Fleet News

Sterling strength pushes up prices

AVERAGE new car prices in the UK are higher than those in other European countries, according to new statistics from PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Retail prices for new cars increased by 5.3% during the 12 months to March 2004 and are now more than 3% higher than those across Western Europe.

Shaun Pitt, a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers UK automotive group, said: 'UK prices are being driven upwards both by the continued strength of sterling against the Euro and the shift in consumer preference to premium brands, such as Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz and BMW where pricing has historically been more robust.'

Robin Goodyer, operations director at eurocarprice.com, added: 'Currency fluctuations affecting the countries outside Euroland continue to impede harmonisation of car prices in the EU.

The currency volatility and current low prices within the larger new members of the EU can only add to the difficulties in achieving price harmonisation.'

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