Colour is a key component, according to the firm's specialist car editor Richard Crosthwaite, and with second-hand buyers tending to have a 'herd mentality', a safe choice like silver usually performs best.
Although warning fleets to be careful with their stock and not to swamp the market with one colour, he added: 'It makes it difficult to understand why some leasing companies are still not offering free metallic paint to gain the reward of higher disposal prices.'
He added: 'On cars with an engine size of 2.5-litres and over, and most sports cars of any size, customers will only be attracted by substantially reduced prices if leather is absent. In these circumstances, prices for one to two year old cars would need to be about £1,500 to £2,000 less.'
Estate cars like the BMW 5-series Touring and Audi A6 Avant are attracting a premium over their saloon counterparts. Despite saloons being more popular than estates in the company car market (82% of 5 series are saloons) because of generally lower leasing rates, Crosthwaite said the pattern changed on the used car market.
'Estate cars retain at least the cost new difference over their saloon counterparts. Certainly in the premium large segment this translates to about £2,000,' he said.
Automatic gearboxes are also popular because of increasing congestion on the road and retain most, if not all, of their original new cost, and improve further in value in cars over 2.5-litres. The final piece of the puzzle is a diesel engine, because the price gap between petrol and diesel is widening from new to used, he added. Crosthwaite scotched the idea of a diesel residual value crash at this level.