Drivers warned of plans to accept European rules impacting petrol and diesel cars in the UK

Cars on motorway

Euro 6e will become compulsory for vehicles sold in Northern Ireland 'in due course'

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 10/11/2023

- 10:14

The consultation ends today at 11.59pm

Drivers are being urged to give their feedback to a consultation which could see new European measures applied to petrol and diesel vehicles in the UK.

The Government launched a consultation in October to see whether the UK should accept new emissions standards set out by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.

All road vehicles in the UK must have “GB type approval” before they go on sale in Great Britain, whether they were made in this country or not.

Under plans outlined in the consultation, rules around GB type approval would change to accept new standards.

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The consultation contains two proposals, which could be introduced if the feedback from drivers and motoring organisations is positive.

The first measure would be to accept approvals to some international regulations which the UK has signed and undertaken to accept.

Of the proposals, the most important would be the accept the latest internationally agreed emissions standards for cars and light goods vehicles, known as Euro 6e.

Euro 6e includes changes to the laboratory and on-road test procedures to see the emissions output of petrol and diesel vehicles.

The European Union uses the new measures which apply to vehicles sold in Northern Ireland under the obligations set out in the Windsor Framework.

Euro 6e is expected to become compulsory for vehicles sold in Northern Ireland “in due course”.

Similarly, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) has recently adopted the Euro 6e standard.

Euro emissions guidelines are already in widespread use across the UK, with Euro 4 and Euro 6 being the benchmarks for Clean Air Zones and London’s Ulez.

The secondary proposals have been described by the Government as “lower priority” in safety or environmental terms.

This could include allowing manufacturers to test certain alternative specifications of these subjects.

However, the alternative measures would need to provide the same comparable level of safety or environmental protection.

The consultation proposes to accept one specification used in an international market, which the industry has identified as “beneficial”.

A future consultation is planned with the Government expected to seek detailed views on the concept.

Further questions in the consultation include whether to accept UNECE regulations for tyres, added sound for quiet vehicles and other proposals to correct errors.


MOT emissions check

The Euro emissions standards were introduced in 1992


The consultation will run until November 10, 2023, with drivers being able to give their opinions until 11.59pm.

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