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UK new car prices after tax equal Western European average

Average retail prices for new cars in the UK rose by 5.2% during the 12 months to January 2004. according to the PricewaterhouseCoopers and Index of New Car Prices. It shows that average retail car prices in the UK last month were the same as the average for Western Europe, but 1% higher than the average for the euro zone.

The index measures the after-tax retail MRSPs of more than 40 representative cars in 19 European countries. In the last 12 months, the average retail price of a car in Western Europe has increased by 4.6%.

The current trend is for European retail car prices to rise more quickly than a year ago. The average pre-tax price of cars in the UK (converted to euros for non-euro currency markets) rose 2.2% in the 12 months to January. Pre-tax prices in the UK are 4% higher than the average for Western Europe and 5% higher than the average for the euro currency zone. Pre-tax car prices in the whole of Western Europe rose 2.8% in the year to January.

The executive segment of the market showed the largest increase in average pre-tax prices in Western Europe during the 12 months to January: 6.4%. The weakest segment was the Mini segment, where prices fell by 1.2%. Average price movements in the main volume segments were: 'Small', -1.2%; 'Lower Medium', +4.7%; 'Upper Medium', +2.5% and 'Executive', +6.4%.

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