When specifying cars for the company fleet, it makes sense to choose extras that will make the car more saleable at the end of its working life. 

The simple rule is that the specification should match the model.  Buyers have a different level of expectation when they are buying a city car, small hatchback or family car than when they are buying a performance saloon or executive estate.

Most equipment upgrades eventually become ‘expected’, both by company car drivers (who tend to have a higher expectation anyway) and private motorists who expect a good deal when they buy a used car.  Factory fitted SatNav was a big incentive a few years back, but less so nowadays because most smartphones have perfectly serviceable navigation apps that can be downloaded and activated via a handsfree set.

However, increasingly such extras as smartphone connectivity, touchscreen media systems and controls, driving and parking aids are expected on younger used cars, as well as multi-functional dashboard computers that monitor everything from your MPG to recommending the gear you should be in, rain-sensitive windscreens and light sensitive headlights.   While these make the car more desirable, any added value is fairly negligible compared to the importance of presentation and a good colour, for example.

Aircon – and increasingly climate control – is close to essential for business drivers and is expected in the used car market on anything above an entry level model.  Here it is more about losing value if it is not present.  DAB is an attractive upgrade in that it is desirable at the minute and will become close to essential when the analogue radio signal is turned off sometimes towards the end of this decade.  The bar is always rising for in-car entertainment and used car buyers expectations are equally high.

Where the fleet and lease sector goes regarding model choice tends to set the agenda for the used car market.  One of the major changes over the past decade has been the trickle-down of specification once only seen in the very best premium models.  Safety and security features such as airbags, remote central locking, anti-lock brakes and other driving aids are expected because used car buyers perceive them as being ‘part of the package’.

Going forwards, connectivity, data and safety are likely to be critical, giving drivers live information about their journey so blockages and accidents can be avoided, for example, and an increasing number of driving aids from hands-free parking to auto-stopping to avoid accidents.

One area where all motorists are likely to be interested is fuel economy, so more efficient engines, stop: start technology and other fuel saving initiatives are very desirable at remarketing time and are likely to continue to attract premium prices as a result.