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Car environmental label

50% of buyers say choosing an environmentally friendly new car is now more important than before

A survey commissioned by the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) and the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) has found that motorists considering a new car are now more concerned about ‘going green’ – with 50% saying that environmental friendliness has become more important to them in the last year.

In the same survey, despite today’s record low fuel prices, almost as many (43%) potential buyers said that running costs are also now more important than they were.

To help drivers easily identify the most efficient environmentally friendly cars available, a new car environmental label is now in use at all new car dealerships. This enables showroom visitors to instantly see which new cars have the lowest emissions, running costs and longest electric range, making it easier to compare and find the new car most suitable for them.

The New Car Environmental Label – making the right choice easy

The new car environmental label has been redesigned by the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (working with the Department for Transport and Vehicle Certification Agency) to include additional valuable information that’s clearer, easier to follow and actively encourages motorists to consider low or zero-emission cars.

Compare monthly running costs

A new ‘running costs’ section allows motorists to instantly see how their monthly costs can vary between vehicles, emphasising the big savings possible from electric and the most fuel-efficient cars. And because costs are a key motivator, this is one of the best ways to persuade buyers to adopt the very cleanest vehicles.

Which has the lowest emissions?

There’s more detail on a car’s tailpipe emissions, including being able to drive in Clean Air Zones (which all new cars can) and if the car qualifies as a ‘ULEV’ (Ultra Low Emission Vehicle). The level of CO2 emissions is very clearly shown too, making it obvious which cars produce the least greenhouse gas.

The best electric range

For plug-in hybrids and pure electric cars, the electric range has been detailed, helping motorist understand just how capable today’s electric cars are – and their suitability for almost every journey.

All the information on these labels uses the latest more reliable and robust WLTP figures, which should be specific to the car on display.

The new car environmental label is found next to every new car on display in car showrooms or at events. There are three versions – one for petrol and diesel cars, one for plug-in hybrids (shown above) and a third for pure electric.

Keeping Consumers Informed

The LowCVP has produced a simple consumer guide to make showroom visitors (and staff) aware of the redesigned car label and how the new information helps motorists choose the lowest carbon car for their journey. This will be freely distributed electronically to all NFDA dealers, to make available for visitors. 

The survey was carried out between 3 and 5 June by independent research company DRG; respondents were UK adults aged 17 to 75 adults planning to buy a new car.

The question “Thinking about the next time you will buy a new car (i.e. not used), has the importance of environmental friendliness changed for you in the last year?” had 660 respondents planning to buy a new car. 50% of them indicated environmental friendliness has become more important for them, while 44% said this has not changed.

The question “Thinking about the next time you will buy a new car (i.e. not used), has the importance of running costs changed for you in the last year?” had 676 respondents planning to buy a new car. 43% of them indicated running costs have become more important for them, while 51% said this has not changed.

Typical estimated fuel costs shown assume combined fuel and electricity consumption figures of 47.9mpg for a petrol and 4miles/kWh for an electric car, based on driving 10,000 miles per year with fuel costs of: petrol £1.20/litre; electricity 12.5 p/kWh (at April 2020). The precise figures for each car on display are shown on the new car label.