BRUSSELS -- The first report comparing car prices across the European Union since 10 new nations joined in May shows prices in the new states are on average cheaper than in other EU countries, the European Commission said on Thursday.
The report, prepared by the bloc's executive Commission, is prepared twice a year.
However, luxury cars and sports utility vehicles are more expensive in the new member states. For example, the Audi TTR is more expensive in Poland than in any of the other 24 EU countries.
"Prices are stable in the EU," the Commission said. All price reports excluded taxes, which can be very high in some member states.
Among the 12 eurozone members, car prices increased by only 0.8 percent between May 2003 and May 2004, compared with inflation of 2.4 percent in the same period.
Car prices in Italy dropped by 1.1 percent, those in Britain did not change, and prices increased slightly in Germany and the Netherlands.
Prices increased in Denmark by 2.5 percent, were stable in Greece and dropped by 2.9 percent in Finland.
Among the new member states, Poland had a particularly large price increase of 8.7 percent. But prices decreased by 5.8 percent in Estonia, 5.4 percent in Lithuania and 1.9 per cent in the Czech republic.
The Commission said it based its prices on the manufacturers' recommended retail prices in May 2004.