In the UK, vehicles account for 21% of all Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions. There are more than 25 million cars on the road, and each car requires oil and fuel. If every driver made some small improvements to the efficiency of their cars, then the overall effect would be a huge reduction in the country’s carbon emissions, as well as an improvement in our air quality. On a personal level, adopting these green driving tips will save you money, and could reduce the wear and tear on your car.
Here are a few tips to help you drive more efficiently and reduce your impact on the environment.
Start Simple: Drive Less
The easiest way to reduce the amount of fuel you use is to use your car less. Combine multiple short journeys into one longer errand. Join a car pool and share your commute with colleagues in your local area. If you are travelling only a short distance, consider walking instead.
Take Care of Your Car
A well-maintained car is far more fuel efficient than a neglected one, so don’t skip that Honda service appointment! Get your car serviced regularly, and in between services check things such as tire pressure and fluid levels. Under-inflated tyres can make your car less fuel efficient, and over-inflated tyres can be dangerous.
In addition, clean your car regularly, both inside and out. It may not seem like much, but carrying extra junk around in your car burns fuel.
If you have a roof rack, consider removing it if you know that it won’t be used for a while. Even small roof racks affect the aerodynamics of your car, and the fuel consumption increase from the extra drag mounts up over several long distance journeys.
Check your car’s maintenance manual to find out how often you need to change your oil, clean your filters, and perform other maintenance tasks. Some modern cars have self-cleaning filters, but not all cars do. Be sure to follow the maintenance schedule specified for your car to reduce wear and tear and keep your vehicle running well for as long as possible.
If You Must Drive, Drive Smart
The way that you drive can have a big impact on your car’s fuel efficiency. Some drivers have the practice of “hypermiling” down to a fine art-even timing top-ups to get the perfect balance between weight and fuel usage.
There’s no need to go to that kind of extreme if you don’t want to, but you can learn a thing or two from the hypermilers:
- Don’t idle your engine when it’s not necessary. Switch off your engine if you expect to be stationary for more than a minute or two.
- Look far ahead when driving, and focus on anticipating hazards-try to accelerate and slow down as smoothly as possible.
- Close your windows when driving on motorways to reduce drag.
- Consider taking a driver training course, such as the Energy Saving Trust’s Smarter Driving Course, to learn about road safety and efficient driving.
Written by B. Frisby on behalf of Main Dealer Discount.