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New car prices in the UK rise 4.2%

Average retail prices for new cars in the UK rose 4.2% during the 12 months to August 2004.

The PricewaterhouseCoopers and eurocarprice.com Index of New Car Prices shows that average retail car prices in the UK last month were 2% higher than the average for Western Europe and 4% higher than the average for the euro currency zone.

The index is based on data from JATO Dynamics Ltd (www.jato.com) and measures the retail price (the price published by the manufacturer inclusive of taxes) of more than 100 representative cars in 19 European countries.

In the last 12 months, the average retail price of a car in Western Europe has risen by 3.8%.

The strongest movement in retail car prices was in Denmark where prices rose by 6% during the 12 months to August. The weakest price movement was in Hungary where retail prices decreased by 3.8%.

The current trend is for European retail car prices to rise more slowly than a year ago.

The average pre-tax price of cars in the UK (converted to euros) rose 2.9% in the 12 months to August. Pre-tax prices in the UK are 8% higher than the average for Western Europe and 9% higher than the average for the euro currency zone. Pre-tax car prices in the whole of Western Europe rose by 1.8% in the year to August.

The lower medium segment of the market showed the largest increase in average pre-tax prices in Western Europe during the 12 months to August: 7.1%. The weakest segment was the mini segment, where prices rose by 1%.

Average price movements in the main volume segments were: Small 3.1%
Lower Medium 7.1%
Upper Medium 3.9%
Executive 6.5%

Robin Goodyer, operations director of eurocarprice.com, says: "New car price increases in Europe slowed again in August: the 4.1% year-on-year increase in manufacturers' pre-tax prices was 1.1% lower than the July level.

"The lower rate of increase is due mainly to changes in market volume/mix and specifications and currency fluctuations. Before adjustment for these factors, manufacturers' prices across Western Europe averaged 1.8% in the year to August: 0.1% lower than in the year to July. "

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