An index of new car prices produced by consultant PricewaterhouseCoopers and eurocarprice.com found that the cost had increased by 4.8% over the past year.
The index is based on data from JATO Dynamics and measures the retail price, the price published by the manufacturer inclusive of taxes, of more than 40 representative cars in 19 European countries.
It found that the average retail prices for new cars in the UK rose by 5.2% during the 12 months to February this year.
The strongest movement in retail car price was in Poland where prices rose by 11.2% during the 12 months to February.
It found the lowest price movement was in the Czech Republic where retail prices rose by 1.2%. 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, rose 1.8% in the 12 months to February. Pre-tax prices in the UK are 7% lower than the average for Western Europe and 6% lower than the average for the euro currency zone.
In terms of segment trends, the executive sector market showed the largest increase in average pre-tax prices in Western Europe during the 12 months to February, recording an increase of 6.9%.
The weakest segment was sports coupes, where prices fell by 2.4%. 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, said '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 unlikely to remain stagnant.'