Sunday 20 January 2019

Revealed: how tougher emission tests are hitting new-car prices

BMW figures show moderate percentage increase

Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

Average emissions figures under the new tougher test cycle (WLTP) have been revealed by a one major car maker here.

While the revised data is not as bad as many predicted, it should be remembered that it is just one car maker (BMW) and others may fare much worse.

Indeed, even with the low-emission figures as revealed by BMW, there are still increases of several hundred euro on popular models.

In the case of the iconic BMW 520d there is a €600 hike (see accompanying table).

The average increase in emission readings across the BMW range is a moderate 8pc. In the case of MINI models, the average rise is 5pc.

And the automaker's electric and plug-in hybrids fared well, with the 530e, for example, increasing by just 3 grammes to 49g/km.

The brand's MD for Ireland, Paulo Alves, said that by having all their cars WLTP compliant in advance of the September deadline, buyers know the prices of the vehicles are 'future-proof' - and provide 'certainty' on cost.

From next month, all cars have to be homologated under the WLTP data.

The BMW figures come against a backdrop of fears that many prices - and road tax - will increase due to the tougher testing driving up emissions readings.

The consequence is that cars would be elevated to costlier VRT and road-tax bands.

There are reports of 21pc+ emissions hikes being recorded by some manufacturers.

That suggests significant price and road-tax increases in new-car prices if something isn't done to tweak the current bands.

It is important to remember the new figures do not mean cars are spewing more emissions. They are merely being tested more realistically under the new WLTP cycle.

The European Commission has recommended that consumers should not be penalised under the new measuring system.

And it is being mooted by the motor industry here that the Revenue Commissioners might consider a twin-track approach to alleviate the worst of the potential increases.

The two steps would involve working out an interim set of tweaked tax bands so the new 'cleaner' cars are not penalised for their more realistic performance figures.

Many of these vehicles are well ahead of emission regulations and are generally reckoned to be the 'greenest' ever to take to the road.

The second proposed step could be a fine-tuned solution after more extensive data have been gathered and analysed in the lead-in to the final 2020 deadline.

Gearbox Make Model Trim Was Now Was (g/km)Now (g/km)Price IncreaseCo2 Increase (g/km)Co2 increase %Price Increase %

Auto (D) BMW 520d SE€ 52,910 €53,570108119 €660.0011 10% 1%

Auto (P) BMW 318iSE €41,578 €42,029122136 €451.0014 11% 1%

Manual (P) MINI Hatch Cooper €24,010 €24,270114122 €260.00 87% 1%

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