Ford, Citroen, Peugeot and Vauxhall raise their prices, blaming Brexit
Prices for some of the most popular models in the UK have been increased by up to 2.5%, but you can still get a great deal if you follow our simple advice...
Some of the biggest car brands in the UK have announced price rises, with most of them blaming Brexit.
Vauxhall has just hiked its prices by 2.5%, while Ford announced a 1.5% increase last month and the PSA Group – which includes Peugeot, Citroën and DS – raised its prices by 2% in August.
Honda and Nissan have also confirmed to What Car? that they will increase prices by an average of 0.9% and 1.5% respectively on some model lines, although the big-selling Nissan Qashqai, which is built in Sunderland, will be exempt, and Honda says it puts its prices up every year, and that the Brexit vote wasn't a factor in its decision.
The rises affect some of the UK’s best-selling cars. The Ford Fiesta now starts from £13,545 for a 1.25 82 3dr Zetec model – a rise of £200. Similarly, the Vauxhall Astra is now priced from £15,915 in 1.4i petrol Design specification – a £470 increase.
What Car? has contacted the Department for Transport, but it has so far declined to comment.
Why would Brexit affect car prices?
The UK voted to leave the European Union (EU) on Thursday 23rd June, and since then the value of the pound has fallen. Speaking to our sister title Autocar at the recent Paris motor show, Tina Müller, the chief marketing officer of Vauxhall’s parent company Opel, said Brexit had so far cost the company £346 million.
When asked whether other car makers were likely to follow suit in raising prices, Müller said: "It will be a trend across the industry. I think we are leading here but we know that everybody else will follow."
Speaking to Automotive News Europe, Nissan’s head of sales and marketing in Europe, Guillaume Cartier, warned that these rises were only the "first wave", hinting that prices could rise further as car makers try to recoup their losses. However, Cartier also said that price rises would be partially offset by the UK’s low interest rates on finance – on which more than 80% of new cars are bought.
Despite the Brexit vote, the UK’s new car market has remained buoyant, with 469,696 new cars registered last month alone – the best September on record.
It should also be noted that some of these rises look opportunistic, with Brexit merely a convenient excuse for the manufacturers to try and squeeze more money out of British consumers. Cars such as the Astra, for example, are built in the UK, although Vauxhall points out that this has still been affected by the fall in the value of the pound because most of the parts for the car are sourced from abroad.
What can I do about rising car prices?
Car makers might be raising prices, but sales targets for dealers are as aggressive as ever, so if you haven't got your heart set on a specific model and are prepared to haggle, you can still get a car for a lot less than the advertised price.
Of course, it can be difficult to know just what sort of discount is achievable. Fortunately, What Car?'s Target Price shows you the most you should pay for any new car.