Price reductions on selected cars, from £250 - £1000 off

skip to main contentskip to footer

Euro 1 to Euro 7: what you need to know about emission standards

Euro 1 to Euro 7 – what you need to know about these emission standards and why they’re important

a busy london street with two taxis and a bus

With the move to electric cars and the increase in environmental awareness, the world is doing everything it can to improve the air we breathe and reduce the emissions our cars produce.

This is why Euro emission standards were introduced by the European Commission to monitor and keep checks and balances on the exhaust emissions of new vehicles.

A banner reading: 'quality cars for under £200 a month, see what's in stock'

What are Euro emission standards and why are they important?

Euro standards were established in 1992 to limit the level of exhaust emissions a petrol or diesel vehicle can produce, thereby reducing its impact on the environment.

This is completed before the car is ‘type approved’, which is a test that ensures the car is safe for the road by checking lights, wipers, horn etc.

Euro 7 will be rolled out in 2025, but what does this mean, and how does it affect you?

What is Euro 7?

Euro 7 will be introduced on 1 July 2025 and will be the strictest standard yet.

This means that Euro 7 will take the lowest limits seen in the previous Euro 6 and implement them across all new petrol and diesel cars.

All new cars sold from 2025 will need to emit no more than 60 milligrams of NOx to be compliant.

However, some changes will affect new electric cars and hybrid cars.

Further changes we will see with Euro 7:

a green and white london ulez sign on a street

Maximum emission limits on brakes and tyres

Euro 7 is introducing a limit on the emissions from brakes and tyres, which will restrict the amount of brake dust and tyre particulates released by all new cars.

Electric vehicle batteries will be assessed for longevity

Electric cars and plug-in hybrids will need to have their batteries assessed and tested to see how they change over time with regard to overall capacity as they do more miles on the road.

This is good news if you’re in the market for a used electric car because it improves the standard for used EV car batteries and ensures they’ll last longer the more you charge and use them.

All cars must be cleaner for longer

Aside from improving the longevity of EVs, petrol and diesel cars also need to be checked to ensure they are as clean as possible for as long as possible.

This means monitoring things like general wear and tear, exhaust filters and engines. To monitor and check this over time, new cars will need to be fitted with electronic sensors.

To get a tighter grasp on this, Euro 7 doubles the previous checking period from every five years and 100,000km (62,000 miles) to every 10 years and 200,000km (124,000 miles) from 2025.

Stricter pre-production testing to be ramped up

As it stands, new vehicles are pushed to their limits before the product can be driven and bought by the public – but Euro 7 standards are designed to make them safer in more conditions.

This new testing means that the emissions will be closely measured on shorter journeys and in hotter temperatures up to 45 degrees. So, if you live in a hotter part of the continent, your car isn’t at risk of being more harmful.

A banner reading 'car buying tips and reviews. Get our free email newsletter'

How long will Euro 7 be in place and how will it affect low emission zones in the UK?

Like most other Euro emission standards, we expect Euro 7 to be in place for between five and 10 years.

We don’t expect this to affect the UK’s low emission zones, but with the impending London ULEZ expansion, it’s always going to be beneficial to own the most compliant car available.

a man wearing a jacket about to fuel up a car at a uk petrol station

What is Euro 6?

Euro 6 was launched on 1 September 2015 and affected petrol and diesel cars, with a bigger focus on the NOx produced by diesel vehicles.

This introduced a liquid-reduction agent called Selective Catalytic Reduction that’s injected into a diesel vehicle’s exhaust system to make them cleaner.

What is Euro 5?

Euro 5 was introduced on 1 January 2011 and saw the arrival of particulate filters (DPF) for new diesel vehicles.

These filters catch more harmful substances from exiting the exhausts, which is particularly important for vans and lorries entering London’s ULEZ areas.

What is Euro 4?

Euro 4 came out on 1 January 2005 and is important if you live in or around London because this is the oldest Euro emission standards car you can drive without paying ULEZ charges – for now, at least.

What is Euro 3?

Introduced on 1 January 2001, Euro 3 modified the vehicle test procedure to eliminate the time it takes for the engine to warm up and to reduce the carbon monoxide and diesel particulates being released.

What is Euro 2?

Euro 2 did the same thing as Euro 3 but since it’s older (coming out on 1 January 1997), it wasn’t as effective.

What is Euro 1?

The oldest Euro emission standard that exists is Euro 1, which was launched on 31 December 1992 and signified the start of cleaner motoring.

It introduced compulsory catalytic converters on all new cars and demanded the switch to unleaded petrol.

Learn more about fuel-efficient driving: