Driving and the environment
The type of vehicle you use and the way in which you use it can help save you money and reduce harmful emissions into the environment. You can do this through reducing your fuel consumption, buying cleaner vehicles or even converting your vehicle to run on cleaner fuels.
Why you should bother reducing emissions from vehicle
Here are some simple facts about vehicle emissions in the UK that may shock you:
- road transport is responsible for 22% of the UK's total greenhouse gas emissions
- up to 24,000 people die in the UK every year as a result of poor air quality
- there are over 120 pollution hotspots in the UK, which means that national air quality targets wont be met and our health and environment will continue to be threatened by poor air quality.
Below are some simple tips on how you can make a difference.
Reduce your fuel consumption
- instead of using your vehicle for short journeys, try walking, cycling or hopping on a bus
- service your vehicle regularly and check the pressure on your tyres as this can make a huge difference when it comes to managing fuel consumption as flat tyres use more fuel
- remove any unnecessary weight and roof racks from the car when you're not using them (flags make a big impact too) and drive smoothly and consistently using higher gears when you can
- switch off your engine if you're not moving and share your journeys with other people where possible
- also remember to use your air conditioning and other on-board electrical devices (for example, mobile phone chargers) sparingly
- if you're in the market for a new car think about buying a smaller one for a start. It will be more fuel-efficient and cause less pollution and will save you money on petrol and tax
Buy cleaner cars
You could also consider buying a new cleaner car. There are now plenty of manufacturers who sell cleaner cars such as petrol electric hybrids that can travel up to 60 miles or more on a gallon of petrol!
Convert your existing car to run on cleaner fuels
Existing petrol cars can even be converted to run on cleaner fuels such as liquified petroleum gas (LPG, sometimes called autogas). There are around 1300 cleaner fuel, refuelling stations across the UK so you wont be caught short.
Energy Saving Trust energy grant
Visit the Energy Saving Trusts energy grants section for more information on how they can help you with the additional cost of buying a new cleaner car or converting your existing vehicle.
Environmental vehicle tax for lorries and buses
Drivers of certain larger vehicles and buses can help tackle the problem of traffic pollution. They can reduce the cost of paying for vehicle tax when they produce a valid reduced pollution certificate.