The RAC is calling on the government to create an official checking system.
Millions of drivers are unaware of how their vehicle may be affected by current and forthcoming emissions legislation because they lack an official, comprehensive look-up system for checking a car’s Euro emissions category.
That’s according to the RAC, which is calling on the government to ‘urgently develop’ a website that allows motorists to check a car’s vehicle emissions standard by entering a vehicle registration number.
The service already exists in several EU countries, including Austria, Belgium and Italy, but there is no such system in the UK.
Vehicle emissions categories are becoming increasingly important to motorists, with London’s so-called T-Charge being charged for vehicles that fail to meet the Euro 4 standard introduced in 2005, while a forthcoming ultra-low emission zone will be even stricter.
Despite the categories’ importance, a survey from the RAC found that 64 percent of motorists were unsure as to which category their vehicle fits into.
Of the 2,200 motorists surveyed, just under half (49 percent) said they expected to be able to find the information on a government website, while more than a quarter (28 percent) thought a search of the manufacturer’s website would reveal the data.
At present, the only source of detailed emissions data is the Vehicle Certification Agency’s Car Fuel Data site, but looking up a car involves providing several specific details, including the specific vehicle variant.
The RAC is also wary of the site’s accuracy, as the page displays the caveat ‘when looking to find out the Euro Standard for a vehicle already in service, we strongly recommend that you contact the manufacturer’.
RAC spokesman Rod Dennis said: ‘As councils across the UK develop plans to tackle harmful emissions on a local level, we expect millions of drivers will want to find out the Euro emissions category of their vehicle.
‘It’s simply unacceptable that there is currently no easy-to-use or conclusive online look-up system available – this will no doubt leave drivers confused about whether or not they are likely to be impacted by the introduction of clean air zones.
‘The DVLA already holds detailed records on vehicles registered in the UK – including CO2 emissions and engine size – and makes this freely available online; so why shouldn’t they also make available this one vital piece of information on each vehicle’s Euro emissions category?'