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6 ways to reduce your vehicle running costs and emissions

May 29, 2019 | News

Emissions are currently in the spotlight, following the recent introduction of the London Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) and how your drive can have an impact on how much your vehicle releases, it can also have an impact on your running costs. Car & Van Finance Direct reveal 6 ways to reduce your vehicle running costs and emissions!

Efficient driving

Driving efficiently can help reduce fuel consumption, extend the range of an electric vehicle, reduce harmful emissions and lower accident rates in any vehicle, whether it is a conventional car or van, electric or hybrid. So what are the best ways to do this?

Here are our 6 ways to reduce your vehicle running costs and emissions:

1. Conserve momentum by driving smoothly

Anticipate the road and other drivers ahead of you, this can allow you to avoid any unnecessary acceleration and deceleration and hence conserve momentum and reduce fuel consumption. Better levels of anticipation is important for both safer driving and more efficient driving.

2. Make early gear changes

When accelerating it is most efficient to move up through the gears as early as your vehicle will comfortably take the next gear. The actual figure on the rev counter will depend on the vehicle, the load you are carrying, the gradient of the road and a number of other factors. On the whole it’ll generally be around the 2000rpm mark.

3. Lift off the accelerator

When slowing down, lift off the accelerator as early as possible but remain in gear. You will then use the engine for braking, with the vehicle’s momentum turning the engine. In a petrol or diesel vehicle this will activate the fuel-cut off switch, reducing fuel flow to nearly zero.

4. Avoid speeding

Fuel consumption is increased by travelling at high speeds, mainly due to higher wind resistance. Travelling at 75mph in a petrol or diesel car will use approximately 18% more fuel than if travelling at 60mph, this increases to an approximate figure of 37% for vans.

5. Do I need my heating or air con on?

Air conditioning increases the fuel consumption significantly of all vehicles, whilst opening the windows incurs a far smaller penalty even if travelling at high speeds. If you are using air con, then adjusting the climate control setting up a degree or two will reduce the fuel consumption. In electric vehicles, heated seats and steering wheels use less energy than heating the whole vehicle and are hence included in most electric vehicles from base level.

6. Know the eco features of your vehicle

Many modern vehicles regardless of whether they are conventional petrol or diesel or plug-in, offer features that can help you conserve fuel or battery. These can include stop-start systems, gear-shift indicators, driver efficiency feedback and for most electric vehicles an eco-setting which will tend to limit acceleration and top speed and reduce the power of the air conditioning and heating.

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