Tuesday, 7 August 2012 4:29 PM
Although driving a car, by its very nature, produces harmful emissions, there are many ways motorists can reduce the impact they have on the environment. To discover more about how you can become an eco-friendly driver and lower your carbon footprint, read on.
Buy an environmentally-friendly car
One area that you should pay attention to when attempting to be a greener driver is the model of car you drive. If you have had your present set of wheels for a decade or longer, it is quite unlikely it is going to be the most fuel-efficient model around, so you're probably due to have an upgrade.
Although there are many things to take into account when buying a car, one of the factors that ought to be considered the most, especially for drivers who are keen to reduce their emissions, is the type of fuel that it runs on. While the majority of vehicles use either petrol or diesel, it is those featuring the latter that tend to be most fuel-efficient if you know you drive a significant number of miles over the years. For a really environmentally-friendly diesel, however, you ought to look for cars built to either Euro 5 or Euro 6 standards.
Regardless of whether you're hoping to buy a diesel or petrol car, it's worth considering the engine size. As obvious as it sounds, vehicles with larger, more powerful engines consume more energy than their smaller counterparts. So, if you do not really need a high-power car, it's worth getting something more compact, perhaps like a Volkswagen Polo.
Going to your local dealership is a fairly obvious way to find a new car, but that's not to say it should be your only option. Indeed, you should also consider going to a Volkswagen car auction. These sales provide the chance for you to secure great deal on vehicles and you may get a new set of wheels for substantially less than you would have to pay in a showroom. Spend some time browsing the catalogue of cars going under the hammer and you can establish which models have the greatest fuel efficiency. Among the criteria you should use when deciding which cars to bid on are the miles per gallon that models will offer and which vehicle excise duty band they are in.
Green motoring tips
Although the type of car you have plays a substantial role in how much of an eco-friendly driver you are, there are several ways that all motorists can be greener while on the road.
One thing you can do is to remove any unnecessary clutter from your car before setting off on a journey. Doing so will make your vehicle lighter and lower fuel consumption levels. It is also a good idea to ensure that tyres are always inflated to the levels set out by the manufacturer, while avoiding using air conditioning unnecessarily when driving in towns and cities and sticking to the speed limit should also improve fuel efficiency.
Making sure your car is serviced on a regular basis should help you to avoid wasting energy and money unnecessarily. Whether you're buying a car at an auction hall or traditional dealership, you should look to see when the MOT is due. It is also worth thinking about switching your engine off if you are going to be stationary for anything more than a couple of minutes and moving up the gears a little earlier than normal in order to reduce fuel consumption.