Fleet News

New car prices go up as diesel premium hits peak

AVERAGE new car prices across Europe increased by 1.3% in the final quarter of last year following falls in four consecutive quarters.

And analysis into prices found a minimal difference between increases for petrol and diesel models, suggesting the price premium for diesel models has reached its peak.

Carried out by Roadtodata for its Euro Index survey, the study found that Denmark is still the most expensive car market in Europe, with new car prices 98% higher than the euro zone average.

Switzerland, where new car prices are 12% below the euro zone average, is the least expensive market.

A total of six markets experienced a fall in prices during the last quarter of 2006, compared with five markets in quarter three.

The largest decrease (-1.5%) was in Italy, which also saw the largest sales growth, with smaller price falls in Sweden, Poland, Portugal and Greece.

The largest increases were in Germany (+3.6%), France (+3.4%) and Hungary (+3.4%). Belgium, Denmark and Switzerland also saw new car prices rise by more than 2% compared with a year earlier.

Rick Yarrow, director of analysis service for Roadtodata, said: ‘Average new car list prices in the UK barely changed in the final quarter of 2006. They were 0.3% higher than a year earlier, whereas new car prices slightly higher than in the euro zone, where the average new car costs 2% less than its UK counterpart.’

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