What is WLTP?
The Worldwide harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) is the new testing system for cars and vans which provides comprehensive and reliable emission and MPG figures to help when comparing vehicles and determining what will best meet your needs. It is being phased in to replace the existing New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) test.
The WLTP tests the vehicle at different average speeds (low, medium, high and extra high) and each driving phase is also tested (stopping, accelerating and braking) to reflect real life driving styles. The test will determine the vehicle’s highest and lowest figures based on the various driving styles.
How and when is it being introduced?
All newly registered cars and vans will be tested under the new system as of September 2018. Vehicles tested under the new system will also be given an NEDC figure until April 2020, when full transition to WLTP will be complete.
Why is it changing?
The NEDC has its origins in the 1980s, has not kept up with rapidly developing car technology and has become less representative of real life driving. This has led to a significant difference between the MPG reported in the NEDC test and what most drivers achieve in real life.
Under the WLTP system optional equipment, accessories, tyre upgrades etc. are likely to add to the total CO2 emission figure. This means that you may see a variance in the CO2 figure when you order a vehicle compared to what it is upon delivery. The figure provided at the point of order will most likely be indicative.
A number of manufacturers are limiting supply at short notice whilst they get vehicles tested and approved under the new WLTP system. This will impact on supply and may delay delivery.
What are the tax implications?
WLTP values will be used for tax purposes from April 2020. In the meantime, manufacturers will produce both NEDC and WLTP figures. The NEDC figure will continue to be shown on the V5C until 1 April 2020 when the figure will switch to the WLTP figure. Vehicles tested under the WLTP system will be given an NEDC figure produced with a correlation tool. These ‘correlated NEDC’ figures may show an increase in CO2, which can result in a vehicle CO2 figure and tax band changing between when it was ordered and when it is delivered.