Europe's auto dealers and repairers association wants a delay in implementing new rules that will allow cross-border car sales within the European Union.

On October 1, the so-called "location clause" that prevents car dealers in the EU expanding outside their territories will be scrapped.

CECRA, the European council for motor trades and repairs, is lobbying Brussels to postpone the implementation of the new regulations.

Juergen Creutzig, CECRA's Brussels-based president, said changes should not be made until a study on Europe's auto retail market is completed.

The EU has ordered a six-month probe investigating how its policy to loosen automakers' grip on sales and repairs is working. It wants to encourage competition in car sales and repairs to reduce prices for consumers.

Creutzig said the study's results are not due before the end of the year.

This means the results will be published after the location clause has been abolished.

"What if the study says that the end of the location clause is negative for 80 percent of dealers?" Creutzig asked the Automotive News Europe Congress in Barcelona.

Automakers selling cars in Europe are currently not required to comply with normal EU free market regulations. Their "block exemption" to these rules ends on May 31, 2010.

CECRA argues that the auto industry's block exemption should be extended beyond 2010.

Creutzig said the five-year period between now and 2010 is too short to assess fully the impact of new regulations.

Some automakers have blocked the liberalisation of auto sales and repairs by imposing expensive standards on dealerships or by preventing independent repairers getting access to vital technical data, he said.