How to be an environmentally responsible driver

It’s no secret that diesel and petrol vehicles are a major cause of air pollution, with the government planning on banning the sale of all new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030 as part of a bid to meet the UK’s 2050 net-zero target. So it is becoming increasingly important to reflect on how each of us can contribute to a more sustainable future.

Hybrid and electric vehicles are recognised as the future of private vehicle travel and are undoubtedly the greenest option for getting out and about. However, they are still a relatively unaffordable option for many motorists, especially in the current economic climate.

In this article, you can learn how to minimise your petrol or diesel vehicle’s impact on the environment, while saving money on running costs – so it’s a win/win situation!

Drive with consistency

Everyday driving tasks like accelerating, braking and shifting gears comes as second nature to many of us and we don’t give it much consideration. Over time you may develop bad habits that consume excessive fuel. For example, sharp acceleration, high-rev gear shifting or late and heavy-footed braking. It is best to drive gently and to flow with the surrounding traffic. When accelerating, do not fully press down on the pedal and reduce your speed after overtaking. This minimises the need for abrupt braking, which wastes acceleration energy.

Understand your fuel consumption

By better understanding the fuel consumption of your vehicle, you can reduce the amount of CO2 that you emit, while saving some money in the process. Most newer vehicles come standard with a fuel consumption display, but many motorists do not use it or maybe don’t even understand it.

Anything above 50 MPG is considered good fuel consumption, but it is useful to reset your consumption indicator after different journeys to determine which uses the least amount of fuel, and then set yourself a target of bettering the consumption with gentler driving practices.

For those whose vehicles do not have a fuel consumption indicator, there’s no need to worry, as calculating is easy. Simply note the distance travelled since the last top-up and then record how much fuel it consumed to travel that distance, then divide the miles travelled by the amount of fuel it took to refill the tank.

For example, 450 miles ÷ 10 gallons = 45 MPG.

Share the journey

Do you live nearby work colleagues, or do your friends or family members work close to where you do? If yes, then car sharing is another great way to reduce the number of polluting vehicles on the road. Plus, you can share the burden of fuel costs with your passengers!

But don’t assume that anyone is insured to drive your vehicle just because they have their own policy. The fine print in many contracts means that they may not be covered to drive other cars, and this could result in a claim not being paid in the event of an accident.

The easiest and most convenient way around this is through temporary car insurance – where fully-comprehensive policies last anywhere between 1 hour and 28 days. The entire quote process takes just 90 seconds, so you can even take it out if you’re in a hurry and getting ready to depart for your commute. An added bonus is that temporary cover does not impact other annual policies or no claims discounts, as it is a separate, standalone policy.

To find out more, get a quote today.

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