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Updated : 01/02/2012

shopping

Price discrimination

Equal prices for foreigners

As an EU national, you cannot be charged a higher price than local residents when buying products or services anywhere else in the EU, unless the price difference is justified (see below).

Tourist attractions sometimes charge visitors a higher price than local residents. This is unlawful discrimination and you should not accept it.

Sample story

EU tourists must be treated like locals - price-wise

It is unlawful discrimination when, for example:

  • A British family on a trip to Austria pay more to rent a car than Austrian residents.
  • A German tourist must pay more than local residents to visit archeological digs in Italy.
  • A French family must pay more than local residents to park near the beach in a Portuguese town.

If you find yourself in such a situation, you should exert your rights. The EU advice or assistance services can help you with this.

Justified price differences

Some price differences are justified (such as higher shipping costs for delivering items to foreign customers).  

Sample story

Sometimes differences in price can be justified

Bart, from the Netherlands, visits his friend in Germany and goes to a swimming pool. He is charged a higher price than local residents, and wonders if this is unlawful price discrimination.

In this case, the price difference is justified. As the swimming pool is run by the local authority and financed by local taxes, local residents have already contributed to the running of the pool and therefore enjoy a lower entry price.

Help and advice

Footnote

In this case, the 27 EU member states + Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway

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