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'Deal war' to be declared to boost New Year market

According to new research by car price monitor CarPriceCheck, competition among the UK's franchised dealers is at a "standstill". It blames tight margins and falling bonuses after record sales in 2002.

MG Rover hopes to boost sales by offering drivers free fuel until 2004 on all vehicles registered before 31 March this year. John Sanders, sales and marketing director, MG Rover Group, says: "Fuel costs are a significant issue to many retail buyers and this offer will give MG and Rover customers substantial savings until 2004."

Seat is offering free insurance on all new Ibiza models bought before 28 March and the Citroen Xsara is available from £9495, which includes £1000 cashback, while the C5 is going for £12,695. Toyota is offering one year's free insurance on its £6995 Yaris S while the Ford Fusion 2 is now available for 10,495, which includes a £500 money back offer.

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