There comes a time when you need to ditch your current car. This has literally just happened to me as the cam shaft has broken on my trusty Zafira. It comes at quite a good moment in many ways as I have been considering ways to make my motoring cheaper and greener. We’ve decided to go down the route of leasing a low co2 emission car.
It’s well documented that cars are a major contributor to environmental pollution. Legislation in terms of city congestion charges, vehicle excess duty rates and the advent of alternative power such as electric is designed to minimise the effects of fossil fuels. While diesel was considered the better environmental option when the focus was purely on CO2 emissions, there has been something of a backlash in the light of concerns over the particulates emitted by diesel engines.
There are lots of ways which you can save some cash and make sure your car is as environmentally friendly as possible. I’ve been sent the following suggestions which I will definitely be taking on board (excuse the pun!)
Keeping your car in tip top condition will help. Regular servicing at a competent and trustworthy garage includes the replacement of items such as air filters; a new, clean one helps burn less fuel so the car runs cleaner.
Your fuel consumption could be around 25% less with regular tune ups, emissions checks and regular servicing.
Check tyres – wrongly inflated tyres, especially under-inflation, causes a car to burn more fuel due to the extra resistance under inflated tyres exert. Regular surveys undertaken by Michelin revealed over 60% of cars on the road had incorrectly inflated tyres, causing the emission of an extra 538,000 tonnes of excess CO2.
Your driving technique – criticising someone’s driving is akin to heresy in some quarters, but many of us could drive more economically. Here are a few pointers:
- Anticipate more – sudden braking as opposed to natural slowing down wastes fuel (braking effectively wipes out the amount of fuel you’ve used to build that momentum).
- Use high gears – change up in good time and drive in the highest gear possible, but don’t let the engine labour.
- Excess weight – remove items from the car you don’t need for that trip; riding around with your golf clubs in the boot all week wastes fuel over time.
Change cars – an extreme step you may think, but it could be worth considering especially if yours is ageing and something of a ‘gas guzzler.’ Maybe your running costs are expensive in terms of fuel, maintenance and tax so a newer, more fuel efficient, environmentally friendly model could be worth considering.
There are various ways including leasing (both for business and personal users) to put a new, cheaper to run and greener car on your driveway at a reasonable cost.
Your car use – can you use your car less? Perhaps you could combine smaller trips into one? Maybe sometimes you could bike or walk to work or share lifts with others on occasions? Combining, say, a trip to the supermarket on the way back from work is better than taking a separate trip where your car is starting from cold.
Overall, shorter trips should be minimised as far as possible. Your car is less efficient as it’s not running at its optimum temperature so uses more fuel, and shorter trips cause faster wear and tear than longer ones.
Car equipment – when driving, try to use the minimum in-car equipment you can; air conditioning increases fuel consumption as do electrical items such as heated rear windows and lighting. Switch them off when possible.
Plan trips – getting lost and wasting fuel on dead adds to your carbon footprint, so plan trips as far as you can using maps and keeping your sat nav mapping up to date.
Greener is possible
With just some basic steps, not all of them even costing money, you can at least make your present car greener to help the environment.