Official figures reveal that an EU law approved in 2008 has led to a 10 per cent average improvement in the fuel efficiency of new vehicles over the past two years.
The improvements are helping to offset the burden for drivers of increased fuel prices, and reducing CO2 emissions.
Some car makers are on course to meet a 2015 target for improving fuel efficiency as early as next year, despite claiming when the law was proposed that it would be too difficult to put into practice.
South West Euro-MP Graham Watson says the EU legislation he backed has helped motorists save hundreds of pounds.
He told the Devon Week: “This is an EU measure that everyone should welcome, especially in a largely rural area such as South West England.
“One country acting alone could not have made powerful car manufacturers change their ways. Only by acting with our European neighbours can we successfully drive forward innovation, protect the environment, and reduce costs for drivers in this way.”
(from a press release)