Fleet News

Study highlights Euro differences

A MAJOR study has highlighted the wide differences between car pricing, types of ownership and the cost of fuel between neighbouring countries in Europe.

The survey highlights the difficulties fleet executives face when attempting to implement a pan-European policy.

The RAC Report on Motoring: Motoring Facts 2003, published by RAC Motoring Services, shows that the price of fuel per litre - and the percentage of tax charged - vary greatly from country to country.

The most expensive country for diesel fuel is the UK, the report says, and the cheapest is Greece - with the difference between the two countries being 35p, or 0.53 Euros. For a sizeable fleet, the extra cost incurred by the UK fleet is substantial.

The report also shows that Germany has the highest levels of car traffic in the EU, with 534 billion passenger kilometres in 2000, compared with 379 billion in the UK.

And Germany's new car sales, at 3.34 million in 2001, are the highest of the EU countries, and more than 36% higher than the UK.

Between 1997 and 2001, new car sales in France rose by 32%, in the UK by 14%, in Italy by 1% while in Germany they fell by 5%.

The RAC report also reveals that UK new car retail prices, inclusive of tax, are currently 10% above average for the EU. The lowest prices in the EU are in Italy.

European car ownership per head of population across Europe is highest in Italy, where there are 566 cars per thousand, compared with 475 in the UK.

Another fact highlighted in the report is that Spain has seen the highest increase in car ownership per head across Europe in recent years - a growth of 78% between 1986 and 2000.

European car sales fact file
UK Germany France Italy
1997 2,171 3,528 1,713 2,412
1998 2,247 3,736 1,944 2,370
1999 2,198 3,802 2,148 2,349
2000 2,222 3,378 2,134 2,416
2001 2,459 3,341 2,255 2,425
Source SMMT. Figures in 1,000s.

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