NEWCASTLE, U.K. – Color-coded labels to help motorists choose more eco-friendly cars are being road tested at sales outlets across the U.K.

The new government scheme aims to provide motorists with information on the amount of carbon dioxide given off by the car.

David Jamieson

The most eco-friendly cars have green labels, while those with the highest emission levels have red. The labels are being added to select new cars and used cars registered since March 2001.
In recent years, the British government has changed its vehicle taxation system to encourage drivers to switch to cars believed to be less harmful to the environment. The higher the emissions, the more tax is paid by both private motorists and drivers of company cars.

“Motorists see the environmental effect of different cars as increasingly important, especially now that the new vehicle excise duty system, and company car tax are based on a car's CO2 emissions,” says David Jamieson, U.K. minister responsible for transport.

He points out that consumers already are familiar with the European Union energy label used for domestic white goods, such as refrigerators and washing machines. The labels help buyers compare models and purchase the most energy-efficient product.

Says Jamieson of the car scheme: “We believe this will make for an effective information label that will encourage consumers to buy greener cars, and manufacturers to continue to develop more environmentally friendly products.''