We all know that cars aren’t the best for the environment, but sometimes you can’t avoid needing one. You can change your driving habits to be as green a driver as you can. Here’s how to do it.
The best way to be a greener driver is to buy as green a car as possible, whether you buy a new or used car. If you’re not in the market for a new car, you can change the way you drive to make a difference.
Fill free seats in your car. This will reduce the number of cars going in the same direction. If you’re going to let someone else drive your car, make sure their car insurance will cover them to drive your car.
Check Your Tyre Pressure
If your tyres are under-inflated then the engine of your car will need to work harder to turn them properly, which means you will use more fuel.
The optimum pressure will be different for different tyres, but the suggested amounts should be printed on the inside of the driver’s side door, or in your handbook.
Slim Down Your Belongings
Try to keep what you store in your car to a minimum. Don’t use your car as a cupboard. This is because a heavier vehicle burns more fuel. It might seem strange to think that leaving your empty suitcases in the boot will have a negative effect, but every little bit makes a difference.
Take Your Car For A Service
If you’re going to be making a long journey, then it can be a good idea to book in for a service and get a mechanic to check everything is in good working order.
It’s worth having your car’s emissions checked at the same time. If there’s an issue with any part of the exhaust system then you could be leaving harmful fumes behind you.
Plan Your Journey
Try to avoid being on the road at the busiest times. Sitting in traffic with the engine idling is not ideal. Try to drive when the roads are quieter.
Check whether an alternative route might be quicker, even if it is actually longer in terms of distance. If a route is less popular, it might actually take less time.
An idling car produces up to 150 balloons of exhaust emissions, containing harmful chemicals, every minute.
Make It More Aerodynamic
Avoid attaching roof racks and boxes to your car, as these will increase the amount of drag on the car and lead to higher fuel consumption. The same is true if you often strap things like mountain bikes to the top or back of your car.
If you can keep a steady speed, it will reduce the amount of fuel that you burn through on a journey. If you have a heavy foot as you drive, you’ll need to visit more petrol stations. Accelerate smoothly and see what’s happening on the road ahead so you can better anticipate the need to brake and bring the car to a stop more gradually.