According to Environmental Protection UK, cars account for 22% of the total CO2 emissions produced in Britain. While this might not sound an enormous amount, air pollutants produced by vehicles are some of the most toxic on the planet, and can have a detrimental impact on the health of people, animals and the local environment.
Thanks to the introduction of more eco-friendly cars however, the UK’s air quality is slowly improving. Due to EU agreements, car dealerships are now required to advertise a vehicle’s CO2 emissions on a per kilometre basis, making it easier for motorists to choose an environmentally friendly new car.
But what, apart from buying a greener car, can drivers do to curb their emissions when travelling from A to B? Let’s find out.
1. Have Your Car Serviced Regularly
Servicing your car’s engine on a regular basis will ensure it’s always performing at its best, and burning fuel as efficiently as possible.
2. Don’t Carry Excess Weight
When your boot is full of heavy items, your car has to do more work and burn more fuel. For everyday driving, try not to carry any unnecessary weight, even if that means clearing your car out more than you’d like.
3. Always Use the Correct Engine Oil
By using the correct engine oil as recommended by the car’s manufacturer, your engine will run more smoothly, allowing for better performance and efficiency.
4. Drive Smoothly
In contrast to fast and aggressive driving; smooth, careful driving can help curb your car’s emissions. Read the road ahead, and try to accelerate and decelerate smoothly and efficiently. Also cars burn more fuel moving from standing, so wherever possible keep moving at a slow speed rather than stopping.
5. Check the Pressure of Your Tyres
Under-inflated tyres have a much greater rolling resistance, meaning you’ll burn fuel less efficiently. Check your tyre pressure every 1 to 2 weeks, and increase the pressure when carrying heavy loads.
6. Stick to the Speed Limit
Whilst speed limits are predominantly put in place to keep you and other road users safe, they’re also a way to control the country’s driving emissions. Stick to the speed limit, and you’re guaranteed better fuel economy.
7. Turn Off Unneeded Electrics
Modern cars are packed with electrical components that put additional strain on your car’s fuel tank. When driving, turn off any unnecessary electrics – including heated screens, demisters and headlights, when you don’t need them.
8. Change Up Earlier
Labouring the engine before changing gear is an inefficient way to drive. Instead, try changing up at around 2,500RPM in a petrol car and 2,000RPM in a diesel.
9. Stop Idling
If you regularly drive in town, you probably spend a lot of time waiting at traffic lights. The next time you’re sat in a queue, switch the ignition off to prevent unnecessary emissions.
10. Try to Group Short Trips
Whether picking up the kids, grabbing a pint of milk or driving home from work, quick trips are some of the least efficient journeys you can do to behind the wheel, so try to group them together when you can.
11. Reduce Drag by Removing Roof Boxes
Wind resistance is a huge factor in optimising fuel consumption, and modern cars are designed to be as streamlined as possible. Don’t ruin it by carrying a roof box, unless you really have to.
12. Don’t Leave the Car Running in Winter — Scrape and Go
Though it can be tempting to switch on your car and let it warm through on an icy winter’s morning, this will do your emissions no favours. Instead buy a quality ice scraper, quickly remove any ice and be on your way.
13. Try Not to Get Lost
Get lost behind the wheel and you’ll burn a lot of fuel finding your way again. If in doubt, carry an up-to-date road map or sat nav so you can always find your way even on the most unfamiliar of roads.
14. Think — Do I Really Need to Drive?
Sometimes driving isn’t necessary, especially when you’re just popping to the shop or driving to work a couple of miles down the road. The next time you reach for your car keys, think — do I really need to use the car for this quick trip?
15. Use Redex Fuel Additives
Add a shot of Redex fuel system cleaner to your fuel tank each time you fill up, and not only will save fuel, you’ll reduce your car’s emissions and improve the life of your engine. Redex fuel additives contain an advanced formula, which quickly works to remove harmful deposits from your fuel injectors.
To find out more about Redex fuel additives, visit the Redex website.