The effect of WLTP on high mileage older vehicles

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In the past when you bought a car the fuel consumption figures provided by the manufacturer were always best treated with a pinch of salt. This is because the standard tests used – the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) introduced in the 1980s – were done under laboratory conditions and bore little relation to what you might achieve in the real world.








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Now though that has changed with the introduction of the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) – tests the car at a range of speeds and includes acceleration and braking phases as well as being tested for the lightest and heaviest version of each car, so it should offer a more accurate picture of how economical the car will be in day-to-day use.

Effect on the new car market

The new car market has taken something of a hit in recent months. There are many reasons for this, the fall in demand for diesels in the wake of the emissions scandal and uncertainty over Brexit among them, but WLTP has undoubtedly had an effect too.

Not least because it is leading fleet owners, who typically rack up high mileage on their vehicles to wait longer before changing them. Registrations are down for both private and business buyers, with the business sector dropping the most. Diesel sales have taken the worst hit, with sales of petrol cars actually rising slightly. The biggest growth though has come from alternative fuel vehicles like electrics and hybrids.











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Used market

This, of course, has a knock on effect for the used market. As if things weren’t tough enough for dealers, at least they can get competitive motor trade insurance through sites like to cover their stock.

People have been waiting longer to trade in their cars in the wake of WLTP uncertainty, so the average age of part exchanges is up as is the average mileage. Prices of diesel cars have fallen because of worries about not just the dieselgate scandal, but also due to the possible effect of new low emissions zones being introduced in cities around the country.

With people hanging onto cars longer, the overall effect should be that when they do decide to change we’ll see more older, higher mileage models arriving on the used car market.


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