1st CENTRAL guide to green driving

Green car icon on grass

Time to take your foot off the gas and think about your carbon footprint?

Our 10 green driving tips will help make your driving more environmentally friendly. 

Let’s jump right in…

Top tips for greener driving

1. Avoid rush hour

Driving on busier roads means lots of stopping and starting, and could even leave you idling for long periods in slow moving traffic. This not only means a more frustrating trip, but could also waste more fuel.

Where possible, plan your trip to avoid busy periods and areas of high congestion. That way you can make your trip greener – and maybe even more relaxing.

2. Drive calmer

Do you ever get stressed or anxious behind the wheel? If so, it could be making your driving more erratic. Not only could this lead to a nasty accident, it could also cause you to burn fuel faster.

To combat road stress, try leaving 10 minutes earlier and choosing quieter, greener routes. That way you can stay calm and collected behind the wheel.

3. Watch your speed

As your speed edges over 60mph, the level of CO2 your car produces goes up dramatically. In fact, increasing your speed from 55mph to 75mph can ramp up your fuel usage by as much as 20%.

Driving at a constant speed, between 30mph and 50mph is the best way to keep your fuel consumption low.

4. Keep it steady

Did you know harsh acceleration and braking can use up to 40% more fuel? Not only that, it can take a real toll on your tyres.

Being more aware of the road around you will mean you’re not constantly having to put your foot down and slam the brakes. Keep your speed steady and avoid accelerating in short bursts – you’ll use less fuel and your tyres will thank you too!

5. Check your tyre pressure

Every 10% that your tyres are under-inflated increases the rate of wear by 5% and fuel consumption by 2%. Those margins may seem small, but they make a significant difference over 100 miles – for both the environment and your wallet. Keeping your tyres pumped up takes small effort, but has a big impact over time.

You can find your car’s optimum or recommended tyre pressure on a sticker in the door jamb, or in your car manual.

6. Turn off the engine

Unnecessary idling wastes about one litre of fuel every hour. In fact, sitting with your engine running for just 10 seconds wastes more fuel than restarting your car.

If you know you’re going to be waiting longer than a few minutes, cut the engine and keep your emissions at zero.

7. Limit the air-con

Did you know that the air-conditioning in your car is actually using fuel? That goes for your heating system too.

If it’s a warm day, try opening up the doors for a couple of minutes before setting off, to give your car chance to air. Alternatively, if the temperature’s a bit nippy, give your car a quick blast of heat once the engine has warmed up, then let it circulate as you drive.

8. Plan your route

If you get lost, it’s likely you’ll end up on a longer route. That means you’ll use more fuel and more emissions on your journey. 

Planning your route before you set out will stop you risking a wrong turn, saving time and helping the environment. You could even use a tool like Traffic England to get a real-time view of any accidents or roadworks that might hold you up.

9. Switch up your commute

It might sound obvious, but leaving your car at home is probably the best way to cut down your driving emissions.

Have a think about different ways you could make your journey, like walking or cycling. You could also try lift-sharing with members of your household to save fuel if you’re making similar trips.

10. Go electric

The UK plan to scrap sales of new fossil fuel vehicles has been brought forward from 2040 to 2030, to help speed up the rollout of electric vehicles.

So why not get ahead of the curve? There are a number of government schemes to support people making the switch, including the low-emissions grant offering savings of up to £3,000 on new electric vehicles. 

Have you heard about the new car speed restrictions coming by 2022? Keep up to date with motoring changes at the 1st CENTRAL blog.

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