Eco-driving

Driving your car: green tips

Making life easier for your engine can mean you use less fuel and produce fewer emissions.

Pump up your tyres

Under-inflated tyres create more resistance, making your engine work harder. This can increase your fuel consumption by up to 3 per cent.

Adjusting your tyres regularly, especially before long journeys, can help your car use less fuel and could increase the life of the tyres. Cars with heavier loads may need different air pressure and over-inflating tyres can be unsafe, so check your car manual for the correct pressure.

Tyres that lessen resistance

Some tyres are designed to reduce resistance between the tyre and the road surface (known as ‘rolling resistance’). Low rolling resistance tyres help to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

From November 2012, tyre dealers will give information on tyres’ rolling resistance, wet grip performance and noise. Rolling resistance will be rated from A (best) to G (worst). Information may be provided for many tyres before November 2012 – ask your tyre dealer when you’re next buying tyres.

Clear out any extra weight

Remove unnecessary clutter and roof racks. This will reduce your car’s weight and air resistance.

Have your vehicle serviced regularly

Well-maintained cars in good condition tend to run more efficiently. Check how often your car should be serviced by looking in the owner’s manual or contacting the vehicle manufacturer.

Drive at an appropriate speed

Sticking to speed limits helps conserve fuel. Driving at slower speeds also gives you time to anticipate traffic ahead, helping you drive more smoothly. Driving at 50 miles per hour (mph) instead of 70 mph can improve fuel economy by 25 per cent.

Speed up and slow down smoothly

Every time you stop and start, your engine uses more fuel and produces more emissions. Check the road ahead and slow down early, giving the traffic time to start moving again before you reach it. You can then speed up again without needing to stop.

Change gears at the right time

Changing up gears a little earlier can reduce revs per minute (rpm) and reduce your fuel usage. If you drive a diesel car, try shifting up when the rev counter reaches 2,000 rpm. For a petrol car, change up at 2,500 rpm.

Remember to change down a gear at the right time too – if your car is struggling, it will also use more fuel.

Avoid leaving your engine running

If you're likely to be at a standstill for more than a minute or two, switch off the engine. When the engine is idling, you're wasting fuel.

Don’t use air conditioning unless you really need it

Using air conditioning and electrical devices like mobile phone chargers increases your fuel consumption, so keep their usage to a minimum.

Try using the fresh air vent to keep cool and park in the shade on a sunny day. This will keep your car cooler inside and stop fuel evaporating from the engine and fuel tank.