As the furore of the VW emissions scandal begins to die down, the fleet industry is now faced with WLTP (World harmonised Light vehicle Test Procedure) which has been developed to provide ‘real-world’ emissions and fuel economy data.
The new WLTP figures provided by manufacturers in mid 2018 are only the beginning. From September 2019, all new vehicles must pass RDE (Real Driving Emissions) tests. RDE tests require a vehicle to be driven on the open road, with equipment strapped to the rear of the vehicle to measure everything that comes out of the exhaust. Critics may argue that RDE tests aren’t perfect but one can hope that they are closer to real world driving conditions.
The change in testing doesn’t stop with RDE (often called RDE1) because January 2020 sees the introduction of RDE2 testing for all newly designed vehicles. The same RDE2 test will also be applied to all vehicles sold from January 2021.
Diesel is particularly vulnerable with the 4% company car tax surcharge and with new tests as manufacturers aim to reduce pollutants such as Nitrogen Oxides (NOx). At the time of writing, April 2018, there are no RDE2 compliant diesel vehicles but interest for these vehicles is growing – the HMRC has confirmed that when they are available, they will not attract the current diesel supplement for company car drivers.
For more details on company car taxation visit our Tax Guide pages.