Colour-coded new car label – better coverage and more awareness

06 July 2007 #SMMT News

Colour-coded new car label – better coverage and more awareness

Research conducted by the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) shows that most new car dealers now display the colour-coded label. Of the 400 dealers surveyed, 86 per cent displayed the label, compared to 74 per cent in a similar survey last year and 65 per cent of showroom cars were clearly labelled, in contrast to 55 per cent in 2006.

Introduced in July 2005, as a voluntary initiative, the label features colour-coded bands for CO2 emissions and a guide to annual running costs to help drive home the message that low CO2 emissions and cheaper motoring go hand in hand.

In addition, the survey revealed that more than 240 dealers (61 per cent) achieved the target of 75 per cent of showroom cars displaying the label. Less than 10 per cent of dealers had no knowledge about what information the label actually shows.

‘This improved performance is positive, but we’re not where we should be yet,’ said SMMT President Graham Smith. ‘We will continue to encourage all dealers to include this key information in their showrooms and be crystal clear about explaining to our customers the benefits and relationship between lower carbon and lower-cost motoring.’

SMMT believes that further improvements will be achieved through a partnership approach, and supports the UK Department for Transport’s informative Act on CO2 campaign, currently running in the media. Further details can be found on the DfT website:

LowCVP director Greg Archer added, ‘The proportion of dealers making extensive use of the colour-coded label has risen from 18 per cent to 28 per cent. This improvement in dealer training and knowledge is encouraging, but clearly more work needs to be done. We will continue to urge the SMMT and its members to make improvements in the year ahead.’

The LowCVP survey findings can be downloaded from:


1. The Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership is an action and advisory group, established in 2003 to takea lead in accelerating the shift to low carbon vehicles and fuels in the UK and tohelp ensure thatUK businesscanbenefit from that shift. It is a partnership of nearly 250 organisationsfrom the automotive and fuel industries, the environmental sector, government, academia, road user groupsand other organisations with a stake in the low carbon vehicles and fuels agenda.

2. At €20 bn, the automotive sector is Europe’s largest investor in R&D, driving industry forward and helping deliver more sustainable motoring for the 21st century. Technological innovation has helped car and CV manufacturers slash CO2 and air quality emissions from vehicles. New diesel cars, for example, emit 95 per cent less soot from the tailpipe than those made 15 years ago and average new car CO2 has been cut by 12 per cent since 1997.

3. Each vehicle made in Britain requires half the energy to produce than it did just five years ago, saving an estimated 700,000 tonnes of CO2 a year. Waste to landfill per vehicle produced has also been cut by a factor of four, from 66.4 kg in 2001 to 14.5 kg in 2005. For more details, download SMMT’s annual Sustainability Report from the SMMT web site



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