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Why can't I get published fuel ratings?

(NC) Frustrated that you're not achieving the fuel consumption ratings advertised for your vehicle? You're not alone. Many drivers are confused as to why they're spending more on gas than they anticipated, given the fuel consumption published on the EnerGuide label and in Natural Resources Canada's Fuel Consumption Guide.

There are some things you can do to get the advertised fuel consumption ratings for your vehicle, the first of which is to understand how fuel consumption ratings are derived.

Fuel consumption ratings help consumers compare the fuel consumption of different vehicles for both city and highway driving. Ratings provide a reliable comparison of the fuel consumption of different vehicles. However, no test can simulate all possible combinations of conditions that may be experienced by drivers. A vehicle's fuel consumption will vary from published ratings, depending on how, when and where a vehicle is driven.

In order to produce ratings, vehicle manufacturers test their own vehicles and generate and submit fuel consumption ratings and supporting data to Environment Canada. This information then appears on EnerGuide labels that are affixed to new vehicles at new car dealerships and in Natural Resources Canada's annual Fuel Consumption Guide. It is the government's role to ensure that fuel consumption ratings continue to be derived in a controlled, repeatable and standardized manner for every vehicle regardless of which manufacturer submits data. The government will continue to validate the fuel consumption data that is submitted by automobile manufacturers and perform audits as needed.

Perhaps the most important thing you can do to achieve better fuel consumption is to practice fuel-efficient driving habits such as slow acceleration, maintaining a steady speed, anticipating traffic, coasting to decelerate and avoiding high speeds.

You can find more information about fuel economy, fuel-efficient driving and the EnerGuide label program at www.vehicles.nrcan.gc.ca.

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