds of sales in other countries, are following exactly the same well trodden path over here. Mind you, they’re priced from only £12,995. With air conditioning, alloy wheels, full electric windows and leather steering wheel, all for the same cash as plenty of mid-range superminis, it’s not hard to see why they’re proving so popular.

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