New rules for car ads on disclosing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions

New regulations have been introduced implementing an EU directive which aims to give consumers more information about the fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of new cars (the Passenger Car (Fuel Consumption and CO2 Emissions Information) Regulations 2001).

The regulations apply to “promotional literature”, which includes “all printed matter used in the marketing, advertising and promotion of a new passenger car…”  This covers print advertising generally, but not TV or internet.

The DTLR has said in its guidance note that the regulations do not cover material which is “primarily graphical, where the only textual content is the model name and an advertising slogan.”  The DTLR does not think that the majority of outdoor car advertisements are within the scope of the regulations (unless an ad contains information on the vehicle such as performance figures).

The regulations require all information on the fuel consumption and CO2 emissions to be easy to read and easily understandable.  It must also be no less prominent than the main part of the information provided in the promotional literature.

Prosecutions are only likely in cases of persistent non-compliance, but obviously the disclosure requirements will now have to be followed.  If you would like a copy of the DTLR’s guidance note please send us an email in reply to this bulletin.

Bulletins are for general guidance only. Legal advice should be sought before taking action in relation to specific matters. Where reference is made to Court decisions facts referred to are those reported as found by the Court. Please note that past bulletins included in the Archive have not been updated by any subsequent changes in statute or case law.