Advocating change

Real-World Testing delivers first results

Australia’s Real-World Testing Program gives car buyers relevant information that can help them choose vehicles with lower running costs and lower tailpipe emissions.

It measures vehicles’ fuel consumption and pollutant emissions on Australian roads – results that can vary significantly from lab test results reported by car makers.

The program tested nine small and mid-sized SUVs (seven petrol, one diesel and one hybrid) on a 93km route in and around Geelong, Victoria that includes urban and rural roads, as well as a stretch of motorway.

Five vehicles had real-world fuel consumption 8% to 13% higher than their lab test results required to be reported by regulation. Four vehicles’ real-world fuel consumption results were within 2% of their lab test results.

Four out of nine vehicles tested recorded pollutant results that exceeded either the applicable lab test limits for Australian-regulated pollutants or the European particle number lab test emissions limits – or both.

The first tranche of results does not represent the wider market. It covers nine specific SUVs, seven of which were petrol vehicles. Much more work remains to be done in testing a wider range of vehicle types, including more diesel and hybrid vehicles, utes, and cars of all sizes.

The program is currently testing more SUVs. In 2024 it will also test small passenger cars, people movers and utes, including petrol, diesel and hybrid models.

Real-World Testing has only just begun. Over four years, the program will test about 200 vehicles.

We, along with other motoring clubs, support this program managed by the Australian Automobile Association on behalf of the Commonwealth Government, who've provided $14 million in funding.

To view the first tranche of test results, visit the Real-World Testing website.