New car label & VED changes – keeping the buyer informed

New car label & VED changes – keeping the buyer informed

Launching from 1 April, the new car label will now take into consideration air quality factors by providing information on the vehicle’s emission standard, as well as any diesel supplement applied to VED and company car tax. LowCVP’s Andy Eastlake explains further

The new car label, which comes into effect from 1 April, will now provide information on air quality (emission standard) and specifically whether or not any diesel supplement is applied to VED (and company car tax). The VED figures given on the label will incorporate any supplements, so will be the price you pay. Of course the supplement is on first year VED only, so the regular £140 standard rate is unaffected.

For the first time too, the actual specific emissions standard of every new car will be displayed clearly on the label and within the VCA database.

Today a new car in the showroom could (confusingly) have been certified to any of three versions of the current emissions standard: Euro 6c, Euro 6d Temp or Euro 6d. They are all Euro 6 but subtle (and onerous) changes to the standards have been made at each step.

The most important thing to note immediately, is that every one of these standards and every new car, van or commercial vehicle bought today, is exempt from emission zone charges, whether they be in London (ULEZ), across England (Clean Air Zones) or in Scotland (Low Emission Zones).

Despite us not being able to get the names aligned, I am pleased to say that the vehicle standards are and that any Euro 6 vehicle (of any fuel type) can move freely through these emission control areas.

This is the first step on a long road to improve the information provided to users via the vehicle labels, marketing and online tools.

Ensuring a car buyer has a one-stop-shop for all the key relevant data about fuel consumption, CO2, emissions and taxation, is even more important now than ever, with regular and radical changes to many of these items happening over the next few years.

Clearer information
To coincide with the changes to taxation (Diesel CCT supplement raised to four per cent and a Diesel VED surcharge), LowCVP have been working with a range of stakeholders to assist the DVLA to adjust the new car label for clearer information.

Whilst many consumers may not see the need and may not understand the nuances, I’m sure readers of Greenfleet will be only too aware of the raft of complicated policies emerging over the next few years and will be keen to see a master document where the important information is all compiled in one place.

In the background, the VCA car fuel consumption database is also being refreshed and will have additional data on real driving NOx emissions where available.

The other critical change from April, is that any new diesel car which is certified to Euro 6d will be exempt from both the VED surcharge and even more beneficially from the CCT surcharge. This reflects the rapid progress made in diesel emission control systems (after their well publicised problems). Whilst this “full” Euro 6d standard is not mandated until 2020/21, I know from personal experience, that every test facility is struggling under the pressure to complete test and certification work to bring Euro 6d vehicles to market as soon as humanly possible and to grab this benefit for the users as quickly as they can.

This positive signal from government is clear and shows the confidence in the new test standards and real driving verification process, to ensure that all vehicles coming on to the road, deliver low emissions at all times and are treated equitably.

Fuel prices
Finally, the new label will incorporate the annual updated fuel price figures, which are used to estimate the annual running costs and to help consumers select vehicles based on operating costs, not just ticket price.

LowCVP and its members are researching the best way to present future information on a revised label and information outlet and we are working with government to establish the optimum time to launch that and to transition to new fuel economy and operating costs data, but this first revision is just one element of the range of initiatives which will be emerging.

Perhaps a more important focus is our work to update used car labels, where we see the need for emission zone compliance being vital in helping buyers select an appropriate vehicle.

Key for us here at the LowCVP is the fact that the labels provide the master document with all the key information needed to enable the best choice of vehicle, whether new or used. We will be working across the industry and welcome feedback to ensure that our planned revisions at the end of the year, meet the needs of the users and provide a template for consistent and comparable vehicle selection so that everyone can get the best car for their use.

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