Euro 6 emissions regulations – the facts

  • What is Euro 6?
  • We take a look at how new Euro 6 legislation is shaping up
  • Find out how it could affect you when buying your next car
  • What is Euro 6?
  • We take a look at how new Euro 6 legislation is shaping up
  • Find out how it could affect you when buying your next car

CO2 emissions affect the tax you pay on your car. Do you know what the Euro6 emissions regulations are? 

CO2 emissions and climate change

The accumulation of greenhouse gases (most importantly CO2 and methane) in the atmosphere is a key contributor to climate change. These harmful gases in the air have been on a steady incline and the effect they have on climate change is beginning to become much more obvious with heatwaves, floods, droughts and storms becoming more frequent around the world. Let us also not forget the associated health risks with the rise in these harmful gases.

In an effort to mitigate its effects, the Climate Change Act (2008) requires the UK to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 34 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050 from 1990 levels - with transport playing a critical role in meeting these targets.

What does Euro 6 mean?

To combat the rise in air pollution, the European Commission first introduced Euro 1 in 1993. Since then legislation has become stricter in a number of steps, pushing car makers to develop newer and cleaner engine technologies. Billions have been spent.

The sixth step - Euro 6 legislation - became mandatory in September 2015, meaning average CO2 emissions need to fall below 130g/km across a car company's entire range.

There are also tighter restrictions on a wide range of pollutants including carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, NOx and particulates. 

There is a further target for 2020 set at 95g/km.

Euro6 placed more emphasis on NOx than previous regulations. 

How does Euro 6 affect me?

The Euro 6 regulations do not directly affect car buyers, however manufacturers are likely to try and encourage sales of more fuel-efficient models in order to ensure that they meet the target that they have been given.

That said, it is still a good idea to be armed with the facts when you enter a dealership. Remember that Euro 6 is an average limit and does not stop you buying a higher-emitting performance model or 4x4.

Use our Car Tax Calculator to find out how much road tax you will pay on a car.

Will I pay more due to Euro 6?

Some Euro 6 engines might come at a premium, so that car makers can claw back some of the billions invested in developing the new technology. However there is little consistency within the industry when it comes to pricing.  

The obvious benefits to picking a Euro 6 engine (apart from helping the environment) is that you will be buying the very latest in engine technology, which in most cases means better fuel economy and low CO2 emissions, resulting in lower tax bills and fewer trips to the petrol station.

Because the 130g/km is an average and not a restriction on each car, performance models and 4x4s will still be available from a manufacturer's range with a Euro 6 option offered on selective models.

What’s the next step after Euro 6?

Legislation is only going to get tighter and stricter, with even more targets set for 2020. Investing in a Euro6 engine now could help you save in the long run.

The cost of car tax for higher emitting cars is only going to go up as the average continues to fall.

Another stage of Euro 6 is due in 2017, testing cars to make sure they meet the limits on a variety of road conditions. This will ensure the targets are met in real life as well as the lab. 

Euro 6 at a glance

  • Euro 6 legislation is helping to reduce harmful gases in the air and combat climate change
  • You can still buy a car that emits over 130g/km
  • Euro6 engines should prove more cost effective in tax and at the pumps
  • The legislation became mandatory in September 2015

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