AAA's Real-World Tests: delivering reliable fuel and emissions results for motorists


A world-first program to test the real-world vehicles’ fuel consumption and emissions is garnering international attention and seeking further collaboration between the Australian Clubs, Green NCAP and German motoring club ADAC over data-sharing. 


The AAA’s ‘Real-World Testing Program’ shows that Australian consumers are not receiving accurate information about many cars’ fuel consumption and environmental performances. 

The program compares vehicles’ fuel consumption and emissions in Australian driving conditions with the mandated laboratory test results reported by car manufacturers. It will test 200 vehicles in total over four years from 2023 to 2027. 

Since testing began in late August 2023, the program has published 43 results which show fuel consumption ranging from 31% more than lab-based results reported at point of sale, through to 13% less. 

Seventeen of the vehicles tested exceeded current or future Australian regulatory limits for tailpipe emissions. The program gives consumers and fleet operators more relevant information about new light vehicles’ emissions and fuel consumption. 

It is expected to incentivise carmakers to prioritise cleaner and more fuel-efficient vehicles in their Australian shipments. In an increasingly low-trust socio-political environment, the program is now positioning Australia’s motoring clubs as a source of truth for car buyers. 

In 2022, the Australian Government committed to provide the AAA with AUD $14 million over four years to fund an Australian-specific testing program.

The AAA first proposed the idea in the wake of the 2015 Volkswagen emissions scandal, which showed that emissions regulations around the world were incentivising carmakers to optimise their vehicles’ fuel consumption and emissions performance for the laboratory tests used for regulatory compliance. 

Since then, international studies have revealed large gaps between laboratory and real-world performance of new vehicles. 

The AAA is very pleased to be engaging with Europe’s Green NCAP program and German motoring club ADAC, which have expressed interest in sharing data and collaborating. The Australian Government has advised it has received requests for Program data from overseas governments and is working to publish the test data on the government’s data website. 

The AAA is having discussions with the Government on publishing the results on various consumer-facing public information portals (such as ‘The Green Vehicle Guide’). 

The AAA is also engaging with online consumer car sales platforms and engaging with vehicle dealers to understand their needs. AAA is preparing a draft testing protocol for battery electric vehicles. This will be shared with clubs, industry, and the Australian Government in June 2024 for feedback. 

All results are published at: 


The Prime Minister of Australia, The Hon Anthony Albanese MP, launching the AAA’s program.