If you are commuting to work every day, you might have noticed the price of fuel going up and started to think about how much you are burning unnecessarily. No matter if you would like to be greener and reduce your carbon footprint long-term, or just want to be more economical, chances are that you will need to change some of your habits. Below you will find a few tips on how to save money on motoring and reduce your impact on the environment as well.
Use Park and Ride
If you work in the city centre, chances are that you are burning more fuel during peak hours on the busy roads than while you are getting to the outskirts. A good alternative to save money and make your driving greener is to sign up for a park and ride scheme and get a bus into the city centre. If only one in ten people did this, congestion and pollution levels would improve significantly. Check out the local offers and see if you can save time, money and fuel by parking your car outside of the centre.
Plan your journeys
Planning is essential when it comes to making the most out of your fuel economy and time. You should know your escape routes and alternative journeys and take a mental note of when it gets really busy on the motorways. You can plan your journeys with the traffic and the different conditions in mind, so you don’t have to end up speeding or panicking with time being very tight to get to where you want to go.
Use the optimum speed
Depending on the age, the weight, the fuel type, and the performance of your car, you will need to aim for being close to your optimum speed, so you can save fuel. For smaller engines, staying between 50 and 60 mph would be the most economical, but you will also have to consider your driving style, the road ahead, and the length of the journey. You might want to use more engine braking and less on the foot pedal to improve your fuel economy and stay on track of your speed limit too.
It is not always possible to avoid traffic, but you can take precautions and plan your journey. Check satellite navigation systems and sign up for alerts, so you can be the first to know when there is a build-up and you should take an alternative route. You might even decide to leave the house around 10-15 minutes early, so you can make the most out of your speed and fuel, and then spend half an hour in the office to prepare for the day or have your first coffee in peace. You can also set up meetings after work, so you don’t have to drive in peak traffic.
Measure fuel consumption
If you don’t know how much fuel you are using, it is hard to make improvements. The easiest way to do this would be to fill up, record the date and how much fuel you bought, and see how many miles you can get out of your tank. Let’s say that you have an older car and you can go 200 miles before you fill up, aim for getting 210 next time by turning off your engine when waiting, or by driving at your optimum speed and saving fuel.
If you have an older vehicle, you will need to make sure that you are getting it serviced regularly, and make sure that the engine is performing the best it can. Get your oil changed every year, and make sure that your brakes are working as they should be. Check your tracking by taking your hands off the wheel on a straight and level road when it is safe and see whether or not the steering pulls to one side. If this is the case, you might be burning more fuel than you need to. Keep checking your tyres as well, so you don’t end up driving flat and using too much petrol or diesel.
Upgrade when necessary
No matter how much you love your old car, it might be costing you too much or burning too much fuel, no matter what you do. There are some sure-fire signs that you need to look for a new car, such as constant problems, engine issues or expensive parts. Once you have selected your preferred model and make and are confident that you can make your driving greener by upgrading, you will need to think about what to do with the old vehicle. You can trade it in, or if this is not an option, get a quote at carscrapsurrey.co.uk to get it taken away and recycled professionally, so you can reduce your personal carbon footprint.
Avoid running your engine idle
If you drive in traffic regularly, it is important that you save fuel wherever you can. If you know that the traffic lights are going to take at least a couple of minutes to change, or there are temporary lights, maybe you are stuck for a while, it is better to turn off your engine completely. While it is not recommended to do this if you are likely to start off in a few seconds, it can be beneficial if you are waiting for someone or just parked and are getting yourself organised.
If you reduce the number of miles you drive each month, you can preserve the value of your car and make your lifestyle greener at the same time. You should consider carpooling as an alternative to driving solo. You should ask your employer whether there are existing schemes, or if they would consider setting one up.
Driving is not only expensive and stressful, but it can also damage the environment you share with others. The above green driving tips will help you reduce the environmental impact your motoring has on the planet.
Golf GTi photo credit: Moto Verso