Changing your car to a new environmentally friendly model may not be easy for us all. But there are some ways you can reduce your fuel consumption, save money and help the environment too. The following simple tips could save the average driver £120 a year and reduce your CO2 emissions by 200kg per year. According to the organisers of the 2008 MPG Marathon, if we all were to implement these methods into our driving we could collectively save £8.2 billion per year in fuel costs, and significantly reduce the 91m tonnes of CO2 currently emitted in the UK annually .
- Gear Changes
Change up before 2,500rpm (petrol) and 2,000rpm (diesel).
- Plan Ahead
Anticipate road conditions and drive smoothly, avoiding sharp acceleration and heavy braking. This saves fuel and reduces accident rates.
- Air Con
Use air conditioning sparingly as it significantly increases fuel consumption.
- Kill Your Speed
The most efficient speed depends upon the car in question but is typically around 55 - 65mph. Faster speed will greatly increase your fuel consumption.
- Don't Wait Around
Drive away immediately when starting from cold - idling to heat the engine wastes fuel and causes rapid engine wear.
Roof racks, bike carriers, and roof boxes significantly affect your car's aerodynamics and reduce fuel efficiency, so remember to remove them when not in use.
- Avoid Short Distances
A cold engine uses almost twice as much fuel and catalytic converters can take five miles to become effective. Walking or bikes can be a great alternative to short journeys.
- Plan Your Route
Plan your journeys to avoid congestion, road works and getting lost. Sat Nav and online map services such as Google Maps can help you find the way.
- Tyre Pressure
Under-inflated tyres are dangerous and can increase fuel consumption by up to 3%.
- Switch Off
Stuck in a jam, switch the engine off if you expect to be there for more than a minute or two. Cutting the engine will save fuel and reduce emissions.