Blog: Dave LeggettRip-off Britain is still here

Dave Leggett | 5 August 2003

If the consumer magazine and newspaper motoring pundits are to be believed, British new car prices have fallen and we no longer live in what the papers were only a few years ago dubbing "Rip-off Britain".
Oh yeah?

I recently read an Antipodean colleague's review of the so-called Euro Accord, Honda's Japan and European market model that is narrower than the US Accord, and doesn't offer that car's V6 engine option. This is proving popular with Honda distributors world-wide; some are now offering it alongside the 'wide' US car, in fact.
What struck me was the prices in New Zealand. Base 2.4 manual - $NZ35,000 (£12,588). Top leather-trimmed 2.4i 'Euro L' auto: $42,000 (£15,108).

UK prices? Prepare for what the Americans call sticker shock. The 2.4i manual Sport is £19,100 and the top 2.4 auto is £22,100, though it does get sat-nav. The cheapest UK Accord, a two-litre model, is £16,000. Specs are similar enough not to account for this sort of difference. And there's none of that "We're an independent importer so don't get preferential pricing" excuse, either - both Honda New Zealand and Honda UK are factory (owned) shops.
Nope, I reckon it's simply pricing to what the UK market will stand. If Honda thinks differently, I'm sure they'll be in touch...
Graeme Roberts


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