WLTP – What does it mean?

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WLTP stands for Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (trips off the tongue right?!) and is a new global regulation test for measuring the level of air pollutant, CO2 emissions and energy consumption in light duty vehicles – cars and vans to you and me.

It applies to all petrol, diesel, electric and hybrid vehicles and replaces the NEDC (New European Driving Cycle) test that has been in place for the last 20+ years. After recent huge criticism of NEDC (remember diesel-gate?) and manufacturers accused of misstating emissions figures and misleading customers, authorities needed to react to restore faith in the system. To underscore that point, it is believed that most cars on sale and on the roads in the UK today do not meet their claimed fuel economy figures by as much as 25% or more.

WLTP tests are carried out in a laboratory which helps to ensure accuracy and repeatability and introduces much more representative testing conditions based on data from “real driving” which will provide a more accurate basis for measuring emissions and calculating a vehicle’s fuel consumption, providing more detailed and realistic vehicle performance data.

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The WLTP tests place more emphasis on the mass and aerodynamics of the vehicle, the rolling resistance of the tyres and the options fitted to the car including alloy wheels, tyres, panoramic roofs, towbars, roof bars, active cruise control, air conditioning and autonomous emergency braking.  This means that a vehicle’s CO2 value can only be finally determined once options have been chosen, even for the same model of car. 

So, testing will become more accurate and as a consumer you will be better informed – so far so good right? Maybe, but there are a couple of key things that you should be aware of.

Firstly, all new vehicles MUST be compliant with the new regulations by 1 September 2018.  So what?

Although manufacturers have been aware for a long time of these changes coming in, many are simply not ready and certainly won’t be come the beginning of September this year.

After the 1st September, the manufacturers legally cannot sell the non-compliant vehicles they have in stock and could actually find themselves in the situation that they may have to scrap them.

If you are in the market for a new vehicle or vehicles over the next few weeks, you could be in line for some amazing deals as manufacturers rush to offload vehicles before the deadline. Watch this space…

So far so good?  That depends.  If you currently drive a company car then a key date for you will be 6th April 2020. This is when the government will be using the results from WLTP testing to calculate new Benefit In Kind (BiK) figures for company car drivers in the UK. Remember the CO2 emissions of your vehicle are a key component of this calculation. Essentially – the higher your CO2 emissions, the more you will be taxed for your company car based on your tax rate and the cost of the car itself.

So, driving the same car that you have been driving up to 6th April 2020, you could find yourself paying a significant amount more in company car tax after this point.

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As with all these things, GDPR, the millennium bug (for those that remember that!), the key message is don’t panic!  The main thing is to make sure that you are making an informed decision about what you are doing now and how this could change in the future.

We’re here to provide you with all the information you need to make the right decision for you and your business. If you’d like to talk to our expert team about your individual circumstances or to get more detailed information on how WLTP might affect you, simply click here or call 01924 790660 or visit www.bluestonevehicles.com

 

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