Fleet News

Fleets need to prepare for AdBlue requirement of new EU6 diesels

Corporate, SME and Public Sector organisations are being urged to prepare for changes as a result of new Euro 6 (EU6) compliant diesel engines which will be introduced from September 1, 2015, warns Alphabet. 

All new cars, plus light commercial vehicles under 1,305kg (unladen), sold in the EU must be compliant with EU6 standards for exhaust emissions. Unlike previous diesels, many EU6 compliant engines require an exhaust additive called AdBlue, which neutralises most of the harmful NOx emissions.

For some fleets the use of AdBlue is not new, buses and heavy goods vehicles have been using it for several years. But from September, AdBlue will become an important requirement for many diesel drivers – including company car and LCV drivers who may not previously have been aware of it.

Most new diesel cars which require AdBlue carry sufficient quantity to last between scheduled servicing intervals. However, due to the style of journeys that they make certain drivers and commercial vans will use up their vehicle’s AdBlue reserves more quickly, requiring the additive to be topped up regularly by drivers or depot staff.

While AdBlue itself is inexpensive, the misuse of it can result in problems which immobilise a vehicle and are costly to put right.

In addition, failing to take action when an AdBlue warning appears will result in the vehicle breaking down or failing to start.

In preparation of the change, Alphabet has produced a management paper and driver guide on AdBlue to help fleet managers and their drivers understand the requirements and avoid any potential pitfalls.

Matt Sutherland, chief operating officer at Alphabet, said: “AdBlue is crucial to many engines in this next generation of diesel technology.

“It’s good news for fleet managers and drivers who benefit from improved efficiency and reduced emissions, but it’s important that fleet managers and diesel drivers understand what AdBlue is, what their responsibilities are and how to use it.

“Fleet managers need to ensure that their organisation’s vehicle policy includes clear instructions around the use and misuse of AdBlue, in the same way that they do currently with mis-fuelling petrol with diesel or adding other fluids like oil.

“Similarly, some drivers depending on their driving style and the types of journeys they make, will require AdBlue top ups outside of their regular servicing so fleet managers need to consider their policy and how they handle that.”

For most company car drivers their tank of AdBlue will be filled up during the scheduled service and once filled up they shouldn’t have to worry for several thousands of miles or until the next service.

LCVs or drivers who make lots of stop-start journeys are likely to require additional AdBlue top ups between services.

Sutherland continued: “Like engine oil or washer fluid, drivers need to be familiar with how to top up their vehicle with AdBlue and make sure the fluid is put in the right place according to their vehicle handbook.

“Similarly, drivers have a responsibility to keep an eye on any dashboard AdBlue warnings and take the appropriate corrective action in accordance with their employer’s vehicle policy – otherwise the vehicle will come to a halt or won’t start next time.”

To download the Alphabet’s management briefing and driver guide on AdBlue, click here.

See the August 20th edition of Fleet News for more on AdBlue and what it means for fleets.

Leave a comment for your chance to win £20 of John Lewis vouchers.

Every issue of Fleet News the editor picks his favourite comment from the past two weeks – get involved for your chance to appear in print and win!

Comment as guest

Login  /  Register


  • Carcoat Damphands - 05/08/2015 12:11

    Nice to read that Alphabet will cover the cost of all Adblue top ups as part of their maintenance inclusive contracts.

    Reply as guest

    Login  /  Register
  • Rorry - 05/08/2015 15:20

    I guess they build it into the cost, although it costs buttons when bought in bulk.

    Reply as guest

    Login  /  Register
  • Edward Handley - 05/08/2015 15:47

    Adblue is currently sold from pumps alongside the truck diesel pumps at some service areas, and in 10 litre containers at most filling stations. This is likely to cause a few issues as light van users are not going to be keen on using the truck filling area, and using the high capacity truck diesel pumps on a small van is likely to result in unnecessary spillages. Truck drivers are also likely to get vexed if the truck pumps are regularly blocked by LCVs! The 10 litre containers are an awkward size to handle and although they come with a screw on filler hose, these are prone to messy leaks, and LCVs are not going to need 10 litres at a time, so there will be a requirement for smaller top up bottles because drivers are not going to want to keep a half full 10 litre can in the vehicle!. Nothing technically difficult with this but there will be a massive price premium to pay. Bulk Adblue is available for around 50p/litrre but the 10 litre containers cost £10 - 15 a time so the cost if two or three times greater. I would bet that 1 litre containers suitable for LCVs will cost £2.50 to £3 a pop.

    Reply as guest

    Login  /  Register
  • Bob the Engineer - 07/08/2015 21:02

    There are already OBD plug-in gadgets that override the ad-blue requirement allowing the vehicle to start without it, the bigger uptake of ad-blue will just fuel this market. Then just add a dash for the MOT.

    Reply as guest

    Login  /  Register
Compare costs of your company cars

Looking to acquire new vehicles? Check how much they'll cost to run with our Car Running Cost calculator.

What is your BIK car tax liability?

The Fleet News car tax calculator lets you work out tax costs for both employer and employee