No laughs and no surprises

In its latest report on car prices, the European Commission has found that price differentials for new cars in the European market are still substantial, despite the introduction of the Euro.

Indeed, the report says that, as of May 1st 2002, no significant price convergence has yet taken place.

Spain, Greece, Finland and Denmark, a non-member of the Euro zone, are the markets where car prices before tax are generally the lowest.

Within the Euro zone, Germany and, to a lesser extent, Austria, still remain the most expensive markets. In Germany, a total of 41 models are sold to consumers at the highest prices in the Euro zone and 36 of these are between 20% and 42% more expensive than in at least one other national market.

The cheapest markets in the Euro zone are Finland with no price differentials above 20% for the models surveyed and The Netherlands with only one differential above 20%.

As regards the United Kingdom, the report notes that the car market continues to be the most expensive for more than half of the models examined. No surprises there, then.

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