He said: 'All the major price guides have been downgrading residual forecasts for some months. The scenario we have seen over the last three years when fleets could count on a car nearly always realising more than its predicted value is behind us. Three years ago was the point at which new car sales really began to pick up following the recession. Those vehicles are now coming to the market and will create a much higher level of supply, leading to an inevitable depression of prices.'
He warned that the Budget had exacerbated that situation as Government plans for a graduated vehicle excise duty system will see private buyers shy away from bigger-engined cars. Briticliffe claimed used vehicle values were an area, like fuel, where many fleet managers took limited action in the belief they could have little impact on costs.