The introduction of the Euro as a retail currency in 12 EU countries at the beginning of the year has done virtually nothing to level out the wide variations in new car prices between them, the European Commission said yesterday.

In Germany for instance, 40 out of 41 models of new cars are 20 percent more expensive than in at least one other Euro zone market.

Cheapest markets in the Euro zone are Spain, Greece and Finland while prices in the UK are still much higher than those in the Euro zone.

Brussels said its proposals announced this month to reform the block exemption scheme should lead eventually to “greater competition.”