New Car Fuel Consumption & Emission Figures

This page was last updated on 3rd August 2021

New Car Fuel Consumption & Emission Figures – Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who does the testing?

A: Testing is carried out either by independent test organisations, or by the vehicle manufacturers or importers themselves, usually at their own test facilities.   In the UK, and before the results are officially recognised, the DfT will inspect the test laboratories and witness some tests being carried out, or; check that the figures have been certified by a European member state competent national authority under the agreed arrangements for mutual recognition of test results.

Q: Are all vehicles tested?

A: Certain types of vehicles are excluded from the fuel consumption testing scheme.  These are cars manufactured in low volume, cars adapted to carry more than eight passengers (excluding the driver), three-wheelers, invalid carriages, van-derived passenger cars and cars built specially for export.  These vehicles will therefore not have a fuel economy label in the showroom.

Q: My vehicle does not produce the same fuel consumption figures as shown in the ‘New Car Fuel Consumption and Emission Figures’ guide and/or the Internet site. Why?

A: Because of the need to maintain strict comparability of results achieved by the standard tests they cannot be fully representative of real-life driving conditions.  There are infinite variations in driving styles and in road, car and weather conditions.  Following, the tips provided in this guide will help you achieve closer results with the published figures.

Q: I have taken steps to improve my fuel economy, but there is still a significant difference between my results and the official figures.

A: If, after you are sure that following each of the recommended points, fuel consumption remains higher than you would expect this may indicate a fault with your vehicle and you should ask an authorised dealer or other competent organisation to examine it.  For plug in hybrid electric vehicles remember to recharge the car at appropriate intervals as driving purely on the conventional motor will give radically different fuel economy results to the published figures.

Q: When purchasing a new car what information regarding fuel consumption can I expect to find at the point of sale?

A:  The results of the standard tests have to be shown on labels fixed to every new car on display in showrooms and on forecourts and dealers must have fuel consumption figures of all new cars available for prospective car buyers to consult on request.  These requirements do not apply in the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

Q:  Where can I find more detailed information on the Graduated Vehicle Excise Duty scheme?

A:  Further details are available from the site:

Q:  Where can I find more detailed information on the new Company Car Tax arrangements?

A:  Further details are available from your local Inland Revenue office or are available on the site: