Introduction The complexity and diversity of cars means that conventional eco-ratings such as those used for white goods, present insurmountable difficulties. A number of environmental ratings systems for cars are currently in use, notably in Germany (VCD Auto Umweltliste; Auto Motor u Sport), Sweden (Rototest), but also in the UK (Environmental Transport Association Car Buyers Guide). These are all primarily aimed at private consumers. However, they miss out a number of key indicators. In addition, the European Commission has announced it will introduce its own eco-rating for cars by 2000. This is likely to be based on CO2 emissions, although a more comprehensive system will be introduced in due course (AEA 42,1998, 13-16).