With growing concerns about the environmental impact of cars, coupled with the rising cost of petrol, fuel-efficient driving makes a lot of sense in the 21st century. You can do your part to combat the effects of climate change as well as make big savings when re-fuelling your car by changing your driving habits or upgrading to a more efficient vehicle.
Even if you don’t drive a car renowned for its fuel efficiency, you could still save up to 30 per cent on fuel by keeping up with routine maintenance and getting out of bad habits behind the wheel.
Aggressive driving is one of the most common causes of excessive fuel use, and while we may all suffer from road rage every so often, controlling our driving behaviour and avoiding ‘jack rabbit’ starts and hard braking can save significant amounts of fuel, not to mention avoiding wear and tear on your braking system. Greenhouse gas emissions from such aggressive driving behaviour are more than five times those of standard driving, and rapid acceleration can account for as much as half of the energy consumed by your car if you live in the city.
The key to conquering aggressive driving doesn’t come in the form of sedatives or mood music, but is simply a mental note to accelerate more slowly and change gears as often as possible, reducing your impact on the environment as well as keeping your car in better condition.
Slow and steady is the name of the game when it comes to fuel-efficient driving, and you can use speed limits to your advantage to help you save fuel in slower areas. While driving at fast speeds on motorways can get you to your destination quicker, it’s well known that faster speeds lead to a rapid increase in fuel consumption, especially when you pass the 60mph mark. Slowing down your average cruising speed by 10mph could improve your fuel efficiency by as much as 20 per cent.
It’s not just your personal driving habits that will determine your carbon footprint, but also the condition of your vehicle. You don’t need to invest in an expensive hybrid or electric car to do your bit to help the environment, just make sure you keep up with regular maintenance of your car to boost its efficiency. Under-inflated tyres contribute to your rate of fuel consumption and are also unsafe, so make sure you get your tyre pressure checked next time you get a windscreen replacement quote or other service to your vehicle.