Driving law proposals could see the UK adopt European Union environmental car rules

Car exhaust pipe

The public consultation will run until November

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 12/10/2023

- 10:58

Updated: 30/10/2023

- 13:37

A number of motoring organisations have been asked to give their opinions on the proposals

The Government has launched a new consultation which could see the introduction of a number of European Union regulations to amend standards.

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

The new consultation would seek views from the public on whether "GB type approval" should accept new safety and environmental standards.

As part of this, the introduction of Euro 6e emissions standards for cars and LGVs could be introduced as an alternative to the current Euro 6d requirement.

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The consultation proposed accepting approvals to some measures from the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), which the UK has signed and accepted.

The key proposal in the scheme is whether to accept the latest international agreed emissions standards, known as Euro 6e.

Euro 6e includes changes to the laboratory and on-road test procedures of new vehicles, with more stringent environmental requirements than Euro 6d.

Car manufacturers who sell in the EU and Great Britain have indicated support for the new standards, but would prefer not to test these against Euro 6d as well.

Any changes would see the use of UNECE regulations containing Euro 6e to certify compliance with GB requirements for Euro 6d.

Other changes have been identified as being lower priority in safety or environment terms.

The consultation documents state: “We are considering whether to permit manufacturers to test to certain alternative specifications in these subjects, that provide the same or a comparable level of safety or environmental protection.

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

“A future consultation will seek your detailed views on this concept.”

The Government recently introduced an independent approval scheme – GB type approval – which recognises vehicles approved by the EU.

This applies to new models introduced to the market after February 1, 2024, and to all models that are to be produced after February 1, 2026.

For trailers towed behind motor vehicles, the applicable dates are one year later - February 1, 2025, and February 1, 2027.

New changes could also be introduced to amend measures like acoustic alerting systems, diesel smoke emissions monitoring and the installation of tyres.

One of the other proposals includes having the EU standard on rear registration plate space accepted as an alternative to the GB rules.


Testing diesel emissions

Some of the new regulations could see changes to how diesel emissions are tested


The Department for Transport consultation will end at 11.59pm on November 10, 2023, with a summary of responses expected within three months.

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