Buyers will be given more information about a new car’s green credentials, thanks to the introduction of an improved environmental label.

The label features colour-coded bands for CO2 emissions and a guide to annual running costs, and will be displayed on new vehicles in car showrooms in time for the number plate change in September.

SMMT chief executive, Christopher Macgowan, commented: “By introducing this new voluntary label, the motor industry has shown its commitment to giving its customers clearer information on environmental performance. Model by model comparisons will be made easier for new car buyers as a result.”

UK motor manufacturers have agreed to the introduction of the colour-coded label, supplementing a label first introduced by SMMT in 1999. In addition to CO2 emissions, estimated annual fuel costs and VED rates, the label includes information on fuel type, average fuel consumption and engine size.