New real driving emissions test for vehicles

Published: 8 September 2017

In addition to the Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP), new models of diesel and petrol cars will have to pass a strict new real driving emissions test before they are allowed on Britain’s roads, following the introduction of a new set of standards which came into effect on Friday 1 September 2017.

The test, which represents the biggest overhaul of emissions rules in a generation, will then be rolled out for all new cars on sale in Britain from 1 September 2019.

Under the old assessment, vehicles were tested in the lab on a rolling road but now they will have a 90-minute real world driving test. The limits are being introduced under European-wide reforms which the British government has led the way in calling for.

During the 90-minute test vehicles will have emissions testing equipment attached to the exhaust pipe, and they must pass before they are approved to go on sale in Britain. The vehicle will have to do roughly equal splits of town, countryside and motorway driving.

Transport Minister Paul Maynard said: “We are taking strong action to clean up our air and these tough new emissions standards will reduce dangerous pollutants. This government has led the way in Europe pushing for on-road emissions tests, alongside a tough new laboratory test, to clean up air in our towns and cities. This will ensure all vehicles meet rigorous standards when driven on our roads – and we are going even further tightening requirements again in 2020.”

Last year, the Government’s diesel testing programme found that today’s Euro 6 diesel cars were emitting six times more nitrogen dioxide in the real world than in the lab.