How Much Do You Know About WLTP?
If you’re a company car driver and haven’t heard of WLTP it’s worth taking a few minutes to get up to speed, particularly if you’re just about to order a new car.
The short version
If you’re in a hurry, this short animation gives the headline information.
The technical bit
WLTP (the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure) is the EU’s new fuel consumption and emissions testing regime that’s taking over from the old NEDC tests. It’s a much longer test that better emulates both the type of journeys that modern drivers undertake and their driving style. By doing this it gives a much more accurate indication of how each car will perform in the hands of real people in real driving situations.
Manufacturers have to test every variant of every model that they sell under the WLTP rules from September 2018. This means a huge amount of activity is currently underway to ensure that as many vehicles as possible are tested.
So, what does all this mean for me?
Well, as manufacturers are struggling a little to get all of their testing done, you may find that the exact model you had been planning to order is no longer available or won’t be available for delivery for an extended period. You might also find that you have to select from a bundle of options rather than being able to create a bespoke specification.
But don’t worry. There are plenty of manufacturers out there that are very well prepared, and they are all working hard to get as many vehicles tested as possible, so you should be able to find a new car that’s perfect for your needs.
If you do find that there’s a delay in delivery it could be worth considering a mid-term rental to plug the gap. Products like CLM’s Mini-lease provide value for money and flexibility on cars rented from three months up to one year.
If you need some advice on this talk to your fleet manager or, for CLM drivers, contact your account team.
From a tax perspective, the figures available to date suggest that WLTP measurements give CO2 emissions figures that are around 10% higher than those measured under NEDC.
To complicate matters further, HMRC will continue to use NEDC ratings for Benefit-in-Kind tax calculations for some time. To get around this they’ll be using a formula known as CO2MPAS to convert the new WLTP measurements back into something closer to NEDC. Unfortunately, this formula still delivers CO2 emission figures that are higher than those under the old measurement system.
HMRC has yet to provide a firm date when they will switch to WLTP measurements for calculating BiK tax but 2020 has been hinted at. This does raise some questions about the impact on drivers’ tax bills for cars that will be using the CO2MPAS conversion up until the date the change occurs.
The best advice for keeping your BiK tax burden to a minimum is to choose a car that meets your requirements with the lowest CO2 emissions possible. One option is to consider the ever-growing range of alternative fuel vehicles available. From mild hybrids through to fully electric vehicles, these are increasingly able to provide practical everyday transport along with very low emissions.
If an alternative fuel vehicle isn’t right for you, there have been huge advances in petrol and diesel engine technology that have transformed their fuel efficiency and emissions. To search for all types of new car by their CO2 emissions and BiK tax bands visit nextgreencar.com. To find out more about the new WLTP emissions testing regime click here.