Cut costs while keeping your carbon footprint low

Thinking about becoming more environmentally conscious? By driving eco-friendlier you can reduce your carbon footprint whilst lowering fuel costs. But, how exactly can you do this? Lookers, providers of the driving motability scheme, tell us more:

Reducing your fuel costs

Many of us spend a lot on fuel when commuting or visiting family and friends. But, there are some things that you can do to become more fuel efficient and get more out of your money.

Try changing gears at lower revs. This driving technique prevents your engine from overworking and therefore requiring more power. It has been suggested that when you’re behind the wheel, you should try to change gear when the rev counter reads 2,000rpm for diesel and 2,500rpm for petrol. This stops your engine from working too hard and reduces the risk of clutch and gearbox damage (more unexpected costs that you could do without).

Although it’s hard to resist rolling your windows down on a warm day, it can have a negative impact on your fuel tank. This is because driving with the windows down can cause your vehicle to drag — requiring more energy to move the car. So, is air conditioning a better alternative when it’s hot? One study discovered that this may actually use even more energy than when the windows are open.

Predicting the road ahead

To save on fuel and make the most out of your full tank, you should try and maintain a steady speed. But, how can you do this?

Predict what’s coming up on the road and prepare your speed accordingly. For example, if you’re approaching traffic lights, slow your car down in plenty of time to avoid harsh braking. You might surprise yourself by how much you can save on petrol or diesel by avoiding unnecessary stops and starts. In fact, statistics show that harsh braking and acceleration can reduce fuel efficiency by 33%. Similarly, when coming up to stand still traffic, reduce your speed so you can continue to move.

Speed control

Although you should be avoiding speeding anyway for legal and safety reasons, there are other benefits of speed control.

If your car has cruise control installed, make the most of it. This feature allows you to maintain a steady speed and prevents too much speed fluctuation — improving fuel efficiency. Remember to turn your car off when stationary (when it’s safe to do so) to save on fuel too.

Which speeds are most economical to drive at? It’s most economical to drive below 70mph. In fact, research has found that it can cost up to 25% more in fuel to drive at 70mph than it does when driving at 50mph.

But, you want to avoid driving too slowly also. If your vehicle is moving below the speed of 15mph, the most vehicle pollution is created. Pollution emitted then lowers when accelerating to 60mph and rises again after this threshold.

Become an eco-driver and see your savings grow!

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