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HMRC internal manual

Employment Income Manual

Car benefit calculation Step 5, appropriate percentage: approved CO2 emissions figure: car first registered in the UK from 1 January 1998 to 28 February 2001

This page relates to step 5 of the method statement in Section 121(1) ITEPA 2003, see EIM24015. It will help in understanding the guidance following this paragraph if you are familiar with the guidance at EIM24505 explaining the term approved CO2 emissions figure.

For cars first registered before 1 March 2001 the approved CO2 emissions figure is not shown on the car registration certificate (V5C). It will not always be included in the owner’s handbook for the car and, even if it is, the figure may not relate to that particular car and so may not be sufficiently accurate. This means that the owner or lessor of the car may not have details of the CO2 emissions figure. As employers will need to find out this information in order to comply with their reporting requirements to HMRC, you may receive enquiries about how to find out the CO2 emissions figure. You should mention the following sources of information.

  • The manufacturer (or importer, where appropriate). As explained at EIM24505 the manufacturer holds the type approval certificate for each type of car and this is where the approved CO2 emissions figure is recorded for the type to which the vehicle conforms. The manufacturer should provide this information if asked, normally by providing a certificate of conformity (see EIM24505). Although manufacturers are entitled to charge a small fee, some manufacturers are happy to provide this information free of charge.
  • The Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA) supplies CO2 (and other) emissions data in two formats

    • on a website at, and
    • in a booklet it publishes called New Car Fuel Consumption and Emissions Figures (though the website is normally more up to date). This is normally updated annually and copies of the current and earlier editions can be ordered free of charge from the above website or by post from Vehicle Certification Agency, 1 the Eastgate Office Centre, Eastgate Road, Bristol BS5 6XX.

As the VCA website figures relate to new cars currently on sale in the UK, employers will not be able to use the internet database to find the approved CO2 emissions figure for a car sold as new, say, two years ago. However, the version of the VCA booklet that was current at the time a car was first registered will provide a useful historical record.

For cases of difficulty see EIM24535.