Saturday 15 December 2018

New tests helping to steadily drive up prices of some cars, our poll reveals

'Increases vary enormously from marque to marque'
'Increases vary enormously from marque to marque'
Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

Tougher emissions tests have not yet heralded drastic price changes across the board, according to a survey of brands by Independent Motors.

Increases vary enormously from marque to marque. Some have even enjoyed price reductions, but in many instances prices are up and there is still concern they will rise again next year as we near the final lap of WLTP.

In the meantime, quite a few distributors are absorbing the 1pc VRT surcharge tax on new and imported diesels.

However, several factors are muddying the water on what price increases are directly attributable to the tougher emissions pushing cars into higher tax bands. These are better equipment levels, costlier engines to meet tougher standards and facelifts for the 191-registration market.

We asked all distributors what impact the new NEDC2 figures were having on their prices.

Here, in alphabetical order, is what those who responded outlined.

Audi said new models such as the A6 were already WLTP tested. The average price of the A3 has increased by €1,000 (but this included enhanced specification), and by €1,450 for the A4 (again, the price reflects higher basic spec).

BMW announced a 'price reduction' across its BMW and MINI brands. The average 'reduction' is 5.1pc (€3,296 on new models), with MINIs down 3.9pc or €850 across the range.

Citroen said WLTP pricing would be announced on December 1.

Dacia's Sandero is up €300, while Ford pointed out that it was impossible to quote an average increase. Some models are not affected at all.

None of Honda's vehicles has moved tax bands between the old NEDC and the current NEDC2.

Hyundai told us that some models were unaffected and others were by up a maximum of €500.

Jaguar Land Rover claim reductions on some models (Range Rover Evoque, Discovery Sport, Range Rover Velar), and price increases of 2pc to 10pc on others.

KIA emphasised cars across the industry have gone up for several reasons: new NEDC2 technology (Ad Blue etc) in their case (€300-€400) but also model year changes, movement under new rules to a higher VRT band and VRT levy of 1pc on diesel cars.

Only two Lexus models had price increases due to WLTP. That was primarily on entry-level grades, which went up €500. The vast majority of the range is not affected.

Mitsubishi have price increases between 4pc and 6pc to date with some models.

For MINI, see BMW above.

Opel couldn't comment on how WLTP will affect their pricing.

Peugeot reckon average price increase as a result of the new tests is 0.83pc, or €268.

Renault revealed their Clio's starting price has gone up by €400 but includes a much more efficient engine. They've kept the Captur starting price unchanged on petrol while bringing in a €300 rise on the 1.5 diesel.

The Megane is up €1,400, but that's due to just not WLTP - they say they've added a lot of spec.

SEAT's increases in VRT are averaging 1pc.

Skoda are claiming little or no movement in bands on NEDC2.

There was a "very limited impact transitioning from NEDC to NEDC2", according to Toyota Ireland. Some C-HR hybrid enjoyed a reduction in CO2 figures.

Volkswagen's average CO2 increase between NEDC (old test) and NEDC2 (correlated value from new WLTP) is on average two grammes, their spokesman told us, so there is "minor impact".

Volvo have absorbed all price increases to date.

"Until we know what the taxation system in place for 2020 will be we can't comment on whether pricing will increase or decrease as a result of the switch from NEDC2 to WLTP," they said.

Indo Motoring

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