The UK's Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has reported that average new car C02 emissions have fallen 10.7% in seven years.

According to the latest SMMT New Car Registrations by CO2 Performance report, data from every new car registered last year show a 1.2% year-on-year drop from 171.4 g/km in 2004 to 169.4 g/km in 2005.

In a statement, SMMT chief executive Christopher Macgowan said that he is hoping that the European Commission will soon give the go-ahead for the new Low Carbon Car Grants to help new car buyers in the UK. This will replace the Powershift programme, which ended 18 months ago.

Other findings from the SMMT New Car Registrations by CO2 Performance 2006 are that in 2005:

  • The percentage of new cars with CO2 emissions of under 140 g/km has risen to 18%; a rise from 3.9% in 1997, and from 15.5% in 2004
  • This fall in CO2 has been matched by a 13.9% improvement in mpg levels
  • The average emission from a new car sold to private buyers has fallen 1.1%, down to 172.3g/km - its lowest ever level. This was the same improvement as the company car market
  • Over half the new car market is now under 160 g/km
  • CO2 levels have fallen by 20.4g/km per new vehicle since 1997
  • 34.1% of the new car market falls in the lowest three VED bands; up from just 7.8% in 1997.
  • Despite a 15% increase in the total UK vehicle parc, total emissions from cars fell 1%.
  • Registrations of alternative-fuelled vehicles increased 48% in 2005. 

The top 10 lowest CO2 emissions models registered in 2005 (lowest emitter in range) were the Honda Insight (petrol/electric hybrid, 80g/km); Toyota Prius (petrol/electric hybrid, 104); Citroën C2 1.4 HDi (diesel, 107) and Citroën C1 1.4 HDi (diesel, also 107); Citroën C1 1.0i (petrol, 109), Citroën C3 1.4 HDi (diesel, also 109), Peugeot 107 Urban (petrol, also 109) and Toyota Aygo 1.0 (petrol, also 109); Renault Clio dCi 80 (diesel, 110); Smart Fortwo 698 (petrol, 113) and Toyota Yaris 1.4 D-4D (diesel, 113).