Environmental Driving Tips
The way you drive your car affects not only how much fuel you use but also the amount of harmful emissions your car produces. Follow the tips below to save money and reduce emissions:
Drive smoothly: Check the road ahead, anticipate traffic and avoid harsh acceleration and breaking - this can reduce fuel consumption by up to 8% per cent.
Avoid unnecessary engine revving or idling: This uses more fuel. Modern engines are designed to be most efficient when you just get in and go - keeping the engine running or pumping the accelerator wastes fuel, increases engine wear and increases emissions.
Switch off: If you are going to be stationary for more than two minutes, switch off the engine rather than waste fuel. Sitting stationary is zero miles per gallon.
Keep the pressure up: By ensuring that your tyres are inflated to the correct pressure, you can reduce resistance and make life easier for your engine. Less resistance means less revs and less CO2.
Control your speed: Generally speaking, fuel consumption is poorer at low and high speeds, travelling at less than 15mph or over 60mph creates the most Carbon Dioxide. Try to plan your route and timing to avoid traffic jams, and remember also that driving over 70mph, as well as being against the law, dramatically increases emissions and consumption. Even driving at 70mph can cost up to 15% more than driving at 50mph.
Shift to a higher gear at the right time: Keep an eye on your rev counter, you should be changing up at no more than 2500 rpm for petrol cars and 2000 rpm for diesel cars. A vehicle travelling at 37 mph in third gear typically uses 25 per cent more fuel than it would at the same speed in fifth gear. Use higher gears as soon as traffic conditions allow.
Reduce Drag: Remove unnecessary weight and roof racks - they increase the weight and air resistance and so increase the amount of fuel you use. Air conditioning increases fuel consumption by around 8%, so it is usually more efficient to open a window. However, at higher speeds of 50mph and above, the additional drag caused by having the window open begins to approach the cost of using the aircon.
Plan your trip: Fuel is wasted every time you get lost.
Try to avoid using your car for short journeys - use public transport, ride a bicycle or walk, or share journeys wherever possible.