The Eurotax Residual Index benchmarks average used car prices and depreciation, segment by segment, across 10 countries - Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland.
This international analysis reveals extreme differences in residual values across Europe, with differentials of 88% in certain extreme cases.
Great Britain has the highest residual values, which Eurotax attributes to the UK's high new car prices, although the right-hand drive British market thwarts any attempt to import used cars from mainland Europe.
Other neighbouring European countries, however, have discrepancies in used car prices that could prove attractive to enterprising fleets. The average price of a two-year-old car in Portugal, for example, is 29% higher than in Spain, giving Spanish fleets an interesting disposal route for their ex-company cars.
Similarly, used car prices in Belgium are 14% lower than in Germany, giving Belgian fleets an incentive to remarket their cars cross-border. And used car prices in Austria are 15% higher than in Germany, giving German fleets a potentially lucrative disposal opportunity.
These overall figures obscure segment specific differences and ignore any potential obstacles to cross-border trade, including the logistical transport costs.
But the combination of the Euro and the internet is bringing greater transparency to used car prices, enabling sellers to advertise their cars internationally and buyers to search for the best price across Europe without fear of currency fluctuations.
'We will see a lot more used car cross-border trading,' said Professor Peter Cooke, head of the Centre for Automotive Industries Management at Nottingham Business School. 'There are enormous price differentials between markets. (August 2000)