What are CO2 emissions?

  • CO2 emissions explained
  • Why is it important to know about emissions?
  • How do they affect you? 

Carbon dioxide – known as CO2 – is one of the gases emitted from the exhaust of a car as a result of an engine burning fuel.

Why are CO2 emissions important?

The importance of CO2 emissions is bigger than ever – becoming a global issue due to its association with increasing amounts of greenhouse gases in the air contributing to global warming.

As both car manufacturers and car buyers aim to lower their carbon footprints, buying a low-CO2 car has become more of a priority for consumers than ever.

The amount of CO2 your car produces determines how much tax you pay, both as a personal user and a company car driver.

It’s measured in grams per kilometre – written as ‘g/km’ in car brochures and technical specs – and is the average amount of CO2 emitted from the car’s exhaust per kilometre travelled.

Low CO2 = low tax

Calls have been made for car manufacturers to reduce their average CO2 emissions across their full ranges, in order to reduce the amount of harmful particulates in the air.

Generally, the lower the CO2 rating, the higher the fuel economy. Electric cars tend have zero emissions, while plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) tend to be much lower than traditional petrol or diesel cars.

A full chart of current tax rates can be found here, while previous tax rates can be found here.

If you’re a business driver, CO2 emissions have an impact on how BIK tax you pay, which you can learn more about in the link below.

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