What does WLTP mean for drivers?
As the industry transitions from the old NEDC test to the new WLTP, changes will come into force which may impact drivers. These could include:
The same car may have two different CO2 values
New cars registered between September 2017 and September 2018 may have two CO2 emission values during the transition period – one from the new lab test (WLTP) and one from the old lab test (NEDC). This means drivers may see two different CO2 and fuel consumption values for the same car.
For example, as of September 2017, one car model might still have a value of 100g CO2/km using the old NEDC test, but a recently approved car might come in at around 120g CO2/km under the new WLTP test.
Car production may be halted or delayed
As the automotive industry gets to grips with the new WLTP test, a number of manufacturers are halting production on models yet to be tested. Cars with September or beyond lead times may be delayed if testing on that specific model has not been completed. Some models may be discontinued entirely before September 2018 with little or no notice.
Any cars that are factory ordered could have amended CO2 and MPG figures regardless of the delivery date. This could mean an increase in VED and, therefore, monthly payments.
Car tax rates may be affected
While the move to the new WLTP test should not negatively impact vehicle taxation by increasing costs for the consumers, the new WLTP test will result in a higher g/km CO2 value for a specific vehicle compared to NEDC, simply because it is more rigorous than the old test.
Some cars in the market will only have NEDC-CO2 values in the transitional period, whereas the most recently approved cars will have both WLTP and correlated NEDC-CO2 values. If a country’s CO2-tax scheme remains unchanged, this could lead to a very anti-competitive situation in the market and confuse consumers.
It is expected that the UK government will review the road tax brackets for different vehicles to ensure that CO2-based taxation is fair, but no changes have been announced as of yet.