LONDON – The European Parliament has added its voice to growing political pressure within the European Union to eliminate taxes and other restrictions preventing free trade of new automobiles in the 15-nation bloc.

The European Parliament has backed a resolution to restructure vehicle taxes.

At present, EU Member States levy such widely varying tax rates on auto purchases that the same car can be bought in Denmark or Finland, for example, at less than two-thirds of the price in Britain.

The parliament's Economic and Monetary Affairs committee has backed a resolution saying there is an "urgent need to restructure vehicle taxes" and that "urgent action must be taken at a national level to remove barriers to the free movement of persons and cars."

This is linked to a proposal by the European Commission to eliminate so-called registration taxes on new vehicles, which in Denmark, for instance, can amount to 180% of the selling price of the vehicle. To overcome this, auto manufacturers reduce vehicle prices in high-tax countries, allowing tax-exempt non-residents to buy cheaply.

The committee now is calling on the EC to make proposals by the end of November "as a temporary solution pending measures to abolish registration taxes, and to present proposals to overcome internal market barriers resulting from registration taxes."