Smarter driving means driving your car more efficiently. Doing this means your car will produce less carbon dioxide, the main gas contributing to climate change.
Smarter driving or eco-driving could save you up to £220 a year in petrol or diesel. And with fuel prices rising all the time, smarter driving could save you even more in the future.
Adopting a smarter driving style is easy. And once you've mastered it, not only will you start to make real savings, but you'll also be doing your bit for the environment.
Remember to follow the steps below and you'll soon be saving money and reducing your car's impact on the environment. Cost savings are based upon a mid-size car driven 9000 miles a year.
- Don’t rev the engine when starting your vehicle.
- Check your revs - change up before 2,500rpm (petrol) and 2,000rpm (diesel) and be prepared to skip gears to suit driving conditions and the terrain.
- Anticipate road conditions. Look ahead and keep enough distance from the vehicle in front to avoid sudden braking. Don’t approach traffic lights at speed. If it is clear that you’ll have to stop, slow down gently and allow your car to coast if possible.
- Drive smoothly, avoiding sharp acceleration and heavy braking.
- Use air conditioning sparingly as it significantly increases fuel consumption.
- The most efficient speed depends upon the car in question but is typically around 45 - 50mph. Faster speed will greatly increase your fuel consumption.
- Drive away immediately when starting from cold - idling to heat the engine wastes fuel and causes rapid engine wear.
- Accessories such as roof racks, bike carriers, and roof boxes significantly affect your car's aerodynamics. Unloaded racks reduce fuel efficiency by up to 10%, so remember to remove them when not in use to save £50 - £100 per year. When a roof rack or bicycle carrier is fully loaded your fuel efficiency can drop by up to 30%, especially at high speed, so only use them when you have to.
- Avoid short journeys - a cold engine uses almost twice as much fuel and catalytic converters can take five miles to become effective.
- Plan your journeys to avoid congestion, road works and getting lost.
- Check your tyre pressure regularly - under-inflated tyres are dangerous and can increase fuel consumption by up to 3% and cost you £45 per year.
- If you're stuck in a jam, switch the engine off if you expect to be there for more than a minute or two. Cutting the engine will save fuel and reduce emissions.
- Remove unnecessary items from your car. It costs you about £70 per year for every 100kg of extra weight in your car.
- Service your car at the recommended intervals to improve your fuel efficiency by 25% and save up to £280 each year. Just replacing a clogged air filter can improve your fuel consumption by 10%.
- If your car has Cruise Control, use it on dual carriageways and motorways – it will save you money by keeping your speed steady.
Eco Driving Video
You can watch a video explaining how to drive smartly on the Devon County Council website.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Tel: 01803 208823
- Fax: 01803 208882