The first half of this year has seen little narrowing of price differentials in the EU when it comes to buying a new car. The European Commission’s latest report includes Bulgaria and Romania for the first time, and while it notes prices are at historically relatively uniform levels there are big differences, and when adjusted for inflation, headline prices have actually fallen.
The least expensive place in Europe for a new car is Denmark, while new member Lithuania is just behind; Slovakia is the most expensive. But remember before you go off frontier-hopping for your next purchase – it is all to do with VAT, which you pay when you get home. Which explains why high-tax Denmark’s prices are the lowest.
When it comes to the 13 Eurozone members, having a single currency does not seem to help bring about the same prices for everyone.
Finland is the cheapest place to buy new followed by Greece, with Germany the most expensive. For example, buying a Peugeot 307 in Finland is 31 percent cheaper than in the country of its manufacture, France, where it costs nearly 5000 euros more.
In all, standard prices vary on average by a factor of six and a half percent in Europe. The report obtained quotes for over 1800 models, nearly 600 of which were 20 percent above the EU’s cheapest national market price.