Climate Action
Car labelling

Car labelling

Policy

To help drivers choose new cars with low fuel consumption, EU Member States are required to ensure that relevant information is provided to consumers, including a label showing a car's fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions.

The 'car labelling Directive' (Directive 1999/94/EC) aims to raise consumer awareness on fuel use and CO2 emission of new passenger cars. By doing so consumers should be incentivised to purchase or lease cars which use less fuel and thereby emit less CO2. In turn it should provide an additional incentive to encourage manufacturers to take steps to reduce the fuel consumption of new cars. The 'car labelling Directive' as demand-side policy is considered an important complementary measure to help car manufacturers to meet their specific CO2 emission targets as set under Regulation (EC) 443/2009 .

© European Commission

Specifically, the 'car labelling Directive' requires:

  • A label showing fuel economy and CO2 emissions to be attached to all new cars or displayed nearby at the point of sale;
  • A poster or display to be exhibited showing prominently the official fuel consumption and CO2 emissions data of all new car models displayed or offered for sale or lease at or through the respective point of sale;
  • A guide on fuel economy and CO2 emissions from new cars to be produced in consultation with manufacturers at least annually. The guide should be available free of charge at the point of sale and from a designated body within each Member State;
  • All promotional literature to contain the official fuel consumption and specific CO2 emissions data for the passenger car model to which it refers.

Annexes to the directive set out minimum requirements that each of these consumer information items must meet.

In 2016 the Commission completed an evaluation of the car labelling Directive. The evaluation examined the actual implementation and the achievement of the Directive compared to what was expected.  The evaluation followed the standard framework for evaluation of EU legislation and examined the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, coherence and EU added value. More details on the evaluation and the specific evaluation questions can be found in the evaluation roadmap.

The evaluation concludes that the car labelling Directive continues to be relevant given the need to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions from road transport and to continue to raise consumers’ awareness on fuel use and CO2 emission of new passenger cars in order to support them to take an informed car purchase decision. Evidence shows that awareness of the information on fuel economy and CO2 emissions has been improving steadily since the Directive was implemented and is now medium-to-high (>75%) in many Member States. However, the evaluation has also shown that further clarification and simplification of the car labelling Directive could increase its relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, and coherence. The results of the evaluation are presented in a Commission Staff Working Document (full document; Executive Summary).

Stakeholder input for the evaluation

In line with the consultation strategy for the evaluation of the Car Labelling Directive, a Public Consultation was organised in 2016.

 

 

Documentation

Legislation

Useful documents relating to CO2 labelling for new passenger cars

Studies

Studies

Links

Useful links: Online car labelling guides in Member States