Introduction to noise control of motor vehicles

One of the ways to control noise is to limit the amount of noise that is produced. In the case of road traffic noise, to limit the emission of individual cars, buses and trucks. In order to avoid unfair competition, the limits are set by the European Commission. The type approval method is of course also under control of the Commission. The test consists of a pass by test at 7.5 meters. The vehicle is required to drive by at 50 km/hr, and accelerate in front of the microphone position. The limits are in operation from 1971. The past 30 years have seen a considerable stengthening.

The limits that are now in operation for new cars, buses and trucks you can find here. Although the limits have been lowered between 7 and 10 dB, the effect on the noise levels in every day practice has been somewhat disappointing. What is worse, the amount of traffic has increased much more rapidly then the modest decrease in noise emission could cope with. The result is a net increase in traffic noise, adding considerably to the adverse effects on the population.

Noise emission apparently is not the first thing people look at if they buy cars. But, all other things being equal, wouldn't you rather buy a quiet one? Less noise might mean better and more durable construction, so you could be better of after all. If you or your company are to buy a new car or van, look first at our database of noise emission levels. In the database only the cars and trucks are listed which are at least 4 dB(A) (cars) or 2 dB(A) (trucks, vans) more silent then the standards require. If your car or truck is not in the list, it simply means that it is close to the standard.