Reducing Your Carbon Footprint Whilst Keeping Costs Down

There are actions that you can take which reduce the amount of money spent on fuel and car maintenance. You might be surprised at the savings that you could make. Together with motability dealers, Lookers, we investigate further:

Are you aware of your speed?

If you are aware of your speed, this can assist with travelling at a consistent rate and therefore improves fuel economy. Quick acceleration and hard braking, for example to get through a set of traffic lights, can cut fuel efficiency by around 33%, maintaining a constant speed is much more economic. Take the opportunity to switch off your vehicle when stationary too as this means you’re reducing your fuel consumption too.

Keeping your speed down is a good tip too. In fact, driving at speeds over 70mph burns through your fuel tank a lot faster than when driving below the threshold. It also increases your emissions hugely — in fact, it can cost you up to 25% more in fuel to drive a 70mph compared to 50mph. Avoid driving too fast if you can.

The most vehicle pollution is released when driving at speeds of less than 15mph therefore it’s dangerous if you’re driving too slowly as well. Carbon emissions lessen when you accelerate to 60mph and increase again when speed exceeds this figure.

Check what’s ahead

As said, it’s best to maintain a steady speed and avoid harsh braking and quick acceleration. How can you do this?

Anticipate and look to see what’s ahead. If there are traffic lights ahead, slow your vehicle down to avoid harsh braking if the light changes colour. Similarly, if you’re coming up to stand-still traffic, lower your speed and give yourself plenty of distance. Try to prevent coming to a halt entirely if you can in order to save some pennies on fuel. Leaving a significant gap between your car and the vehicle in front also improves your safety levels in the car.

Economise on fuel

Did you know that you can save on fuel by changing gears at lower revs? This stops your engine from overworking. To be precise, it’s recommended that drivers change gear when the rev counter reaches around 2,000rpm for diesel and 2,500rpm for petrol. Not only does this prevent the engine overworking, but it also keeps your clutch and gearbox running smoothly for longer.

Another way to be fuel efficient is by driving with your windows up. When you drive with the windows down, drag is increased on the car and it slows the vehicle down — meaning that it needs more fuel to run. So, is air conditioning a better alternative? Maybe not. Letting the air conditioning run also requires more fuel — more so than having the windows down one study found.