From recycling to renewable energy, everyone’s eager to do their bit for the environment these days. And while you probably know there’s lots that you can do at home – there’s also plenty of ways to make your driving a little kinder to the planet.
What is Eco-Driving?
Transport was responsible for 20.3% of Ireland's greenhouse gas emissions in 20191, so making adjustments to how you drive could make a real difference. It’s not as tricky as you might imagine either; what the experts refer to as “eco-driving” is really as simple as changing some habits when you’re behind the wheel.
Increasing your fuel efficiency doesn’t just benefit Mother Nature, it’s also a great way for you to cut down on your driving costs – so everyone’s a winner! But please remember that your road safety should always override economy.
We’re offering 15% off when you buy your car insurance online2 so we put together 21 tips on how to make those car journeys a bit greener:
1. Avoid sudden braking or rapid acceleration, keep things smooth and stead
2. Leave a large gap between you and the car in front for a better chance of anticipating when to slow down.
3. Slow down – even a 10km/h reduction on your motorway cruising speed can improve fuel efficiency by 12-18%.
4. If you’re on the motorway and your car has cruise control, use it during dry conditions! Maintaining a constant speed on an extended trip is the best way to conserve energy.
5. Time your approach to red traffic lights by slowing down to avoid stopping completely.
6. If your stopped for a period of time turn your engine off. 30 seconds is the magic number where leaving the car running will burn more fuel than turning it off and starting again.
7. If it’s an icy morning, defrost your windshield and windows using a scraper and de-ice rather than warming the car up.
8. Check your tyre pressure. Tyres 10% below the recommended pressure increase fuel consumption by around 2% and make your engine work harder.
9. Use the right motor oil for your vehicle. The manufacturer’s recommendation is carefully chosen to optimise your engine’s performance.
10. Empty the back seat and the boot – any added weight means added fuel usage!
11. Remove bike racks and roof boxes you don’t need. On top of the weight, they also make your car less aerodynamic.
12. Don’t wait around after starting your engine, you should be able to move off very shortly after iIt’s running!
13. Make sure your car is well maintained and regularly serviced.
14. At low speeds, air-conditioning uses up fuel- open your windows instead. At higher speeds the opposite is true, open windows will create a drop so air con is a better choice.
15. Cut down on your electrics, only use seat heaters, demister fans and other such features when you need to.
16. Check your route before you head off, nothing wastes fuel like getting lost!
17. Try to time your journeys to avoid heavy traffic. You could help reduce collective CO2 emissions by 1.4 Million tonnes annually by avoiding being idle in your car for just three minutes every day.
18. Combine short trips into one journey. Stating your engine from cold uses far more fuel.
19. Eliminate unnecessary use of your car. If you’re making a short journey, could you walk or cycle instead?
20. Keep track of how much you’re spending on fuel. You may not notice the difference until you compare your expenses over a period of time.
21. If you’re buying a new car, do your homework on its fuel consumption or consider making the move to an electric vehicle.
At Aviva, safe drivers save more so get 15% off car insurance when you buy online. Get your quote today.2