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Car MPG not the same as advertised, what should I do?

Previously, cars were tested on a standardised regime called the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC). The purpose of the NEDC was to provide figures for comparison but it was not in any way indicative of the fuel consumption you could expect to achieve in real life – because the figures were obtained in highly controlled conditions and did not take into account factors such as weight in the vehicle, driving style and the use of additional features like air-conditioning. Unless the advertising was misleading, and did not include a disclaimer explaining that the figures would not represent real-world driving, it would be unlikely that a complaint about the fuel consumption figures would be upheld.

There has since been a new testing regime introduced called the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) which is aimed to produce figures which are more realistic – although it does need to be recognised that there will always be variables which can affect your fuel consumption in the real world so there will still be some difference between the advertised fuel consumption and the fuel consumption you achieve as the WLTP won’t be able to cater to all factors which can affect fuel economy.

Electric and hybrid cars go through the testing regimes so this advice would apply equally to them.

If you’re concerned about your fuel consumption or your range, you might want to speak with your seller or manufacturer as there could be a fault causing the problem – and this can then be investigated further.

Not found the answer you require?

The Motor Ombudsman is a certified Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) provider who can assist with disputes that arise between consumers and Code-accredited businesses. If this article has not answered your questions and if you have a complaint about a business please visit our complaints page to find out what to do next.

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