Company cars are the cleanest on the road despite average CO2 emissions hitting a five-year high, the BVRLA said.

The association’s quarterly Leasing Survey found the average CO2 emissions for all new leased cars is 118g/km, a rise of 7% since early 2017 with the body warning this is set to continue to rise due to the increasing share of petrol and personal lease vehicles and as the inflationary impact of more accurate WLTP emissions testing takes effect.

However, the BVRLA said the contrast between emissions for new personal contract hire and business contract hire vehicles is a stark one, with PCH cars hitting 137g/km and BCH cars coming in at 116g/km CO2 and this rise in emissions is being mirrored in the wider new car market where average CO2 emissions are also at a five-year high, of 129g/km.

First Drive-August 2019-Ford Focus ST-Image 4

A new milestone was hit during the latest survey, too, as petrol’s share of the new leased car market passed 50% for the first time, hitting 52% for the first three months of 2019.

Meanwhile, new diesel registrations fell by 15% year on year, delivering a market share of 40% and it was a mixed picture for plug-in vehicles, with the hybrid share falling to 5% but pure EV registrations obtaining a share of over 1% for the first time.

“The company car fleet is still the cleanest on the road, and there are signs that it is finally getting the recognition it deserves,” said BVRLA chief executive, Gerry Keaney.“The WLTP test regime has been pushing up average emission figures, so we welcome the Government’s recent decision to limit this impact on company car tax (CCT) rates. When you combine this with the increasing availability of RDE2-compliant diesels, which bring a further 4% reduction in CCT, the future looks much brighter for the company car market than it did a few weeks ago.The average new personal lease car emits 18% more CO2 than its company car equivalent, and this revised CCT regime makes it easier for fleets and drivers to make the right choices.”