New EU Emissions Tests Will Affect BIK Tax & Car Tax

Wednesday, 28. May 2014

Hi, Graham Hill here, thank you so much for visiting my blog, I hope you learn a lot and as a result end up driving a great car. In order to do so you can get all the information you need by buying my book, An Insider Guide To Car Finance or use me to finance your next car. Happy driving.

There is an expression, be careful what you wish for. I’ll finish it by saying – because it might bite you on the bum. Many people complained about the Government dictated fuel consumption figures. I’ve discussed this on many occasions. The figures don’t reflect fuel consumption in the real world, whatever that is.

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The figures are measured in near perfect conditions using a rolling road in a temperature controlled room etc. But whilst the conditions don’t reflect what you would encounter in the centre of Brighton or any other city come to that nor do they reflect the conditions you would encounter on the M6, north of Birmingham on a Tuesday afternoon.

The point is that it is impossible to simply come up with a ‘real world’ fuel consumption figure. What Car may seem to think that it is possible and as a result publish ‘Real World’ combined fuel consumption figures but they are simply rubbish. I drove to Birmingham twice within a week. I felt that I was driving pretty much the same.

There was a small hold up around the M25 near Heathrow on one of the trips but other than that the traffic seemed pretty much the same and I was travelling at a pretty steady speed. The big difference was that on one trip the sun was shining and the conditions were dry, on the other it was hissing down. The result was 50.9 on the first trip and 44.1 on the second.

Now according to the handbook the combined fuel consumption should have been about 60mpg but I never expected to achieve that. What it enabled me to do was compare different cars knowing that one car would return a better fuel consumption than the other without knowing exactly how they would compare in the ‘Real World’.

So to my mind whilst the results are far from what I would expect to achieve, especially the way I drive, the Government figures make the most out of a bad situation. But here’s the crunch. In 2017 the EU is pushing for a new emissions test to be introduced. In addition to emissions the test will include fuel consumption checks which experts say will better reflect real world figures.

Now this may be great if you want what some would consider to be more accurate fuel consumption figures but the change to the way that cars are tested could show CO2 emission figures up to 30% higher increasing the benefit in kind tax for company car drivers by as much as 35% (no I’m not going daft it’s to do with the CO2 banding).

Car tax will also increase as will Class 1a NI contributions by employers. It is clear that the current testing system needed reviewing (currently the New European Driving Cycle – NEDC)  because, for example when testing the cars all fuel consuming gadgets are switched off, such as lights, air conditioning etc. and whilst 10% of the test time has the vehicle idling the figures don’t reflect the new stop/start technology. But with greater fuel consumption accuracy, as is expected with the introduction of the Worldwide Harmonised Light-duty Test Procedures (WLTP), comes the bite on the bum. You have been warned. By Graham Hill

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