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Responsibilities of vehicle manufacturers, importers and dealers

EU Directive 1999/94/EC requires new car fuel consumption and CO2 emissions data to be made freely available to consumers. Car dealers are required to display a label on (or near to) every new car displayed for sale. The label will show the fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Fuel consumption figures will be expressed both in litres per 100 kilometres (l/100 km) and in miles per gallon (mpg). The label will list the figures achieved in urban, extra-urban and combined conditions separately (see section headed ‘Fuel Consumption Test’ for more details on test conditions).

Car dealers often voluntarily display a colour coded “comparative” label.  That is, a label that shows both the mandatory fuel consumption and CO2 figures mentioned previously, as well as information about the appropriate tax band for the vehicle. The label is similar in design to the energy efficiency labels that appear on many 'white goods', such as fridge freezers.  An example of this label can be seen below. Although this label format (with the colour-coded banding) is not currently mandatory, the DfT, VCA and vehicle manufacturers have worked hard to ensure that the label is harmonised throughout the market sector in order to support, simplify and inform consumer choice.

A sample of the label is available at  Other labels may be used but they must conform to the requirements set out in the Directive, and adopted under national UK legislation.

Dealers are also required to display a poster in paper or as an electronic display, in a prominent position, showing the fuel consumption and CO2 emissions for all new passenger car models displayed, or offered for sale through that particular showroom. Furthermore, the Directive also requires manufacturers to include fuel consumption and CO2 emissions data in all promotional literature (such as brochures and printed advertisements), provided that the literature relates to a specific model of car.

Trading Standards, which is a local authority service, enforce point of sale information (labelling and posters).  Should you have concerns in this area of activity, you can find your local Trading Standards office at or by contacting your own local authority direct.

The Vehicle Certification Agency is responsible for enforcing the provision of information in advertising and promotional literature. If you have concerns in this area please e-mail them at

If you have more general concerns about your consumer rights in relation to car purchasing (either new or used), contact Consumer Direct at: