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Pricing analyst attacks web sale claims

Internet-based car companies are publishing misleading information, according to pricing analyst CarPriceCheck. Its comments coincided with a Trading Standards report, 'Surfing the Big Waves', that calls for a body to protect consumer rules in web-trading.

CarPriceCheck chief executive officer Steve Evans said: “It has been all too easy for internet companies to flag up the massive discounts offered by alternative channels to the traditional UK dealer. But claims of 15% or 18% cheaper than the UK ignore dealer discounts.”

Having analysed transaction prices since August 2000, CarPriceCheck believes that UK dealers were cheaper than European competitors on 16% of models.

Mr Evans said: “We regularly find instances where internet suppliers are deliberately ignoring UK delivery charges, add incremental charges, and offer what purport to be UK specification vehicles but are actually import specification. There is certainly greater need for clarity in the market.”

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