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Increasing numbers of British motorists are buying their cars abroad and enjoying savings of 30% on average, rising to 90% in a few extreme cases. This year almost 20% of all new cars will be imported from Europe, an increase of 100% on 1999.
According to a recent EU survey, the British motorist pays up to twice the price as on the Continent for the equivalent car. The British government has acknowledged that car prices are too high and earlier this year the Trade Secretary ordered manufacturers to give private customers the same discounts offered to large fleet buyers to bring car prices down in line with those on the Continent.
For the uninitiated the process of finding and buying a new car abroad may seem daunting, but if you're prepared to put in some time and effort you can be rewarded by savings amounting to several thousand pounds.
If you want to buy abroad without the hassle, you can ask one of the growing number of independent traders to do some or all of the legwork for you. Alternatively there are numerous web sites which have negotiated deals with Continental dealers to offer buyers in the UK cars at European prices. Of course you'll have to pay a charge for these services. For the very best deal, do it yourself.