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One in three dealers has little or no understanding of RDE

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The latest dealer survey from Manheim has highlighted a surprising lack of awareness about the new Real Driving Emissions (RDE) tests that come into force at the weekend.

When asked to rate their understanding of RDE, 21% rated their understanding as poor, and one in ten dealers said they had never heard of it. Just 7% of respondents said they had a good understanding of the new tests.

From 1 September, all new vehicles must go through an RDE test to measure how closely their emissions in a real-world driving scenario match the results in a laboratory. The new measures represent the next phase of tougher emissions testing legislation that began with the introduction of WLTP last September. 

Philip Nothard, Customer Insight and Strategy Director at Manheim said: “When WLTP came into effect it significantly reduced new car availability, and also created longer term tax uncertainty, so it’s surprising to hear that one in three dealers has little or no knowledge of RDE.”

“It’s clear that some dealers do not feel well informed about automotive policy, and the addition of another acronym has simply muddied the waters even more. The question is, if dealers are unclear on RDE, how are consumers expected to understand it?”

The survey also asked dealers about the potential impact of the new tests, with 63% of respondents confirming that they expect to see some impact on new car supply.  While 44% of respondents believe there will be a slight impact, 19% feel that the new legislation will heavily affect used car supply.

Nothard commented: “We believe that OEMs are more prepared for the new tests this time around, but the results of our dealer survey suggest that there will be some impact on new car supply.”

When it comes to the potential effect of the new legislation in the wider automotive market, Nothard believes there may be an increase in wholesale volume due to tactical pre-registration activity in August:
“We’ve seen higher than average pre-registration activity throughout 2019, and it looks like this has continued in August. This suggests that there will be considerable pressure on stock balances in Q3 and Q4, and more part-exchange vehicles could be sent to auction as a result.”

“Similarly, attractive incentives may tempt fleets to replace some of their vehicles, increasing defleet volume in the wholesale market.”

Nothard concluded: “With some dealers reporting that they are already seeing an impact on new car availability, it’s clear that RDE is set to have some effect on the market.”

“With just a couple of days to go until the new tests are introduced, I would urge those dealers who don’t yet know about RDE to read up on it so that they can stay ahead of the game.”

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