The movement in retail prices in the UK was 2.3 per cent weaker than across Europe as a whole, where retail prices rose by an average of 4.4 per cent in the year to January. This is in keeping with the trend for new car prices in the UK to rise more slowly, or fall, compared to other European countries.
Rick Yarrow of eurocarprice.com comments: "Since the Government made manufacturers reduce prices in 2000, the average pre-tax price of a car has fallen by 30 per cent. In 2000, you could import a car from the Netherlands and save up to 50 per cent before tax. Today the saving would typically be nearer 20 per cent."
Of the 19 countries covered by the eurocarprice.com index, Poland experienced the greatest increase in retail prices, which rose by 9.5 per cent during 2002. At the other end of the scale, retail prices in the Czech Republic fell by 0.8 per cent.