Should journalists quote 'real' emissions figures for new cars, or manufacturer's figures?

I have mixed feelings over Roger Stansfield's article on quoting ‘real’ emissions for new cars, rather than the artificial constructs presently published by manufacturers. Gives the potential purchaser a better idea of the fuel efficiency but, with few exceptions, the figures will be worse, which will give the Government to excuse to re-rate new vehicles with much higher VED. One exception of course will be all-electric vehicles. Although these are actually pretty polluting when one takes into account the CO2 emissions in generating and transmitting the electricity, wind-farms notwithstanding, on balance, Low Profile ‘real’ emission figures would be my mantra.

Asked on 28 July 2012 by RS, Hitchin

Answered by Honest John
Roger Stansfield's article links to the real life fuel economy register at This is the only data people really need because it gives them a real-world average of what they can reasonably expect. I agree that making the emissions tests more realistic would increase the taxable CO2 and hence the taxable burden, so any journalist that promotes more realistic emissions tests actually plays into the hands of government departments that want to tax us more.

Better to leave things as they are and if you want to know what economy you can really expect, check and contribute to - at least 35,000 drivers already have and more than 2,500 cars are covered.
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