Looking for greener ways to travel is always top of many peopleâs priority lists. Be it, travelling by foot, cycling or using public transport there are many simple ways in which we can reduce our carbon footprint and save ourselves pounds into the bargain. However, for many of us, using a car is the only way we can realistically travel to where we need to be, when we need to be there. Commuting to work, school, shopping and leisure time, the car is our main mode of regular transport.
So how can we, as responsible adults, âgreen upâ our car travel and save money? Here are my top 5 tips
1. Drive more eco-friendly
Did you know that by putting your car in neutral at traffic lights, rather than coasting in gear, you could save money on your fuel bills? Studies have shown that if a frequent driver adopted this simple switch they could save up to Â£10 a week on fuel. Also by using your handbrake when stuck in traffic, instead of keeping the clutch down, you can also save money whilst driving more eco-friendly.
2. Check your tyres
Another easy way to save fuel is to ensure that your tyres are correctly inflated at all times. By keeping a regular check on your tyres you can save as much as 5% on fuel, whilst of course, making certain your vehicle remain legal.
3. Plan your route
Many of us expect a taxi to take us the most direct route to keep our costs down, so why is it when weâre driving our own car we literally drive around the houses?
By planning to travel the shortest route before you go, you can save money on your fuel bills by reducing the number of miles needlessly travelled. If youâre not sure what route to take, use your Sat Navâs âshortest distanceâ option to help you out. Also, rather than making a number of short trips over a length of time, save money and your time by making a number of journeys in one go.
Bike racks, tool boxes and picnic baskets, itâs great to have all these things at hand when youâre out and about in your car, but did you realise they are costing you money? Studies have shown that by de-cluttering your car of 100lb of unnecessary items you could save up to 2% on your fuel bills.
5. Switch to a greener car
If youâre looking to save even more money, perhaps you should consider switching to a new economical hybrid model.
A hybrid is exactly what is it says it is, a mix of two or more power sources, usually an electric motor with a conventional petrol or diesel engine, which are designed to make it a more energy efficient vehicle.
A hybrid is more fuel-efficient for two reasons, firstly because its engine is smaller than a non-hybrid counterpartâs engine, and yet with the additional power of the electric motor itâs performance is improved. Secondly, when driving at lower speeds, for example city driving, the hybrid automatically switches from the less efficient petrol/diesel engine to its more economical electric motor.
By reducing fuel consumption hybrids, like these hybrid cars by BMW, also emit less harmful CO2, making them a more environmentally-friendly choice of car.
If these advantages werenât enough, because a hybrid has much lower tailpipe CO2 emissions than a conventional model, car tax for hybrid cars is generally lower than it would be for a non-hybrid car. Also, due to their popularity, hybrids hold their value much better than their petrol/diesel equivalents.
Finally, drive-ability, unlike an all electric car where the owner has to familiarise themselves with regular âcharging upâ as well as being aware of âcharge upâ points on their journeys, the switch to a hybrid is much smoother. Hybrids have all of the positives of a conventional model with the added energy efficiency and quietness of an electric car.