As consumers, we’re increasingly aware of the environmental impact of what we buy and consume. But when it comes to cars, the majority of us still choose fossil-fuel powered cars over more eco-friendly choices like hybrid or electric cars, because the latter (on the whole) still have a higher purchase price.
As someone who’s conscious of her eco-footprint, you’re likely interested in reducing your impact alongside your car’s costs – so in this article we’re sharing 5 wallet-friendly ways to reduce your car’s impact on the environment. And if you get to the end and want further tips, visit part 2 of this blog for more info.
Let’s dig in!
1. Chill out on the road
We know life is hectic. You’re balancing a crazy schedule at work with family and/or your social life. Which means you’re often rushing around to get things done. Did you know the way you drive has an impact on how fuel efficient and therefore how eco-friendly your car is?
In petrol cars, the faster you take off from standstill and the harder you brake the more fuel you use. Plus, petrol cars guzzle slightly more fuel than diesels do.
As for diesel cars, their efficiency over petrol cars is more noticeable at cruising speeds on open roads. They produce less CO2 than petrol engines, but more toxins overall, making them less ideal for inner-city or suburban driving – especially if you’re not clocking up some highway km’s.
Wondering why the difference? We’ve covered what you need to know about fuel consumption across car types in this comparison article.
So, one of the secrets to a greener car – outside of buying an electric one – is to be more Zen behind the wheel.
If you’re looking to buy a new car, consider your driving style, lifestyle and other circumstances before making that purchase.
2. Keep your car and its parts in tip top shape
When our car is working at its peak, it’s at its most efficient and its ability to be eco-friendly improves. We often take for granted the complex piece of machinery that takes us where we need to go.
Under the hood, there are some crucial parts that work to reduce the emissions your car contributes to our environment (like your diesel’s particulate filter (DPF) and your petrol car’s catalytic converter (aka ‘cat’)) – and when they break, they can cause a world of pain to both the planet and your wallet (ouch!).
That’s why it’s a must to service your car regularly as well as conducting simple maintenance such as a regular oil check. Get your hands dirty if you can.
Plus, insuring your car properly goes a long way to protecting you from being out of pocket if something goes wrong on the road. 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.
3. Check your tyre pressure monthly
Did you know that your tyre pressure can also make your car more efficient and therefore more eco-friendly? Hands up who checked it in the last month. Nope? You’re not alone.
Underinflated tyres have a higher rolling resistance, which means the engine needs to burn more fuel to propel itself forward. But more than that, correctly inflated tyres have a longer life and this reduces how often you buy them, and therefore the number going into landfill. Simple and effective.
4. Use a fuel tracking app
Can’t keep up with petrol prices? There are a number of apps designed to help you log your car’s expenses, servicing, mileage as well as fuel consumption and prices. Check with your car’s manufacturer too, as many have apps of their own to help you do just this.
Here are just a few to help you make your car more cost and/or fuel efficient:
- Simply Auto: Car Maintenance and Mileage Tracker
- Fuelio: Gas Log, Costs, Car Management, GPS Routes
- Drivvo: Car Management, Fuel Log, Find Cheap Gas
- Fuel Tracker Gas & Mileage log
The new Refueler app (releasing soon) lets you track live fuel prices and pre-pay for fuel. Imagine if you could pre-purchase fuel when it’s cheaper – even when your fuel tank was full.
5. Do you still need that large SUV?
The load on your engine plays a role in the amount of fuel you consume, so if your circumstances have changed and you’re not lugging around smelly teenagers anymore, then it might be time to reduce unnecessary car costs and downsize from your big car to a smaller one.
Or, if you’ve got the option to take your smaller car when you’re ducking out for quick errands then don’t opt for your family-sized SUV. Driving a smaller car usually means less petrol consumed = less emissions. And if it’s a diesel be aware that short trips don’t let your diesel particulate filter (DPF) get to temperature, so doing lots of short trips might shorten its life (and reeeaaaally hurt your wallet).
Another quick way to reduce your load is to check out the junk in your trunk and have a clean-out, keeping only the bare essentials.
Looking for more tips?
Liking what you’ve read so far and looking for more ways to give your car an eco-friendly boost to your back pocket? You’re in luck – we’ve written tips 6 to 10 to reducing its footprint in this piece.