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How do the new emissions tests affect the tax you pay?

Even non-drivers will have picked up on the furore regarding the accuracy of CO2 emissions. It’s a subject that’s led to endless newspaper headlines, executive careers being cut short, and even criminal proceedings.

To try and address the scandal often referred to as ‘dieselgate’ a new testing regime has been established to create a more accurate representation of real world environments. These tests, which are designed to measure fuel consumption, carbon dioxide, particulates and carbon monoxide, aim to provide drivers and fleet managers with more accurate and realistically achievable measures upon which to base decisions.

The Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) will still be conducted in the lab but will now incorporate a much wider range of vehicles and engine speeds, engine load, gearchanges and temperatures. This is then supplemented by Real Driving Emissions (RDE) tests which, as the name would suggest, seek to measure how each vehicle performs in a range of real world environments.

Of course, these more intensive tests will take time to be come into effect, with RDE becoming mandatory from 1 September 2019. In fairness, this is quite understandable, given that extra time is needed to conduct tests which involve fitting measuring equipment to the exhaust system and then measuring the performance of each model in urban, rural and motorway driving conditions. On the other hand, WLTP comes into force from 1 September this year.

This does however raise the issue of which figures to use for VED and Company Car Tax (CCT) calculations. Thankfully, the government has provided some clarity on this by assuring drivers and fleet operating companies that the current NEDC test results will continue to be used until April 2020, after which both VED and CCT will be based on the newer Worldwide Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP).

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Posted on 19th February 2018 at 5:05 PM

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