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Green Car Labels Go Live

  • Friday, 15th July 2005
  • Reading time: about 3 minutes

Drivers in the UK who purchase a new car will be able to tell how environmentally friendly a vehicle is as new colour coded labels start to appear in car showrooms.

The fuel efficiency labels – announced by Alistair Darling earlier this year – are similar to those currently displayed on fridges and other white goods. They help get a variety of information across to consumers, such as how fuel efficient a particular vehicle is, how much motorists can expect to pay in fuel bills, and whether it qualifies for a reduction in Vehicle Excise Duty.

As well as CO2 ratings, the labels also show estimated annual running costs. These are based on the average fuel consumption over 12,000 miles and VED. The extra information available will, for the first time, put environmental concerns firmly on the agenda for new car buyers.

”Average CO2 from new cars has come down by nearly ten per cent in the last seven years’, commented SMMT chief executive Christopher Macgowan, ‘But we know this is not enough. Today marks a radical step forward in terms of our commitment to give better information. The roll-out of the new label delivers a clear message – a low carbon choice means lower cost motoring.”

Showrooms in Guildford are leading the way in displaying the labels, and Transport Minister Stephen Ladyman was in the area today to see the first ones on display.

Speaking from Guildford, Stephen Ladyman MP said that “”consumers will now be in a better position to consider the environmental impacts of different cars and to make an informed decision on which one to choose. Motorists can make a real difference to the environment as well as to their pockets by choosing the cleanest, most fuel efficient models. I would urge anyone thinking of buying a new car to watch out for the labels – coming to your local showroom soon.””

All major car brands in the UK have signed up to the introduction of the voluntary labelling scheme. The label is due to appear in all UK car showrooms by 1 September.

The voluntary labelling scheme has been developed by the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP), a group set up by Government in 2003 to help find new ways of reducing emissions of greenhouse gases from road transport.

The Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership was set up by Government in January 2003 as a key element of its Powering Future Vehicles Strategy. It is jointly funded by the Department for Transport and the Department for Trade and Industry. The aim of the Partnership is to accelerate the shift to low carbon vehicles and fuels. The Partnership has over 160 members representing government, the motor and fuels industries, vehicle users, environmental groups, consumer representatives and others and is currently chaired by Graham Smith the Managing Director of Toyota (GB).

A copy of the label is available in PDF here from the DfT Website.

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