Fleet News

Possible pitfalls of cross-border buying

A LITTLE homework often goes a long way toward getting the best deals out of the pan-European new car market.

Unravelling the complexities of different specification levels across the region holds the key to potential savings by fleet operators active in cross-border purchasing, claims leading automotive data company executive Nick Margetts.

He said at the Fleet News Europe Conference, in Brussels: 'Specifying options is the area that catches out most people. And that's not surprising, given that the total number of individual versions of cars available in Europe adds up to a staggering 91,020.

'Add in the fact that 16 different currencies are working against each other, and it is easy to see why getting it right matters, not only for the purchase but also when the time comes for disposal,' the Jato Dynamics GmbH managing director told the conference in Brussels.

Using a Ford Mondeo as an example, Margetts highlighted some potential pitfalls with a vehicle offering an apparent E4,000 benefit in Poland compared with the showroom price in Germany. He said: 'On the face of it, that's a tempting proposition, but bear in mind the cheaper version is non Euro IV compliant and has only basic equipment. You'd have to spend a lot to get parity in specification to satisfy the user and avoid disposal problems.

'But it can be done - as long as care is taken to follow a few tips. Cross-border business has many possibilities if you set out with good information, specify vehicles with a view to disposal and keep a comparison between your fleet and market volume splits and equipment trends.

'It's also vital to keep up with all the changes taking place across the market.'

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