Looking for ways to reduce the footprint your car has on your fuel consumption and the environment? Want to save money on your motoring? Be sure to read our first 5 tips in this post before continuing the journey with this post that provides our final 5 top tips for reducing your car’s impact…
6. Improving aerodynamics can boost fuel economy
All modern cars have been designed with aerodynamics in mind, because the smoother the airflow around your car while you’re driving the lower the turbulence (aka wind drag) and the less fuel you consume.
So, for the most part, your car isn’t the problem in this regard. It’s what you add to its exterior that can make a difference, particularly at high speeds.
Do you love to get out and go for an early morning surf? If you want to save money with your motoring then consider buying a car that’s big enough to fit your surfboard inside (lay the seats down for more room), rather than attaching them to your roof racks. You’ll limit the wind drag and increase your efficiency.
In the same way, car pods, bull bars, trailers and caravans can all have a negative impact on your aerodynamics. It might not feel like much – but these things add up, so removing excess weight and additions to your car will help your wallet and the planet.
7. Choose an eco-friendly fuel like E10 or biodiesel
You’ve seen them at the pump, but you’re not sure about them. What’s the go?
E10 fuel contains a mix of about 10% ethanol and 90% petrol. The ethanol in E10 is an efficient, renewable energy made from grain, molasses from sugar cane, corn, beets and other energy-rich plants.
It’s up to 50% kinder on the environment and often cheaper at the pump – so a great alternative to regular fuel. Before venturing there, check if your car can run on E10.
If you own a diesel, it’s a general rule that the emissions your car produces are the most toxic, but by using biodiesel (aka B5 or B20 at the pump), you can reduce your carbon emissions by up to 85% and can be gentler on your bank account. Enough said.
8. Plan ahead
Are you sick of feeling like you’re always running back and forth between appointments, work, hobbies and endless visits to the shops? Then this money-saving motoring eco-hack is for you (and it’s our fave).
Planning your time in the car and, as part of that, combining your trips where possible, will save your sanity, your wallet and the planet.
Consider how you can do what you need to do with minimal stops. Need to grab milk, drop into the chemist and pick up a bottle of wine? Go to a shopping centre that’ll let you do all this stuff in one stop.
Plus, use Google Maps to take the shortest possible route to your destination/s and avoid the traffic when travelling at peak times. It automatically calculates your route based on congestion and helps you avoid it.
Using this approach to driving means you’ll know where you’re going, what you’re doing and how to achieve your goals in the shortest amount of time and distance possible, leaving more time and energy for more important things in life. And leaving less of a tyre-print on the environment.
9. Carpool like a pro
This is a no-brainer, right? Travelling with others to group activities such as work, the gym, dinner or catch ups will save you on parking and petrol. And for the fun stuff you can take turns being the designated driver.
Want to take it one step further? Arrange to pick up your friend from the main road to avoid zig-zagging through residential streets, making the trip faster (and more economical) for everyone.
Considering using a ride sharing service instead? The ease of these services, like Ola, DiDi and Uber, has made them a popular alternative to public transport. But new research suggests that in built up areas (where buses and trains are in abundance) these services have caused a 160% increase of drivers on the roads, meaning there’s more congestion and more emissions in our air.
Think before you book that next ride share. If you don’t have an alternative, consider combining your trips and splitting the bill with friends or others through options like UberPool.
10. Learn how to compare electric cars before you buy
Electric cars are the pièce de résistance of sustainable options, but their price and the tech has made them inaccessible for many. Car manufacturers are refining their tech and listening to us though, and they’ve come a long way. So, how do you know which electric car is the best for you?
Let’s tackle some common questions. When comparing electric cars, your considerations should include the following:
- How many kilometres will I get out of a single battery charge?
- How quickly does the battery charge at home?
- Is there a fast charge option?
- How much will it cost to charge my vehicle?
- Can I upgrade the battery to one with larger Kwh/longer range?
- How long is the battery expected to last?
- What kind of manufacturer’s warranty does the car come with?
If you’re like the average Australian and your normal, round-town trip falls within the 20km range and you rarely go on long road trips (or have access to another car when you do), then an electric car might be perfect for you. These questions will help you be smart about it.
Save money on your motoring and help the planet
Who said it wasn’t easy being green? If you’ve ever felt guilty about the negative effect your car has on the environment, hopefully the above budget-friendly tips will help.
Why not check out PD Insurance while you’re making some wallet-friendly changes? We offer affordable comprehensive car insurance and we provide discounts for people who are the only driver of their car.
Over to you
Got any more tips to add? Let us know.