Sport Utility Vehicles: sustainable growth versus residual value

Rebecca Platt

12 Sep 2018, Blog Post

Sport Utility Vehicles commonly known as SUVs have taken over UK roads in recent years with most manufacturers producing at least one and some manufacturers specialising in them, for example, Land Rover and SsangYong.  

More manufacturers are spending their research and development budgets on creating new SUV’s for their brands in new segments of the market with impressive marketing campaigns to go along side. With alternative fuel in the ascendancy, manufacturers are investing into this new technology including hybrid and full electric versions.SUV registrations

Using SMMT data, the graph above shows five different SUV models and the number of vehicles registered from July 2017 to July 2018. The data indicates that the Nissan Qashqai has significantly more registrations than the other manufacturers with the highest peak in September 2017 at 13,499 vehicles.

Selecting the two most popular models in terms of registrations, the Kia Sportage and the Nissan Qashqai, the graphs below show the residual value of the two cars based on the following criteria:

  • Three years 30,000 miles
  • Five years 60,000 miles

Both graphs show petrol and diesel vehicles and their residual value expressed as percentage of new and movements over the last 18 months.

3 Years 30,000 Miles

5 Years 60,000 Miles

The graphs confirm that both the Nissan Qashqai and the Kia Sportage petrol variants are holding their values well at both three and five years having a slight increase over the year versus diesel variants.

Average retail days to sell an SUV

The graph below shows average days to sell a used SUV since the start of 2018 using some of the most popular models on sale. A simple conclusion from the graph is that all eight models are selling quicker now compared to the start of 2018.

Average retail days to sell an SUV

Focussing specifically on the Nissan Qashqai and Juke models, compared to January 2018 the Qashqai and the Juke both started the year at roughly the same point, with the average days to at around 48 days. Moving on through the year, Qashqai reduced to around 35 days in March, the lowest point in the year so far. The Juke has remained steady, with the lowest days to sell in June 2018 at 37 days. However, looking at July 2018, both increased to the same average days to sell at around 40 days. With their increased popularity, SUV’s have relatively low average days to sell.

Small versus large

A reason for the success of smaller SUVs, such as the Renault Captur and Nissan Juke, is down to price point and style. Additionally, some customers simply do not want a large car. Alternatively, larger SUV’s are favoured by customers needing to tow a caravan or trailer and those seeking a larger passenger space due to having a family. SUVs typically do not compromise on space.  


With the registration rates for SUVs continuing to increase, could it be that eventually everyone will be driving one of these cars? One thing is certain, Glass’s data continues to show that demand for new and used SUVs is strong with residual values remaining high for the most sought after marques.

About the author

Rebecca Platt

Rebecca PlattAssistant Car Editor

I joined Glass's in September 15 started out on the PRL line helping customers with everyday valuation queries. I then changed roles in May 2016 to a valuation editor and have been doing the role ever since. My role consists of valuing a select amount of manufactures reviewing the market and making changes every month, whilst being out in the market place.