Home > Transport > Making You Car More Fuel Efficient

Making You Car More Fuel Efficient

By: Kelly Fenn - Updated: 30 Dec 2012 | comments*Discuss
Car Fuel Efficient Low Carbon Vehicle

Driving a car anywhere is bad for the environment; in fact it's one of the worst things we can do to emit CO2 into the atmosphere and is a direct contributor to climate change. But for those of us who can't do without driving - or simply don't want to give up our beloved vehicles, there are ways to make driving a car more environmentally friendly. If you're smart with the way that you drive, maintain and manage your car, your CO2 emissions could be reduced by up to 25%. Read on to see where you can make positive changes.

Plan your Journey

It might seem like a no-brainer, but knowing your route by planning it in advance will reduce the overall number of miles you drive in any single journey. Getting lost isn’t only time consuming and frustrating, but it’s also very inefficient for fuel consumption. Use a route planner website, which will calculate the quickest route available to you. Where possible, try and avoid driving at peak times to minimise the likelihood of you getting stuck in a traffic jam – again, an inefficient use of fuel.

Greener Driving Style

There are lots of things you can do to make your car more fuel efficient simply in the way to choose to drive your vehicle. Here are a few pointers:
  • Avoid rapid acceleration - change gears smoothly and quickly
  • Avoid rapid braking - stopping suddenly uses up more fuel
  • Higher gears use less petrol - change up gears quickly
  • Travel at optimum driving speed - at 70mph you could be using up to 30 per cent more fuel than at 50mph
  • Rush hour driving – if you’re in a traffic jam and won’t be moving for a while, switch off the engine

Maintenance and Cleaning

If you look after your car properly, you’ll keep it running to its optimum performance level and this will help boost its overall fuel efficiency. Perform regular tests to your vehicle, and ensure that the proper checks, services and MOTs are undertaken by a professional as many times as your car’s handbook recommends. Simple checks, such as keeping the tyre pressure at the right level, will all help keep your car running greener – not to mention making your vehicle safer.

Luggage and Passengers

Attachments to your car, such as luggage carriers, roof racks and trailers can be excellent ways of minimising the number of journeys you need to make when transporting large loads, making them fuel efficient accessories. However when not using these items, you should remove them from your car. The extra weight increases wind resistance, meaning your car needs to burn more fuel to keep it moving.

The more passengers you take on a journey, the more eco-friendly your journey. Driving with a car load of people can actually be as green as completing some journeys using public transport, particularly if you’re reducing the number of vehicles on the road.

Keeping Cool

A long journey on a hot day can be uncomfortable unless your car is kept cool – but where possible, avoid using the gas guzzling luxury of car air conditioning, which increases fuel consumption by a massive 10%. Instead, wind down windows and make the most of air vents in your car to promote natural air circulation.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Zal
    Re: Getting Grants From Your Council
    Hi I'm on a low income under £800 before deductions a month. A single occupant homeowner with no dependant…
    24 October 2020
  • Ga131078
    Re: Getting Grants From Your Council
    Hi is there anyway of getting grants for doors and windows as I am classed as being disabled as my double glazed windows and…
    23 October 2020
    Re: Getting Grants From Your Council
    21 October 2020
  • Babs
    Re: Getting Grants From Your Council
    My double glazed windows are 29 years old. They no longer do what they are meant to full of drafts and condensation between…
    21 October 2020
  • oxoman
    Re: Getting Grants From Your Council
    My Double glazing is now over 25 years old and the glazed units are misting up, I would think they have lost their insulating…
    15 October 2020
  • Sobia
    Re: Getting Grants From Your Council
    My windows are old all drought comes in home does not stay warm for long I’ve got 3 children younger 1 is 6 am I entitled to…
    12 October 2020
  • Carter
    Re: Getting Grants From Your Council
    My window are old and they leak I’m disable and my home is so draughty and damp though the windows
    9 October 2020
  • buddyboy
    Re: Getting Grants From Your Council
    I am ninety and my wife is 85 . I suffer with diabetes and my wife has emphysema. The windows are very draughty, some window…
    6 October 2020
  • Shaky
    Re: Getting Grants From Your Council
    Hi I am I need of new windows as the ones I got are old and really no good can I get a grant for this and if so where do I apply
    5 October 2020
  • D.T
    Re: Getting Grants From Your Council
    Hi my double glazing has failed, i have been told my windows mist up like there is dump in between the glass, also i have…
    5 October 2020