Fleet News

Grey imports could benefit from new car price inquiry

THE Government has launched an investigation into UK new car prices which could open the floodgates for 'grey' imports from Europe. A House of Commons cross-party trade and industry select committee began canvassing motor industry opinions on UK new car prices at the end of July, and will sit down to analyse the evidence on October 27.

Independent motor traders have already taken the opportunity to contact the committee in an attempt to get the grey import quota - currently 50 cars per model per year - lifted. They claim this will result in UK vehicle prices falling to become competitive with the rest of the European Union.

The select committee is taking written evidence from the motor trade, industry, consumer groups and other interested parties until mid-October. Its official briefing states: 'The committee proposes to hold an inquiry into the price differential for vehicles between the UK and other European Union countries.'

A report of the committee's findings is expected to be completed by mid-December, and will then be presented to Parliament. Massive economies are available today via grey imports, with specialist import agencies advertising savings of £2,000 off the UK list price of a Ford Mondeo 2.0 LX, £2,800 off an Audi A3 1.8 SE, and £3,200 off an Alfa Romeo 145 1.6 Twin Spark. Motor manufacturers and their franchised dealers are expected to oppose any lifting of restrictions on grey imports and Japanese manufacturers have made no secret of their attempts to make life hard for anyone buying a such a vehicle.

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