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No BE price reductions - yet

Tighter dealer margins and lower carmaker bonuses mean that there are few New Year car bargains on the UK market, according to a new survey by CarPriceCheck. The canny buyer should look to import or purchase via the Internet, the company suggests.

The survey showed that the average cost of a new car rose 0.08 per cent in December 2002 compared to the previous month, while the cost of buying a discounted imported car fall by 1.19 per cent. While an Internet purchase deal saved you around 0.95 per cent.

CarPriceCheck is more subdued over previous predictions of a forthcoming lowering of prices through increased competition via the new block exemption legislation. While the company had previously said that price benefits would begin to work through to the consumer by February 2003, it now says it could take more than a year.

Chief executive Steve Evans says: “Established franchised dealers have been falling by the wayside for the past few months, and more will certainly follow. It's a really tough market at the moment.

“With tighter margins and falling bonuses for dealers, prices are unlikely to fall dramatically in 2003.”

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