3 May 2004

European laws forcing manufacturers to fit anti-lock brakes as standard from 1 July is likely to raise the price of bottom-of-the-range models. Of the 3000-plus models currently on sale in the UK, only 76 are sold without standard anti-lock. However, they include best-selling models such as the Citroën C2, Ford Ka and Peugeot 206, as well as the Land Rover Defender and Daewoo Matiz. Citroën has been one of the first makers to admit that prices will have to rise. Currently any C2 with a 1.1-litre petrol or 1.4-litre diesel engine has anti-lock as a £350 option; this cost is ‘likely to be passed on to buyers’, according to a spokesman. Peugeot will be doing the same on the small number of 206s that currently come without anti-lock brakes. The company also admitted that special editions – such as the Fever, which is not fitted with anti-lock – would have them installed in favour of free metallic paint.

Market leaders Ford will also have to put up the prices of the Ka, the only member of its line-up without anti-lock. It will come as standard from 1 July, but prices will go up by £200 to compensate. Vauxhall’s Agila is also affected; according to a spokesman, fitting uprated brakes to the Expression model will incur a price premium of ‘around £100’. Good news for Daewoo Matiz buyers, though. A range realignment from next month means the Korean city car will get plenty of kit upgrades, and one of them will be the inclusion of standard anti-lock brakes at no extra cost.

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