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 .
Specifically, the 'car labelling Directive' requires:
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).