EU’s NEDC rates the Citroen Picasso at 3.8 litres per 100km; in the real world it uses 6.4 litres per 100km. Picture: Peugeot-Citroen

London - Cars are guzzling up to two-thirds more fuel than manufacturers’ official figures claim, according to a new study.

Citroen has admitted that previously published fuel efficiency claims were wide of the mark, and will now be selling cars using far more accurate figures. The move is set to prompt questions over why other manufacturers are still misleading the public.

Consumers have long been effectively cheated by the now discredited New European Driving Cycle statistics, which could only be produced in laboratory conditions and bore no relation to the real world. Last week, Peugeot-Citroen released more credible figures for 60 types of vehicles, which showed they were an average of 44 percent less efficient than the old numbers suggested.

For example, the 1.6-litre turbodiesel C4 Picasso automatic was previously quoted as achieving 3.8 litres per 100km, but in fact averaged 6.4 litres per 100km, meaning cars would use 67 per cent more fuel than expected.

Peugoet-Citroen said it ‘wanted to be as transparent as possible to rebuild trust’ following the Dieselgate scandal in which VW faked the results of emissions tests.

Motoring writer Quentin Willson said the new approach was "not before time", adding: "Other manufacturers will have to follow suit, and quickly. It’s been going on for years. People in the industry have known the huge gap between the real world and the theoretical figures."

Mail On Sunday

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