New Aussie initiative to put car claims to the test

21 April, 2022

Ever wondered if you can trust what car makers say about the fuel-efficiency of their vehicles?

So have we – which is why, along with the Australian Automobile Association (AAA) and Australia’s other motoring clubs, we will soon be testing the fuel consumption of various vehicles.

The new True Emissions Test is being funded by the Commonwealth Government, and aims to give car buyers full transparency over the efficiency and emissions claims of manufacturers. This will help them choose a car that’s cheaper and cleaner to run.

What’s the issue?

The initiative has been prompted by a 2017 AAA pilot study which found Australian cars can use up to 59% more fuel than advertised. On average, vehicles in the AAA study used 23% more fuel than they claimed to, and this gap between lab results and real-world performance was found to be widening over time.

Image: Australian Automobile Association

But why the discrepancy?

To make their fuel emission forecasts, car makers put their vehicles through an overseas lab test. The only problem is, thanks to controversies such as the 2015 Volkswagon scandal, we know these tests can result in findings that are world’s away from how they will actually perform out on the road.

So, starting later this year, we’ll begin testing 60 vehicles annually, capturing fuel use data on real Australian roads to scrutinise the claims of their makers. Keep your eyes peeled in late 2022 for the first results from the True Emissions Test.

To nominate a car you think should be tested, email the Australian Automobile Association on