Aston Martin is one of the most loved brands in the world, holding a reputation that is linked to heritage, racing and most famously James Bond.
The company has recently renewed its entire lineup. Gone are the beautiful curves of previous cars like the DB9, Vanquish and 06 Vantage; in their place is a lineup of striking, aggressively styled sports cars and grand tourers set to shake up the automotive industry.
Unfortunately, Aston Martin have had historical issues with depreciation. But how will this impact the latest cars and what can the company do about it?
The latest Vantage came out in 2018 and was instantly compared to the Porsche 911 given the entry price of £120,000. Reviews of the new Vantage were positive and the car was praised for improving previous models with one you could finally take on track as well as drive down winding country roads, all while maintaining the classic feel of the old Vantage.
The older 2006 Vantage can now be found for well under £30,000 and while the 2018 iteration won’t follow the exact depreciation curve of the 06 Vantage, the mere existence of depreciation from the previous model will impact the new vehicle (even with the enhancements that Aston has implemented). Cars that manufacturers release will often follow that of their predecessors - historical depreciation is one of the unfortunate issues that Aston Martin owners have to deal with - more on this later.
The 2018 updated Vantage can now be picked up for just over £80,000, meaning the car has depreciated by £40,000 in three years (33.3% of the new price).
Price New: £120,000
Price in 2021: £87,500
Percentage Decrease: 33% from new
Price in 2024: £66,500
Percentage Decrease: 44% from new
The DB11 is the replacement of the GT-king; the DB9. The car was first introduced with a V12 Aston-built engine but then later updated with the AMG Mercedes 4.0L V8, which is where the valuation issues begin.
The V12 was priced new at £160,000, while the V8 was priced at £145,000. The V8 is 0.1 seconds slower from 0-62mph, has 100 less horsepower but is over 100kg lighter. That weight saving means the V8 achieves similar speeds but for £15,000 less, making it much more desirable among car buyers. V12’s generally do depreciate faster than V8’s due to the high maintenance costs and as a result, the V12 can now be found for roughly £7,000 less than the V8 on the second-hand market. With Aston offering the DB11 with both configurations, the model will face more depreciation than if it had offered just one, but with that said, offering the two options was a blessing for buyers - those who wanted the brilliant V12 could have one and offering the cheaper V8 meant opening the car to more potential buyers.
Price New: £145,000
Price in 2021: £90,000
Percentage Decrease: 38% from new
Price in 2024: £81,000
Percentage Decrease: 44% from new
The DBS came out as the DB11’s bigger, more hardcore brother. Launched in 2019, the Superleggera offers a higher top speed of 211mph (vs 200mph), 0.5 seconds faster to 62mph from an additional 115hp from the V12.
As Aston’s flagship car, the Superleggera has a new price of £225,000 but a predicted three-year value of £130,000. While a £95,000 decrease in price may seem steep, the 2013 Vanquish saw similar price drops going from £200,000 down to £70,000 today; a £130,000 decrease. With that said, there’s no ignoring the £54,000 current depreciation of the Superleggera - but why has it depreciated so much in just two years?
The starting price is a huge factor when it comes to the massive initial depreciation The old ‘Casino Royal’ DBS was £160,000 when new and the manual was known for holding its value well compared to other Astons of the time. The DB9 was £125,000 and so the DBS was £35,000 more expensive than the softer GT DB9. Fast forward to 2019 and the DBS is now £85,000 more expensive than the softer DB11 - but as the reviews show, you just don’t get a lot more for the money. This combination of an inflated new price and lack of difference from the DB11 has caused the DBS to be less desirable than the more grand tour-focused DB11 and so prices plummeted and will continue to do so - in 2024, it will cost around £130,000.
Price New in 2019: £225,000
Price in 2021: £171,000
Percentage Decrease: 24% from new
Price in 2024: £130,000
Percentage Decrease: 42% from new
Following the global success of the Lamborghini Urus, most luxury car manufacturers have brought out their own SUVs; the DBX is Aston Martin’s answer to this current trend.
While the car has only just been released, initial reviews are positive and compared to the £175,000 (£200,000 with options) price tag of the Urus, the DBX is priced at a competitive level. With Mercedes electronics, the DBX shouldn’t depreciate due to the reliability issues, though there will be some level of overall misconception and doubt that they have solved the gremlins of old Astons.
However, The DBX suffers from the competitive market. While the Urus is much more expensive, it will hold its value better due to Lamborghini’s historic valuations. You can pick up a three-year-old Urus for the same price as the Aston, and this is where the DBX falls down. The average car buyer with this sort of money might well prefer to have the used Lamborghini with Audi electronics and stable residual values over the Aston Martin. As often said, those who will buy the Aston will buy with their hearts over minds due to the associated costs - which is a shame as the DBX is a stunning machine as far as the luxury SUV market goes.
The DBX is predicted to drop by 27% (£47,0000) in three years. This is more than the Urus which has lost roughly £30,000 in three years but less than other Aston Martins as the SUV market is forecasted to grow by 2024.
Price New: £172,000 with options
Price in 2024: £125,000
Percentage Decrease: 27% from new
Aston Martin Depreciation
Aston Martin has had an unfortunate history in terms of deprecation. The 2006 Vantage and DB9 are under a quarter of their original price which is somewhat down to the 2008 financial crisis but mostly due to the overall reliability issues that Aston have become associated with over the last 14 years. With these latest models though, the manufacturer is outsourcing the engine and some electronics to German master engineers, AMG Mercedes which should hopefully see the end to the reliability issues. However, there is one big issue that is influencing the depreciation - recommended retail price. When a car manufacturer prices their new vehicle correctly, the car gradually loses value from that new price but when the manufacturer prices a new vehicle £40,000 above what it should be - we see DBS Superleggera levels of initial depreciation. Here lies the issue with the current Aston Martin lineup - at the price points, the brand are competing with the likes of McLaren, Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati. Some would argue that only the hardcore Aston fans will buy the vehicles unless there are incentives for buyers but this leads us to the next issue.
Once upon a time, there was an almost ‘too good to be true’ finance deal on the DB11. This saw sales of the DB11 increase dramatically, but after three years there were hundreds of vehicles coming back to the market, flooding the supply. This caused a large amount of depreciation for the model and if new prices were correct, more units would sell and would incur less depreciation.
Aston Martin aren’t the only ones engaging in these finance deals, McLaren offered the 600LT at a heavy discount on finance on release and we saw similar levels of depreciation.
So what could Aston Martin do to improve the depreciation? This is something that Brego specialises in; helping manufacturers in predictive analysis and we took a look into what our AI suggested for the manufacturer.
As finance becomes a larger part of buying a car, brands are experiencing the issue of returned vehicles (from PCP deals) being worth much less than predicted. All of a sudden, it is up to the dealership/ manufacturer to sell a car that was predicted to cost a certain amount, but is now worth a lot less. Aston Martin would have had to have sold the DB11s that came back from the original PCP deal - but due to the large depreciation, they were all worth a lot less than expected.
Aston Martin also have to worry about this for future buyers - a brand with low residual value expectations may not sell as well as another brand that holds residual values - and this all impacts how many vehicles the manufacturer can shift.
First of all, pricing the cars competitively in order to be more in-line with the market. With entry prices of £120,000 up to £225,000, the cars need to be on par with the likes of McLaren, Ferrari and Lamborghini in order to be competitive. If the cars aren’t competitive in terms of specifications, then the suggestion would be to lower the prices if possible. Altering the price slightly would dramatically affect the depreciation curve and better position the brand within the market.
Secondly, while unpopular with some car buyers, we would recommend that they stop offering heavy discounts on the vehicles. Discounts often affect how desirable cars are in the future - while it may increase initial sales, future used car sales are affected and demand decreases for the vehicles when they come back from the finance deals. Porsche are a great example of a brand that hold values well - and this is partly due to the lack of discounts they give buyers.
Finally, the reliability aspect of the cars will have to be addressed. Aston Martin have hand-built cars from the beginning and have recently done a great job to get the engines, electronics and some of the interior from AMG Mercedes - this is the biggest step to keep the residual values up.
Aston Martin’s of the 2000’s and 2010’s have a reputation for electronic gremlins and mechanical faults, potentially from being hand-built here in the UK, so in partnering with one of the biggest German manufacturers, they’ve taken a huge step toward improvement.
Now that Aston have entered into Formula 1, it will be interesting to see the (hopefully positive) impact on sales of the cars - following the above, the brand has real potential to change how the road cars depreciate and in doing so, they will become more desirable and hopefully, more profitable.