A single test that has not been updated for 20 years is now being replaced. From the 1st September, all new model cars will undergo tests that measure fuel consumption, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, carbon dioxide and particulates. These are being rolled out following on from the VW Dieselgate scandal which came to light in 2015.
The two tests are called the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) and Real Driving Emissions (RDA). They are part of European regulations put in place to tackle climate change and form broader ambitions to improve air quality in the UK.
Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure
Similar to the previous test, the WLTP is conducted in laboratory-like conditions, but it is now longer, faster, more dynamic, with a bigger range of vehicle engine speeds, loads, temperatures and gearchanges.
Real Driving Emissions
The second test the RDE will be the first-time cars have been tested on the road and is around analysing vehicles driven on rural, urban and motorways for a period of 90 minutes with equipment placed on the exhaust to give a more accurate measurement.
All new cars on sale from 1st September 2018 will have been through the WLTP testing and from the 1st September 2019, all will have been through the RDE testing too.
It is estimated that the RDE tests will cut nitrogen oxide emissions emitted from diesel cars by two thirds. Last year a diesel testing programme found that several Euro 6 diesel cars were emitting around six times more nitrogen dioxide compared to that recorded in a lab. In the duration of the lab process vehicles were seen emissions rises after 20 minutes. Certain models of cars were engineered to perform better in laboratory conditions so that they would be categorised as low emitting vehicles.
However, Transport Minister Paul Maynard has advised that in 2020 requirements will be tightened again and councils will be able to enforce more restrictions on the larger polluters of nitrogen oxide.
Take Action Now!
Thinking of changing your car at some point this year? Now’s the time to take action! New emission testing comes into effect for new cars registered from 1st September, this means manufacturers need to sell and register all existing stock before the end of August. We have been able to secure some great deals and additional discounts across a wide range of manufacturers and models.
Manufacturers are also starting to close factory orders for current vehicles and therefore the choice of model, colours and specifications has reduced dramatically as the deadline looms. If you are scheduled to replace your car later in the year you are best of doing so now! Most cars under the new testing will see their official fuel consumption and emissions rise resulting in an increase in the first year Road Fund Licence. We are also seeing some manufacturer price rises being added at the same time.