Used cars to get running cost label

  • Easy-to-use colour coded guide for used car buyers
  • Reveals fuel consumption and CO2 emissions figures
  • Cars up to eight years old could be labelled by dealers

Used cars are set to be labelled to make it easier for buyers to assess a car's running costs.

Exactly like the colour-coded label currently used on new cars, buyers will have a clear guide of the car's fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and car road tax band.

With the price of petrol on the rise again, and road tax set to go up again in April 2010, the labels could benefit buyers who are looking for a car that will save them money.

The label will carry the make and model plus the car's estimated fuel cost over 12,000 miles, based on official figures calculated when the car was new. The label will be used at dealers only though, and can't be used for private sales.

However, the labels could prove misleading particularly when it comes to fuel consumption, because the stated official figures do not take into account any servicing (or lack of), any modifications and general condition of the used car that could all adversely affect the car's fuel economy.   

The labels are voluntary for car dealers who have the choice of applying them to cars up to two years old, or to label cars registered since 1st March 2001. The majority of dealers who have signed up to the scheme so far claim they will label cars back as far as 2001.

The scheme was developed by the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) and is being backed by the Government, Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) as well as the Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMIF).