'European Used Cars' predicts that the number of ex-lease cars sold cross-border will total 31,300 by 2004, representing a compound annual growth rate of 10.6% between 1999 and 2004.
'The development of international fleet lessors, fierce competition, and the increasing number of used cars entering national markets have encouraged more European-focused disposal strategies,' it said.
Renault and Lease Plan are investigating the sale of used vehicles internationally to maximise residual values, with Renault already exporting ex-daily rental cars from Spain back to France and the Netherlands.
The French manufacturer supplies all its daily rental cars on buy-back agreements, and the cross-border remarketing creates a better balance between local supply and demand, according to Robert Boscari, director of large accounts at Renault's Division Europe Flottes.
Lease Plan is exploring how the internet will help maximise fleet disposal values by remarketing vehicles to a pan-European network of buyers.
'Cross-border selling will happen increasingly with the internet offering vehicles to a range of dealers across Europe,' said Vahid Daemi, member of the board of managing directors of ABN AMRO Lease Holding (Lease Plan's parent).
Daily rental giant Avis Europe has also announced plans to sell its risk vehicles on-line via a new web service in a joint venture with Navidec.
'This initiative forms part of our strategy to exploit the opportunities from the growth in use of the internet and e-commerce as a means for developing more efficient vehicle disposal processes,' said Mark McCafferty, Avis Europe's chief executive.
'European Used Cars', compiled by Datamonitor, predicts that leasing companies will have to adopt smarter vehicle disposal techniques as the volume of ex-lease cars arriving on the European used car market will increase by 8.5% annually until 2004. This will bring deflationary pressures to residual values, and combine with greater price competitiveness in the pan-European leasing industry to reinforce the need for effective remarketing strategies.