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UK's car buyers can still save up to 20 per cent on their Y-registration
purchase by turning to online importers


The highest ever share of the UK's car buyers will look to the continent
for their new Y-registration car on 1 March, according to figures from
OneSwoop (www.oneswoop.com), the UK's leading online car retailer. With
the EC's latest report showing that car prices in the UK are still the
highest in Europe*, OneSwoop estimates that 10,000 new Y-registration cars
will be sourced from continental dealers each month this year.

David Sumner-Smith, publisher of Car Import Guide magazine, said,
"Although manufacturers have suggested that the cost of UK cars has
dropped significantly since last year, prices have only fallen by 1.7 per
cent in real terms. This has exerted some downward pressure on requests
for imports, but the ease of purchasing from abroad through parallel
operators - where an intermediary organises the transaction - has actually
increased consumer demand. With the introduction of trade-in and
financing options, consumers are increasingly ready to buy their new car
from parallel importers. More than 100,000 new cars have been
unofficially imported during the last 12 months, out of a total of less
than one million new sales to private motorists in the UK. Importing is
no longer a fringe activity; it is becoming a major part of the car
market."

Those car buyers turning to online importers can enjoy savings of up to 20
per cent on some models. The What Car? Car of the Year winner, the Ford
Mondeo 1.8i 16v LX, sells for £14,595 in Britain, compared with the import
price of £12,166 through OneSwoop - a saving of £2,429 or 17 per cent.
Consumers can also benefit from savings on high-specification cars, with
the UK list price of a Volkswagen Golf 1.9 GT Tdi being £2,329 or 14 per
cent higher at £16,645 than the cost of importing through OneSwoop at
£14,316.

Tom Buehlmann, marketing director OneSwoop, commented, "Fed up with empty
promises on lower UK car prices, the consumer is turning away from
traditional UK dealers for their Y-registration car. In addition,
consumers are beginning to realise that online retailers, such as
OneSwoop, are removing the hassle originally associated with importing a
new car by taking care of the entire process from online order to
door-step delivery. With huge savings on some models and growing
awareness of this new found convenience, we believe consumers are now
asking themselves 'Y-buy in Britain'."

Buehlmann continued, "We advise consumers shop around to get the best deal
for their new car, as prices still vary widely between local dealers and
online retailers offering import deals. The much publicised 'price cuts'
by manufacturers have failed to filter through to the forecourt.
Manufacturers have cut the list price of some models, but closed their
cash-back offers. This means that some manufacturers are selling their
Y-registration models to UK customers at a similar price as before the
so-called 'price cuts'."

OneSwoop's extensive European dealer network means that the company can
source cars from seven major countries across the EU, including Germany,
Spain, Belgium, Holland, Ireland and Portugal as well as the UK.

About OneSwoop:

Launched in March 2000, OneSwoop is the leading pan-European online car
retailer offering three easy ways to buy a car - OneSwoop Now, OneSwoop
Custom and OneSwoop Select. The company specialises in a no haggle, no
hassle service - delivering both custom and pre-configured cars directly
to customers at up to 20 per cent off UK retail prices in as little as
four weeks.

OneSwoop is backed by a number of prestigious financial and strategic
investors from Europe and the US, including BP, Credit Suisse and Atlas
Venture. It numbers amongst its partners such respected organisations as
Fortis Bank, Marks & Spencer, SGS and Transcars (STVA).

About Car Import Guide:

Car Import Guide magazine has been published every two months since
September 1999 and is the only journal dedicated to the import market. It
provides guidance to car buyers considering purchasing through all the
alternative sales channels - including continental dealers, UK-based
import agents, car supermarkets, automotive websites and companies
importing vehicles from Japan. The magazine is sold through newsagents at
a cost of £3.50. Review copies are available to journalists upon request
to dave@wordzone.co.uk


The magazine website is http://www.car-import-guide.com



Notes to the editor:

*European Commission report, 'Car prices in the European Union: still no
clear trend towards a substantial reduction of price differentials',
Brussels, 19 February 2001.

See Commission Online report:

http://europa.eu.int/rapid/start/cgi/guesten.ksh?p_action.ge...

For Further Information:

Matt Ward/Lena Ahmed

Brodeur Worldwide

Tel: 01753 44 8875/8861

Email: mward@uk.brodeur.com


Email:lahmed@uk.brodeur.com

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