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Green driving

Being 'green' when you drive is good for the environment, obviously, and good for your pocket too. With fuel so expensive, it makes sense to use as little as possible. Here are our suggestions for more eco-friendly journeys.

  • Choose a greener car. Cars that are more fuel efficient emit fewer emissions and save on petrol (or diesel) and car tax. You can find out more about fuel economy labels for new cars here, and which cars are most fuel efficient, here. You might want to consider a hybrid car (part petrol, part electric) or a dual fuel car (able to run on petrol or diesel and LPG)
  • Of course, you don't have to buy a brand new car. As a general rule, smaller engined cars use less fuel and have lower emissions. So avoid buying a car built for motorway cruising, if you're mostly going to use it for local commuting and shopping
  • Think green when you drive. The key is to drive as smoothly as possible. Rapid acceleration and braking are heavy on fuel, besides wearing out your car faster. Anticipate traffic, so you can ease off on the gas and brakes. And change up as soon as possible, (without putting a strain on the engine). It reduces engine revs, fuel consumption and emissions.
  • Don't wait for it to warm up. You don't need to sit and wait while the car warms up; it only wastes fuel. Get in, turn on and go!
  • Turn off too. If it looks like you're going to be stopped for some time (in a traffic jam or at a level crossing, for example), turn the engine off
  • Take your top off! Your top box, that is, or your roof rack. They increase aerodynamic drag by a surprising amount, so if you're not using them, whip em off
  • Keep your car fit. If it's regularly serviced, with oil, coolant and tyre pressures all correct, it will run more efficiently

Elephant Top Tip

As soon as you really don't need them, turn off the heated rear window, air conditioning or accessories like mobile phone chargers. They all impose an extra load on the engine, so it uses more fuel.