New cars to get energy ratings

All new cars sold in Ireland will be labelled with an energy efficiency rating from next month to encourage drivers to buy greener cars.

The ratings, similar to those used on home appliances such as fridges, will place cars in one of seven bands, ranging from the most efficient A rating, to the least in band G.

It follows changes to Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) and annual motor tax which means new cars registered from next month will be taxed according to the size of their carbon dioxide emissions rather than engine size.

Launching the scheme, Environment Minister John Gormley said: “The clear objective of the new CO2-based tax structure for cars is to influence the purchasing decisions of consumers by rewarding the buyers of low-emitting cars and charging a premium on less efficient vehicles.

“From 1st July, anyone buying a new car can make a positive choice on investment and environmental grounds by purchasing a low CO2-emitting vehicle.

“As well as enjoying the benefits of a lower rate of motor tax and any saving on the pre-July purchase price of the car, they will be making a very positive personal contribution to the national response to climate change.”

It means that a new car with CO2 emissions of 165g per kilometre, such as the 1.4L Renault Mégane Sport saloon, will fall into band D and attract higher charges for VRT and motor tax.

But the Renault Clio 1.2L 16v 75 Quickshift, which only produces 133g per kilometre, will get a band B rating and cost its owners less in taxes.

The vehicle labels are initially being introduced with the cooperation of the Society of the Irish Motor Industry, but will become a legal requirement later this year.

Full information about the scheme can be found here.

Kate Martin

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