With new road tax laws and more manufacturers producing hybrid and electric cars, it seems we’re making more of an effort to reduce the environmental impact of driving. But what can you do to make riding and driving even more eco-friendly?
IAM RoadSmart’s Head of Driving and Riding Standards Richard Gladman offers some expert advice.
If your household has several car owners, sharing rides will save money on fuel and mean one (or two) less cars on the road. Another greener option is to use a park and ride.
Declutter your boot
Carrying extra weight makes more work for your car’s engine and uses more fuel, only carrying what you need will definitely lighten the load.
There’s a £75 fine for drivers who litter, although government plans could increase this to £150. Drivers are also held personally responsible for their litterbug passengers. Collect rubbish in a bag and dispose of it when you get home.
Did you know it’s illegal to leave your engines running when you’re not moving on a public road? It’s also a huge waste of fuel. Turn your engine off if you’re stopped and if your car has it, make proper use of start-stop technology.
Avoiding traffic jams and going the extra-long way round when you get lost is another waste of fuel. Richard says: “A small amount of planning and preparation will go a long way in minimising your carbon footprint; an added bonus is the money you save on fuel.”
Carrying out several simple car checks before you set off can be really beneficial to the environment. Make sure your tyres are inflated properly, take down any unused roof boxes, only use electric comforts like heated seats and air conditioning when needed, and reduce drag by closing windows at high speeds.
Richard advises: “Keeping your car in tip-top condition with regular servicing is essential but at the end of the day your driving style will have the biggest impact. Remember if you stop on route don’t leave your litter for others to clear up.”
If everyone does a little, it helps a lot! Try some of Richard’s tips and you could save money on fuel as well as being kind to the environment.