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The simple way to choose a new car - new car environmental label now on display at dealerships

Mon 01 June 2020 | Back to news list

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(News release:) As the nation’s car dealers reopen their doors, many prospective customers are now thinking differently about how they travel. There’s the immediate effect of being asked to avoid public transport, together with a desire to ‘do our bit’ to maintain the cleaner air we’re all currently enjoying (a survey by the AA found that a resounding 8 out of 10 say they will take action to maintain the cleaner air post lockdown*). For some, walking or cycling more may be the answer; for others, not travelling at all and working from home is their preference.

There’s the immediate effect of being asked to avoid public transport, together with a desire to ‘do our bit’ to maintain the cleaner air we’re all currently enjoying (a survey by the AA found that a resounding 8 out of 10 say they will take action to maintain the cleaner air post lockdown*). For some, walking or cycling more may be the answer; for others, not travelling at all and working from home is their preference.

However, these options are not available for everyone. For many, the car still remains the best choice. But the cars we are choosing are also changing – with over a third of drivers saying they would now purchase an electric or hybrid car to maintain air quality*.

Whilst this is positive news for the environment, it leaves some potential car buyers confused about exactly which new low or zero-emissions car is right for them.

The new car environmental label – the surprisingly simple solution to choosing the right car

Help, however, comes from a surprisingly simple source: the new car environmental label, which enables drivers visiting a car showroom to instantly see which new cars have the lowest emissions, running costs and longest electric range, making it easier to compare and find the new car most suitable for them.

Compare monthly running costs

A new ‘running costs’ section allows motorists to instantly see how their monthly costs can vary between vehicles, emphasising the big savings possible from electric and the most fuel-efficient cars. And because costs are a key motivator, this is one of the best ways to persuade buyers to adopt the very cleanest vehicles.

Which has the lowest emissions?

There’s more detail on a car’s tailpipe emissions, including being able to drive in Clean Air Zones (which all new cars can) and if the car qualifies as a ‘ULEV’ (Ultra Low Emission Vehicle). The level of CO2 emissions is very clearly shown too, making it obvious which cars produce the least greenhouse gas.

The best electric range

For plug-in hybrids and pure electric cars, the electric range has been detailed, helping motorist understand just how capable today’s electric cars are – and their suitability for almost every journey.

All the information on these labels uses the latest more reliable and robust WLTP figures, which should be specific to the car on display.

The new car environmental label is found next to every new car on display in car showrooms or at events. There are three versions – one for petrol and diesel cars, one for plug-in hybrids (shown above) and a third for pure electric.

“The technologies used to achieve ultra-low or zero-emission motoring are becoming ever more sophisticated by the day” said Andy Eastlake, Managing Director of the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership; “But some drivers are now unsure of the differences and which is best for them. It’s our job to therefore provide the robust facts they need to quickly and easily make an informed decision. This is exactly what the redesigned new car environmental label does.” 

* AA Populus survey of 18,129 drivers conducted 12-19 May 2020, which asked the following question: During the COVID-19 crisis, all forms of transport have reduced which has resulted in a marked improvement in air quality in our towns and cities. Which, if any, of the following would you do to maintain the cleaner air?

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