FMCG-style product labelling on cards for cars

The government wants car marques to carry information on their running costs in brand communications so consumers can see which models are better for the environment.

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Ministers are working with car manufacturers to develop an easy-to-understand measurement that can be included on ’product labels’ to help consumers make better choices when considering the environmental impact of a vehicle.

Commonly displayed information such as the number of miles a car can drive on a gallon of fuel are useful, says the government, but do not offer consumers a complete picture of what the full cost of the car will be. Inefficient cars that use a lot of fuel are likely to have higher insurance premiums and a higher road tax levy.

The initiative is part of the government’s long-term plans to improve the information that consumers get when making purchases. It recently unveiled plans to develop a system that gives consumers instant digital access to the data collected on them by brands for marketing purposes.

Separately, the government has facilitated the setting up of a research and development unit to investigate ways of providing consumers with product information regarding their impact on health and the environment.

The aim is to publish a paper with recommendations for manufacturers and retailers, with recommendations expected by the end of the year.

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