How to be a greener driver
You don't need to swap your car for a bike to be environmentally friendly. From choosing an eco-car to making a few small changes to reduce your emissions, we've got the lowdown on how to be a greener driver – without giving up your motor.
Consider low emission cars
With more cities cracking down on high emission vehicles, electric and hybrid cars could be just as good for your wallet as the environment. London's ultra low emission zone (ULEZ) is set to come into force in 2019. The new regulations will mean hefty fines for diesel and petrol cars driving in the city centre. According to Autotrader, some of the best low emission cars are the Renault Zoe, BMW i3 and Hyundai Kona Electric.
Lose the extra weight
Try not to leave heavy items such as golf clubs, buggies and glass bottle recycling in the car unless you actually need them. It might feel like a bit of hassle emptying out your boot after every trip but the heavier your car is, the more fuel it uses.
Keep on top of maintenance
A perfectly tuned engine works to its full potential, so it’s less likely to waste fuel. Keep an eye out for that tell-tale light on your dashboard and pop your car in for a service once a year. Do this just before your MOT – that way you'll only have one date to remember.
Don't fiddle with the electrics
You can't beat the feeling of air con on a hot day, or the seat warmer on a chilly evening. But these features can have a huge impact on your fuel efficiency. Try to limit how often you use them – keep them for times when you really need them. Driving with the windows down can increase drag too, which (you guessed it) isn't great for overall efficiency.
Keep your tyres inflated
This is a small job that can make a huge difference to how much petrol or diesel you use. Being under-inflated by 6psi can increase your fuel consumption by 1%. Get in the habit of checking your tyre pressure once a month to make your car greener.
Giving yourself plenty of time for your journey isn't just great for your safety and sanity, it can also up your green credentials. Driving at 70mph is a lot less fuel efficient than driving at 50mph and revving your engine uses more fuel too. Harsh braking can also take its toll, so try to keep your speed at a nice, steady pace.
Too many stats to keep track of yourself? Download the O2 Drive app and we'll let you know how you're doing behind the wheel. And if you take out an O2 Drive policy, you can enjoy special perks like our Car Assistant. So you can let Car Assistant book you in for that service, and enjoy high street gift vouchers while you wait for the mechanics to finish. Turns out it’s easy being green.
See more articles to help you to drive smarter and make the most of your car.