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What are WLTP and RDE?

The new emissions tests coming in this year – with some big savings for savvy buyers this summer.

You may not have heard the term WLTP or indeed RDE, and with good reason. What you will most definitely be aware of are the increasing measures the government is taking in order to meet environmental targets; and, WLTP and RDE are the latest of these measures, and look set to have a pretty big impact.

So what exactly are these new measures?

WLTP stands for ‘worldwide harmonised light vehicle test procedure’ – a mouthful, we know – and RDE refers to ‘real driving emissions’.  Essentially, they are both new ways of testing a car’s fuel economy and emissions. They aim to provide a much more accurate measure of a car’s environmental impact.

The latest laboratory tests (WLTP) replace the old system (NEDC) and are designed to produce figures that are closer to what people will actually achieve in everyday use.

The real driving emissions test (RDE), as the name may suggest, adds a real-world element to the above laboratory tests, ensuring maximum accuracy overall. All new cars sold after these measures are implemented must meet the new, more stringent Euro 6c standards.

When is all this happening?

Well, some of it has already happened, and you will just know it under a different name. So, here’s a simple diagram showing what’s happening, and when.

WLTP and RDE changes chart

What does it mean for car buyers?

Well, despite the obvious complexity, it’s not all bad news. In fact, there are some great opportunities for savvy buyers to benefit from these changes, here’s how.

Big savings to be made

Many manufacturers and dealers have a large stock of cars built and on their forecourts that don’t meet these regulations. And, because they won’t be able to sell them as new cars after 1st Sept, they must sell them before then, which will mean significant savings being offered on these cars over the summer. Look out for our summer sale email coming soon.

No, your tax won’t rocket if you buy one

There’s no need to worry about buying one of these ‘non-conforming’ cars. Although it won’t meet the new standards, any model you buy before September will satisfy the rules that apply when it’s sold as a new car, so there won’t be a nasty catch, like your tax bill suddenly rocketing, a few years down the line.

But, hang around and you could pay more tax

Another incentive for buying a new car before September is the introduction of the new economy figures. These dictate how much VED (road tax) and, if appropriate, company car tax you pay; and, because they’re expected to be worse than the old ones, it could mean the same car will cost you more in September than in the preceding months.

Keep an eye out for the summer sale – coming soon

In true carwow style we will be bringing you all the latest offers this summer on cars available to drive away before September so keep an eye out for our summer sale coming soon!

In the meantime, why not build your perfect car to order and get offers from top local and national dealers in no time.

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