BRUSSELS -- Europeans hunting for car bargains should travel to Finland or Denmark, the European Union said on Monday in a report that showed significant differences remain in prices of new vehicles on the bloc's single market.
The second report comparing car prices since the EU expanded into eastern Europe in May last year showed the average difference fell to 6.3 percent this year from 6.9 percent in 2004, the executive European Commission said.
"If you are interested in buying a Fiat Punto, for example, you should go shopping in Finland," Commission spokesman Gregor Kreuzhuber told a news conference.
A Punto costs 2,700 euros ($3,267) less in Finland than in Germany which continues to be the most expensive market in the 25-nation EU for most categories of cars.
The Commission urged motorists to look abroad for bargains to help its long fight to liberalize the EU's car market.
"Price differences for certain models remain significant and consumers should not hesitate to make competition play so as to benefit from the good deals that still exist when buying abroad," Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said.
The Commission has recently threatened legal action against several member states, including France and Poland, unless they ease restrictions on car imports.
The survey, which covered 89 models from cheap Fiats to luxury Audis, found cars were also expensive in Austria and the cheapest in Denmark. In the 12-nation euro zone, Finland is the cheapest.
In Germany, the biggest EU economy, 34 out of 89 models were the most expensive in the euro zone and 20 were 20 percent more expensive than in the cheapest national market.
Prices are generally lower in some east European new members states but luxury cars can costs more there. Among the 10 newcomers, Estonia is the cheapest.
A Saab 9-3 car cost 123 percent of the EU average in the Czech Republic and only 92 percent in Denmark.
The study showed that car prices failed to converge in the euro zone, with the average price difference stuck at last year's level of 4.4 percent.