Depending upon how you drive now, you can save as much as a third of your CO2 emissions by ‘eco-driving’.

  • Plan your route. The best route may not be the shortest, but the one that incurs the least idling in traffic. Avoid road works and congestion if possible.
  • Rid your car of any roof racks, which add drag, and empty the car of unnecessary weight. You lose approximately 1% fuel efficiency for every extra 45 kg.
  • Check your tyre pressures weekly. Under-inflated tyres can increase fuel consumption by some 3%.
  • Today's engines don't need to warm up before driving off. Start the car and gently drive away immediately, keeping the revs down.
  • Air-conditioning increases fuel consumption significantly at low speeds – by up to 10% – but at higher speeds the effects are less significant. So if it's a hot day, open the windows around town and save the air conditioning for speeds over 40mph (but only when it is exceptionally hot).
  • If you have one, set the car’s dashboard display to show miles per gallon so that you can monitor how well you are doing.
  • Get the car serviced regularly.
  • Use the grade of oil recommended by the car manufacturer.

On main roads and motorways, maintain a steady speed. For most cars, 50mph is the most fuel efficient speed. Driving at 60 mph rather than 80 mph results in a fuel saving of some 19%.

  • Drive smoothly. Don’t accelerate or brake violently. Anticipate stops.
  • Turn your engine off when you stop for a minute or two. This is more fuel efficient than leaving your engine running. 

Downloadable factsheet in pdf format 

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