Companies could be haemorrhaging cash when they defleet their vehicles by failing to keep track of the specification and options fitted to them.

Richard Parkin, director of valuations and analysis at Glass’s, told BusinessCar that a lot of operators lose out because they simply don’t know what equipment their vehicles have.

“Take an [Audi] A4 for example – you don’t know what options it’s got on it. Options are the most difficult thing to track. When [operators] come to defleet, if they don’t know what the car’s been fitted with, if they’re not making a thing of that when they sell, then they’re not going to get the value for it.

“They could certainly do more to realise the true value of the vehicles they’ve got in their portfolio, and I think they need to start by being better at tracking what they’ve actually got – I don’t think a lot of them actually know, but that’s not an easy task.”

He added that firms should reconsider the value of manufacturer-fitted satellite navigation systems on non-premium models in particular, as they weren’t worth the money, and cheap and easy alternatives were available even for job-need drivers.

“The interesting thing is that the residual value at three years old of a satnav, one that probably cost you £750 to put in, is the price of a TomTom. So economically, they don’t make that much sense.

“But, that said, there are certain vehicles, like a BMW 5-series or an E-class, that if it doesn’t have [satnav], and leather seats, it’s not particularly saleable because it’s expected that you have those things.

“Would you put it in a [Vauxhall] Astra? No, not from an economic perspective, but certainly vehicles that have a certain value, there’s a certain expectation in the used market that they would have certain things.”

He added that compatibility with smartphones was of greater worth for non-premium models, as drivers could effectively use their phones as free satnav systems.

He also suggested DAB radios would not herald the long-term residual value benefits that have been generally expected.

“It’s more important to have a USB port in a car than a CD changer,” says Parkin. “DAB radio – the problem is that it’s very expensive to maintain. The radio industry never wanted it.

“I don’t see the point of DAB. Given the way smartphones are going, people will be able to have [access to] all their music on their phone. What you really need in the vehicle is an iPhone or USB dock.”