Tough new “real world” emissions test to be introduced next week

Strict standards come into force in the biggest overhaul of emissions rules in a generation

Tough new “real world” emissions test to be introduced next week
New 90-minute test will recreate real life mix of urban, countryside and motorway driving. Image: Bigstock.

New models of diesel and petrol cars will have to pass a strict new emissions test before they are allowed on Britain’s roads from September. 

Under the old test, vehicles were tested in the lab on a rolling road but now they will have a 90-minute real world driving test.

The limits are being introduced under European-wide reforms that the British government has led the way in calling for.

Transport minister, Paul Maynard said: “We are taking strong action to clean up our air and these tough new emissions standards will reduce dangerous pollutants.

“This will ensure all vehicles meet rigorous standards when driven on our roads – and we are going even further tightening requirements again in 2020.”

Slash emissions 

The government’s diesel testing programme last year found that today’s Euro 6 diesel cars were emitting six times more nitrogen dioxide in the real world than in the lab.

Under the reforms, now they will have to slash those emissions by two thirds.

The new test is also designed to stop car manufacturers cheating on the emissions test.

During the 90-minute test vehicles will have emissions testing equipment attached to the exhaust pipe, and they must pass before they are approved to go on sale in Britain.

The Department for Transport (DfT) has also recently set up a market surveillance unit, which tests a random sample of vehicles already on the road to make sure they meet emissions standards.

DPF detection

GW understands that the department is continuing to work on new methods of DPF detection for use during the MOT.

In a statement obtained by GW, a DfT spokesperson said: “Alternative methods of detecting the presence of particulate filters are under development and we are examining their suitability for use in an MOT.

“Further research is required to ensure potential methods accurately determine a pass or fail.”

Do you think enough is being done to crackdown on the emissions of vehicles already on our roads? Share your comments and experiences below.


  1. One of the most disturbing pieces of news I have read about recently is that California created an agreement called CARB, known as California Air Research Board, that legally put standards in place to reduce the emissions smog of motor vehicles over the years, then in my working lifetime just over 30 years I have seen this country reduce carburettor vehicles to zero because of this so called pollution smog etc, increasing costs to the vehicle manufacturers and the buyers of vehicles, only to find recently that the UK, a little Ireland with an area of no significance globally compared to the States, California and other major countries are all still running round in V6/V8 cars with technology on them as old as the 1960’s and 70’s, yes the carburrettors and the old K Jetronic mechanical fuel injection systems. These systems pour buckets of fuel into the engines and are nothing in comparison to our vehicles, so why does the UK have to do all this updating when nobody else does, it’s a damn joke as I see it, or a damn good money making racket for the governments.

    • I appreciate your concern of double standards, but “two wrongs don’t make a right”. Let us lead the way so that others may follow suit. Better cleaner air, no doubt benefits health and environment.

  2. You hit the nail on the head with the last part of your post.

    • I don’t see why you blame the government for it, in fact I don’t see what youre blaming anybody for.
      Apart from the emissions aspect fuel injection systems have been steadily improved over the years to give huge gains in efficiency. The power output per litre of capacity has gone up massively and in turn fuel consumption has vastly improved.
      If people in other parts of the world want to buy inefficient old fashioned engines then we can’t do much to stop them but I don’t believe anyone does. Certainly all the present day US cars I’ce seen are running modern injection systems.

  3. Wise up!!! Never happen!

  4. As i have commented on once or twice before, if some sort of mandatory engine service was to be introduced annually maybe at the same time as the MOT then the pollution issues even from older cars would not be anywhere near as bad. But i suspect the manufacturers would have a lot input into that piece of decision making, so i would not hold my breath on that one.

    • Sounds like a good idea ,some people don’t no the difference between a mot and a service, they think if a car passes it’s mot that’s saved them the service fee 8

  5. I do think that anyone buying a car should be asked for what it’s to be used for/as by the sale person,buying as diesel car to be used for the school run is a joke and that there designed for motorways and as workhorse but most customers don’t


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