Buyers of European luxury brands such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz may face a €3500 premium on new car purchases if the European Commission has its way and introduces tough new emission caps by 2012. Currently average car emission figures are at 162g of CO2 per kilometer but the EC is aiming to set a fleet average of 130g/km per manufacturer and will look to heavily fine those that fail to comply. Such expenses will most likely be passed on to the consumer.

According to WhatCar, estimates suggest car companies could be liable for fines of up to €12.5 billion per year should these proposals go ahead, with the EC levying €80-90 per gram per car that manufacturers exceed targets by.

Currently Daimler, parent company of Mercedes-Benz, averages 188g/km with its models whereas competitor BMW averages 184g/km. French maker PSA Peugeot Citroen, with its smaller engine capacities, averages just 142g/km and should have less of an issue bringing down its average fleet emissions by 2012.