ECO DRIVING MADE EASY
Want to do more for the environment, or just save some money? You could trade in your current car for a newer, greener model - but not all of us can afford to do so. Don't worry, though - you can make a real difference just by changing your driving habits.
CHANGE YOUR DRIVING STYLE TO BE MORE EFFICIENT
Modern engines don't need to be warmed up before driving, so just drive off after you've started the car and your windows are clear.
If you get stuck in traffic for even a couple of minutes, switch the engine off. Many modern cars do this automatically, as this feature alone can save up to 10% of your fuel.
One of the main causes of high fuel consumption is harsh acceleration. Try to accelerate, decelerate and brake smoothly. Anticipate the road ahead to avoid unnecessary braking.
Driving in the wrong gear wastes fuel - use the highest gear possible without letting the engine labour - usually change up at 2000rpm (for a diesel car) to 2500rpm (for a petrol car).
Don't exceed the speed limit on major roads, as fuel efficiency drops sharply as your speed increases. Driving at 50mph instead of 70mph can improve fuel economy by up to 25%.
Always switch off air conditioning, de-misters and heated rear windows when you don't need them. Just like household electrical goods, they consume power - increasing fuel consumption.
Allow more time for journeys so you don't have to rush, and stay relaxed for a smoother trip.
When travelling in rush hour or on congested roads, you will use more fuel. To improve your MPG, try to travel when the roads are quieter and give yourself plenty of time.
Share cars with colleagues or friends where possible - this will reduce your fuel cost by at least 50%!
LOOK AFTER YOUR CAR TO SAVE FUEL
Don't drive around with unnecessary weight in your car - the engine will have to work harder and, as a result, you'll use more fuel. If you don't need it, don't carry it.
Remove roof boxes and roof racks when you're not using them, because the extra aerodynamic drag they cause will increase fuel consumption.
If conditions allow close the windows and sunroof, because these also create drag and will increase fuel consumption.
Stick to the manufacturer's service schedule - a well maintained car emits less carbon dioxide than one that isn't.
Under-inflated tyres wear out faster and have more rolling resistance, so check them weekly to get the best life from them, and maximise your fuel economy.