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UK-Europe new car price gap narrows

The price gap between import and UK-dealer sourced vehicles is narrowing, according to online watchdog CarPriceCheck.

Its latest market report claims the cost of buying cars from Europe rose by an average of 2% in May, while average new car transaction prices dropped by 2.4% on British fourecourts.

But discounts remained higher in Europe. The average transaction price cut a car buyer could expect from a UK supplier was 9.1%, while European sourced cars delivered an average 11.6% off list.

Taking account of all supply channels - UK dealers, the internet, manufacturer and import - Fiat offered the largest average discount off list price. At 13.9% the Italian marque headed CarPriceCheck's discount Top 10 for May.

Nissan was in second spot with 13.1%, three percentage points ahead of third-placed Renault. And according to CarPriceCheck's research Nissan was the most competitive franchised dealer brand in May with more than 80 models down in price.

Despite the new pricing and retail strategy by Daimler-Chrysler UK, there was movement for 37% of the Mercedes product range with 75% of models displaying an increase in discounts by an average of 1.81%. Meanwhile, BMW dealers were reducing prices by an average of 2% as importers chose to raise their prices by 1.41% on 57 separate models.

Steve Evans, chief executive officer of Autohit plc which operates CarPriceCheck, said: "Again we see the challenge facing the car buyer. With at least five established channels to choose from, we are seeing differing pricing policies from each. Where one source might increase prices during the month, another may well be reducing prices.

"The key trend remains the closing gap between average import and average UK supplied prices. From a consumer perspective, it has never been more important to ignore the broad headline information and do the focused price research before buying a new car."

May Top 10 manufacturers by average discount:

  • 1. Fiat 13.9 %
  • 2. Nissan 13.1 %
  • 3. Renault 10.1 %
  • 4. Citroen 9.9 %
  • 5. Suzuki 9.8 %
  • 6. Mazda 9.6 %
  • 7. Ford 9.6 %
  • 8. Toyota 8.6 %
  • 9. Daewoo 7.8 %
  • 10. MG Rover 7.6 %

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