Average CO2 emissions for new cars sold in the UK have fallen for the 12th consecutive year.
The average CO2 emissions of a new car sold in 2009 was 146.5g/km, 5.4 per cent lower than in 2008. This is a 21.2 per cent drop from 1997, a reduction of 40.3g/km.
One in five cars sold in the UK last year had CO2 emissions of under 120g/km, while there was also a shift towards the lower VED bands. Sales in the K-M bands (225g/km and above) now account for just 5.8 per cent of the market, compared with 28.1 per cent in 1997. The most popular VED band for sales is E (131-140g/km).
The SMMT believes the main factors in the overall reduction in CO2 emissions are improved technology, the affects of the recession, the scrappage incentive scheme and rising fuel prices.
The average CO2 emissions for a new car sold under the scrappage scheme were 133.3g/km.