New emissions tests could mean bigger discounts for car buyers

New tests are designed to offer a better reflection of the fuel economy that's achievable, but could lead to big discounts in the run-up to their introduction as car makers try to clear stock...

New emissions tests could mean bigger discounts for car buyers

Cars makers could be forced to scrap, pre-register or heavily discount thousands of new cars due to a new emissions test which will be introduced on 1 September.

The new Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) is designed to provide car buyers with more accurate information about the real-world mpg their vehicles can achieve. However, while most European governments have agreed to offer a grace period, during which manufacturers can continue to sell a set percentage of cars that don't meet the latest standards, no exemptions have yet been agreed in the UK.

The downside for those who've ordered a new car that's built outside of Europe and requires a long transit time is that they may see their delivery date pushed back to September or later, as manufacturers seek to reduce the risk of cars arriving late and needing to be scrapped.

Indeed, some What Car? readers have already reported this, with salesman specifically pinning the blame on the need to ensure non-compliant cars don't arrive after 1 September.

The situation is potentially good news for bargain hunters, though, because many manufacturers currently build more cars than they can sell, and may need to offer extra incentives or pre-register more cars than usual to clear their stockpiles before the 1 September deadline.

Perhaps in an effort to avoid this, Audi recently suspended sales of its high performance SQ5 SUV; it claims this is due to a full build slot run, but sources have suggested to our sister title Autocar that the new emissions limits are to blame.

Buyers wanting a new SQ5 can currently only purchase one that’s already in stock, with no date set for when new specification models can be ordered.

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