Driver guide

WLTP: A Quick Guide for Drivers

17 / 09 / 2019  |  Driver Guides

WLTP is the new test procedure to measure the emissions and fuel consumption of a vehicle. It has been introduced to achieve an internationally standardised measure across passenger vehicles and light commercial vehicles that seeks to be more realistic for consumers.

What’s changing?

From 1st September 2017 the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) test was replaced with the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) for all new models of cars released to market. By 1st September 2018 all cars needed to have been tested using WLTP.

From April 2020 company car tax and vehicle excise duty will be based on the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) reported CO2 emissions figures.

WLTP vs NEDC, what are the differences?

WLTP introduces a range of new and rigorous testing procedures which seek to replicate real world driving, and more accurately align emissions to individual vehicles as opposed to providing a blanket CO2 rating for a model derivative.

Testing time is increased to 30 minutes, with four driving phases as opposed to two. Speed, gear changes and distance travelled are all increased, whilst CO2 figures are tested at lower temperatures to portray a more realistic picture of a car’s emissions cycle.

One of the most important changes relates to optional equipment on vehicles. Under the previous testing structure, optional equipment (larger alloy wheels, body styling, heated seats etc.) was not considered when assessing CO2 and MPG values.

WLTP test recognises that some optional extras will have an effect upon aerodynamics, weight and rolling resistance and will adjust CO2 and MPG values accordingly.

  • For all cars registered from 6th April 2020 i.e. those that have CO2 emissions based on WLTP for tax purposes, there will be a 2% reduction in company car tax percentage over the 2020/21 rates already published
  • Company car tax rates published for 2021/22 and 2022/23 will see a 1% increase in both years
  • The reduction of 2% will apply to all cars including pure electric taking the company car tax percentage of pure electric to zero in 2020/21, this includes cars registered before April 2020
  • Cars registered before a 6th April 2020 will have their rates fixed at previously published rates for 2020/21 for the next 2 years. Meaning a freeze in company car tax post 2020
  • From April 2020 there will be 2 sets of company car tax tables, one for those cars registered before 6th April 2020 and one afterwards
  • There has been no change to other tax thresholds or rates including VED tax
  • A greater range of driving situations (urban, suburban, main road, motorway)
  • Longer test distances
  • More realistic ambient temperatures, closer to the European average
  • More realistic driving behaviour
  • Higher average and maximum speeds and drive power
  • More dynamic and representative accelerations and decelerations
  • Shorter stops
  • Optional equipment: CO2 values and fuel consumption are provided for individual vehicles as built
  • Stricter car set-up and measurement conditions
  • Enables best and worst-case values on consumer information, reflecting the options available for similar car models
Optional extras

Under the new WLTP regime, all optional equipment is tested. Heavier options such as alloy wheels, body styling and heated seats tend to have the largest influence on CO2 emissions figures. If you have any questions, please contact your Account Manager who will be happy to help.

A timeline of changes