How can drivers help the environment?
Cars are one of the main ways that, as a nation, we contribute towards climate change. But did you know – there are several simple things you can do to lessen the impact of your driving on the environment? Experts call these ‘eco-driving techniques’ – and they can help to reduce fuel consumption, limit greenhouse gas emissions and save you money.
This week, the UK is hosting the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow. To show our support – and help accelerate progress towards a ‘greener’ planet – here we’ve rounded up just a few tips to help you become a more successful eco-driver.
Take a look and try to reduce your carbon footprint this autumn.
5 eco-driving tips to reduce your environmental impact
1. Consider alternative transport options
Approximately 36 million households in the UK have at least one car. In recent years, it’s become the norm to own your own vehicle – but is it really necessary? If you drive less than 5000-6000 miles per year, hiring a car – as and when you need it – could save you a lot of money (in terms of tax, vehicle maintenance, depreciation etc.). Plus it’s a much greener alternative to private car ownership.
Here at PSD, all of our rental vehicles demonstrate excellent fuel efficiency, and some models boast innovative features, specifically designed to improve their eco-credentials.
Perhaps you could hire a vehicle when a car journey is absolutely essential, and try to use public transport the rest of the time? Or for the commute to work, maybe share a rental vehicle with a few colleagues and carpool? Yes, it’s a different way of living – but it’s a really easy way to reduce your environmental impact and will boost your bank balance in the process.
2. Maintain your vehicle
If you do need your own car, you must keep it in good condition. A well-maintained vehicle will ride smoother, and more efficiently than a neglected gas-guzzler – not only extending its lifespan, but also reducing its fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
Therefore, to facilitate eco-safe driving, you should always check the tyres are fully inflated and inspect the engine oil and brake fluid levels. Regular servicing and MOTs are also essential.
It’s important to note, all of our PSD rental vehicles are thoroughly maintained and checked regularly, to ensure they’re as eco-friendly as possible.
3. Drive smoothly
In our opinion, this is the key to becoming an effective eco-driver.
The way you behave behind the wheel has a huge impact on the carbon footprint of your journey. It’s not just what you drive, but how you drive it.
Harsh acceleration and braking will increase your fuel consumption and emit more greenhouse gases. So, read the road ahead, and pull away and slow down as gently as possible. Leave a sufficient distance between you and the car in front to help avoid unnecessary braking. And if you’re driving a manual car, shift into the highest gear possible to improve your fuel economy.
4. Switch off the engine whenever possible
Engine idling also has a significant impact on the environment. Not only does it lead to excessive fuel consumption, it increases the level of exhaust fumes in the air – including harmful gases, such as CO2, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and more.
As such, one easy eco-driving technique is to keep the car moving as much as possible.
Some new car models now have a feature, called ‘automatic stop-start’, which shuts off the engine whilst stationary. But if your vehicle doesn’t have this, try to avoid idling when your car is parked up, and consider turning off the engine if you’re in a queue for more than 3-4 minutes.
5. Reduce your average speed
It’s simple – the faster you go, the greater the fuel consumption and pollution.
According to the Department for Transport, travelling at 80mph uses 10% more fuel than travelling at 70mph. Similarly, driving at 70mph uses approximately 9% more fuel than driving at 60mph.
To be a successful eco-driver, you need to slow down. Try to stick below 65mph on motorways and dual carriageways. And, if your car has it, use the ‘cruise control’ function to get better mileage.
Want to become an eco-driver?
With climate change now a global priority, we should all be attempting to ‘go green’ and reduce our impact on the environment. A few small changes to your driving habits can significantly reduce your carbon footprint, whilst also saving you money – and the changes are pretty easy to make.
To find out more about eco-driving and how hiring a car (rather than owning one) could help, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. As a company, we’re eager to do our bit to help tackle global warming. Either give us a call on 0345 222 1022 to discuss our rental deals with a member of the team, or send an email to email@example.com and we’ll respond to your enquiry as soon as possible.