WLTP Explained

Heard of WLTP? Possibly not, but the new Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedure is something which is causing a massive headache for European car manufacturers.

From 1st September all brand new passenger cars must be tested under the new rules prior to the registration process. Every variant of a model – thousands in all – must undergo testing, because different powertrain and option packages can affect carbon dioxide emissions in different ways. There have been huge bottlenecks at the agencies that perform the emissions tests.  One organization in Germany is running 24 hours a day, 6 days a week to try and meet demand.

Any car not certified by 1st September cannot legally be sold in Europe, although exemptions are available to manufacturers, a process known as derogation. The new test procedure has proven so exacting and expensive that many car manufacturers are struggling to have their cars certified in time, leading to some – including  Audi, BMW, Peugeot, Porsche and Volkswagen – taking selected cars off sale.  Seat have removed optional extras to simplify its model range, helping them to meet WLTP demands – they also say their customers prefer this less complicated approach to buying a vehicle.

Volkswagen is being forced to rent multi-story car parks to store up to 250,000 of their newly manufactured cars because they can’t currently be sold under new emissions rules.  VW have also shut down their main Wolfsburg factory for one to two days a week during August and September and it was revealed that the current generation of Golf GTI has been taken off sale because of the WLTP test restrictions.

The good news is that because we are fully independent and not tied to a particular manufacturer, we can help you to navigate this process by steering you in the direction of those manufacturers that have ‘got their act together’ and have established a compliant plan of action to tackle the problem.