LG’s new OLED TVs don’t come cheap. They’re expensive, no matter where you’re buying, but our research has found that UK buyers could end up paying £900 more than their French and German counterparts for the same TV.
The C8 is the most affordable in LG’s new OLED range, with the 55-inch model setting you back £2,999 from John Lewis and the 65-inch version making a bigger dent in your wallet at £3,999.
The same C8 OLED that costs £2,999 in the UK costs just €2,499 in France. At today’s exchange rate that’s just £2,187.
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The discrepancy is just as stark with the 65-inch version. The same French retailer lists the OLED65C8 as €3,799, which works out at £3,323. In the UK you’ll need to pay £3,999 for that TV.
Cross the border into Germany and you can buy the OLED65C8 for just €3,499, which is more than £900 cheaper than the UK price.
Is this yet another example of rip-off Britain? When we asked LG why its new TVs were so much cheaper elsewhere, it said, ‘At LG, while we do keep an eye on EU pricing, our focus here in the UK is ensuring we are competitive against other industry key players.’
LG’s chief rival Samsung is most certainly a key player, so we had a look at the price of its QLED TVs, which are its premium equivalent to LG’s OLEDs.
Unfortunately, it seems that LG isn’t the only manufacturer charging a premium for its TVs in the UK. The QE55Q9FN costs £2,999 in John Lewis, but that same TV would only cost you £2,642, (€3,000) at today’s exchange rate, in France.
We asked Samsung why UK customers were being charged more than £300 for the same TV, but were told that Samsung doesn’t comment on pricing.
Is it worth importing a new TV?
There are three things to consider when importing a TV: any extra costs you’ll have to pay at customs, what rights you have if something goes wrong and whether the TV will work.
The latter is easy enough, the TV will work. It will have a different plug, but the tuners, which are either Freeview or satellite, are the same in Germany and France as they are in the UK. They will pick up UK channels no problem.
In terms of costs, the good news is there are no customs charges on TVs bought from within the EU, but you will need to pay VAT. This will be the VAT rate of the country it was bought from. You should also consider how much it will cost to get a TV delivered from another country. It’s likely to be steep and it may not be worth buying abroad once the delivery charge is factored in.
Your warranty and rights if there’s a fault with the unit are less clear, but if something goes wrong you might be wondering if you can return an item bought from another EU country. Under the Consumer Contracts Regulations and Consumer Rights Act this could be the case – read our guide on how to return an EU purchase for more.
All manufacturer’s terms and conditions are different and it’s especially important to read these and the warranty carefully if you buy abroad – it’s possible that it will be voided if you use the TV in a different country than the one it was sold in.
Of course if you do want to return the TV it could cost you a small fortune to ship. This makes buying a good, reliable set even more important. As ever, our Best Buy TVs point you in the right direction, and you can also head to our TV reliability guide to see which brands won’t let you down.