Car Eco Labels Welcomed

A new colour-coded labelling scheme for new cars warning potential buyers of their impact on global warming has been welcomed by Friends of the Earth. But the environmental campaign group says that increasing tax on gas-guzzlers and reducing it for fuel-efficient vehicles would be even more effective in encouraging the purchase of greener cars.

The new labels, which will be in showrooms and websites, will be graded from red (for the biggest gas-guzzlers) through to green (for the most fuel-efficient). The voluntary scheme, which all major manufacturers have signed up to, will start later this year.

Friends of the Earth is calling on the Chancellor to introduce four new road tax bands - with £50 between each band - to encourage people to buy less-polluting cars. VED for the most polluting cars should be raised to £500 per year (within 5 years), with the cleanest, most fuel-efficient cars charged no VED (starting now). Government research shows that this would persuade one third of new car buyers to choose a more fuel efficient model.

Friends of the Earth's transport campaigner, Tony Bosworth, said:, “Giving motorists more information about how polluting cars are is important. But we must also encourage people to make the right choices by cutting car tax on the most fuel efficient cars and increasing it for gas guzzlers."