New Ridiculous MPG Rules To Be Introduced

Saturday, 20. September 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.

OK got my angry hat on so watch out! If it’s not APR it’s bloody MPG. I’m sick to death of the ridiculous arguments over MPG and I’m even more angry to read this week that the EU is to poke their nose into our affairs, yet again, and legislate on the way MPG figures are calculated.

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They are set to demand that vehicle emission and economy tests be carried out on public roads rather than in laboratories. I thought it was dopey enough when What Car decided to carry out their own tests on cars to establish a more ‘realistic’ MPG but simply ignored this idiocy as a ploy to sell more magazines but it’s now getting ridiculous.

First of all expect your road fund licence cost to increase along with your benefit in kind tax as it will show an increase in CO2 emissions but let me turn to MPG, which is about as accurate a measure as APR and Brake Horsepower. I think we would all agree that the MPG, achieved in a laboratory, under very strict test conditions, will not be achievable under normal driving conditions.

So we are all agreed so far. And MPG can vary as a result of the road conditions, the condition of the car and most important of all the way we drive. Agreed? So with such a mash up of so many factors it is virtually impossible to come up with a definitive MPG. Ask any driver how they drive and they will come up with numerous different descriptions, let’s think of a few, carefully, fast, slowly, safely, quickly, with care, legally, illegally, cautiously, erratically, carelessly, considerately and like a rabid monkey.

The fact is that we all drive differently, not only to each other but also in different road conditions. Some drivers drive more carefully when it is raining or if there is ice about whilst others see these conditions as sent to test their rally driving skills affecting the fuel consumption substantially.

Poor service and maintenance of the car can affect fuel consumption as can worn tyres or incorrectly inflated tyres which can make a difference of up to 15% in fuel consumption. Braking hard, braking late, racing away from traffic lights can all affect fuel consumption, even having a window open, continual use of air conditioning or the fitting of a roof rack can affect the fuel you use as well as carrying passengers and/or a load of unnecessary or even necessary weight in the boot.

Cars are also not manufactured with the same precision as a Swiss watch, the mechanics will vary slightly between identical cars produced on the same day providing different fuel consumption. I think you get the gist, it is absolutely impossible to establish ‘accurate’ real life fuel consumption figures for all the reasons mentioned. So why are we about to spend a fortune trying to fix something that ‘aint broke. At least with the way MPG figures are established at the moment all cars are tested consistently in laboratories.

The figures may not reflect genuine real life conditions but they provide a means to compare different makes and models of cars. So if your car choice is between a Ford Fiesta or a Vauxhall Corsa you will find that the Government controlled average on the Fiesta is 54.3mpg whilst that on the Corsa is 51.4mpg. So whilst you probably won’t achieve either figure when you drive the cars the Fiesta is likely to be a little better than the Corsa. So to change the method now would be a nonsense and a waste of money.

What inspectors found when they checked the way manufacturers established their MPG figures was doors being taped up and tests being carried out on very smooth surfaces. This is where action needed to be taken so that all tests are identical and we certainly don’t need the Europeans poking about and instructing us on how we should do things!

Oh and if it was possible to ‘manipulate’ the figures under controlled conditions in a laboratory I can only imagine the manipulation that will go on when attempting to replicate real life driving conditions. Nonsense, absolute bloody nonsense! By Graham Hill

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