Since 2010, new legislation has been in force under which the European Environment Agency (EEA) has been monitoring the levels of CO2 emissions from new passenger cars.

Regulation 443/2009 requires all member states of the European Union (EU) to record data on the CO2 emission levels of each newly registered car within its jurisdiction. The regulations also set a target for maximum CO2 emissions per vehicle, which is 130g of CO2 per kilometre (km).


The findings of the recent report make for interesting reading. The information shared shows that:

  • Since the new regulations came into force, overall CO2 emissions have reduced by 17g CO2/km.
  • In 2013, the EU member states had already reached the emissions target of 130g CO2/km or less – two years earlier than the 2015 deadline.
  • On average, new cars that were sold in 2014 had an emission level of 123.4g CO2/km, which is nearly 7g under the 2015 target.
  • In 2014, more than half of the EU member states had CO2 emissions that were below the 2015 target of 130g CO2/km and in the member states that had been part of the EU since before 2004, significantly more fuel efficient cars were bought compared to those states who had joined the EU from 2004 onwards.
  • The most efficient cars were bought in the Netherlands, Greece and Portugal, with average emissions ratings of 107g CO2/km, 108g CO2/km and 109g CO2/km respectively.
  • The member states with the least efficient cars were bought were Estonia, Latvia and Bulgaria. Here, average emissions ratings were 141g CO2/km, 140g CO2/km and 136g CO2/km respectively.
  • Cars that run on diesel make up 53% of the total number of cars being bought and registered in the EU. Diesel cars are popular because they are incredibly fuel efficient – more so than petrol – but the difference in fuel efficiency between the two is closing. The report found that, on average, the difference between the fuel efficiency of petrol and diesel cars is about 3g CO2/km, compared to 21g CO2/km in 2000.

A move towards environmentally friendly cars

Even though diesel and petrol cars are becoming more fuel efficient, there seems to be a shift towards more environmentally friendly alternatives. There has been an impressive increase in the number of electric cars that were sold in 2014, when compared with previous years. 38,000 electric cars hit the road, with the majority being sold in France, Germany and the UK. Despite this, however, electric cars still only make up a small percentage of the total number of cars on European roads, counting for just 0.3%.

Fuel efficient vans

As well as fuel efficient cars, it seems that there is now a growing trend in fuel efficient vans – with the market for them growing by 18% in 2014. Due to the nature of vans, they have a slightly higher CO2 emission reduction target for 2017, which is set at 175g CO2/km; a target that was already reached in 2013. In 2014, CO2 emissions from vans were, on average, around 169.2g CO2/km and they continue to fall.

Caversham Vehicle Hire is proud to offer fuel efficient diesel vans and cars for hire at reasonable prices. We have vans available in a number of sizes to suit your needs; be it moving home or transporting goods, and our cars are ideal for family holidays! They are available for both domestic and business use and can offer complete breakdown assistance to prevent roadside emergencies scuppering your plans. So get in touch now to find out more.