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UK retail car prices now 4% higher than euro zone average

According to the latest PwC/eurocarprice.com car price index, average retail car prices in the UK were 3% higher in February than the average for Western Europe, and 4% higher than the average for the euro zone.

Based on Jato Dynamcis data, the Index measures the post-tax list prices 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 4.8%.

The strongest rise in retail car prices was in Poland where prices rose by 11.2% during the 12 months to February. The weakest was in the Czech Republic where retail prices rose by 1.2%.

The current trend shows European retail car prices rising faster than a year ago. The average pre-tax price of cars in the UK (converted to euros) rose 1.8% in the 12 months to February. Pre-tax prices in the UK are now 7% lower than the average for Western Europe and 6% lower than the average for the euro currency zone. Pre-tax car prices in the whole of Western Europe rose 3.7% in the year to February.

The Executive segment of the market showed the largest increase in average pre-tax prices in Western Europe during the 12 months to February: 6.9%. The weakest segment was Sport Coupes, whose prices fell by 2.4% on average. Average price movements in the main volume segments were: 'Small' ~ 2%; 'Lower Medium' ~ 6.6%; 'Upper Medium' ~ 3.1% and 'Executive' ~ 6.9%.

Robin Goodyer, operations director of eurocarprice.com commented: "We are now in the midst of the predicted acceleration of retail price increases as most of the manufacturers attempt to improve their returns within a total European market that at best is likely to remain stagnant."

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