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Almost half unaware of car carbon ratings

And some dealers are not displaying labels

Nearly half of consumers are still unaware of the colour-coded label scheme indicating how ‘green’ cars are, research has revealed.

And some car dealers are still not displaying the labels, with around 9 per cent having no knowledge of what information the label actually shows.

The voluntary initiative was introduced in July 2005 with labels in cars showing carbon dioxide (CO2) emission levels.

Low carbon

Results from research conducted by the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) showed that 44 per cent of consumers were unaware of the scheme.

This represented an awareness improvement of only 2 per cent on the 46 per cent unaware figure reported in 2006.

Of the 400 dealers surveyed, 86 per cent displayed the labels compared with 74 per cent last year.

A total of 65 per cent of cars in showrooms were clearly labelled compared with 55 per cent in 2006.

Only 28 per cent of dealers made ‘extensive use’ of the labels, although this was an improvement on the 2006 figure of 18 per cent.

A total of 61 per cent of dealers achieved the target of 75 per cent of showroom cars displaying the label.

Cost of motoring

Graham Smith, president of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), said: ‘This improved performance is positive, but we’re not where we should be yet.

‘We will continue to encourage all dealers to include this key information in their showrooms and be crystal clear about explaining to our customers the benefits and relationship between lower carbon and lower-cost motoring.’

LowCVP director Greg Archer said: ‘This improvement in dealer training and knowledge is encouraging, but clearly more work needs to be done. We will continue to urge the SMMT and its members to make improvements in the year ahead.’

Which? senior researcher David Evans said: ‘This is another illustration that car buyers are being poorly served by the industry. The scheme was introduced two years ago, and still not all dealers are showing the labels. The car industry is patently not doing enough to promote the scheme among consumers.’

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