Driving efficiently

The science is clear, the climate is changing. In the UK and around the globe we are already seeing changes to weather patterns and average temperatures as a result of human-induced (anthropogenic) climate change.

According to UK Government, transport produced 27% of the UK’s total emissions in 2019, with the majority (91%) from road transport vehicles. As well as thinking about the way we travel more generally, driving more efficiently will reduce emissions and cut down on costs.

Cutting down on car journeys is one of the more obvious ways to limit emissions from travel and reduce your carbon footprint. For some people however, eliminating or even reducing car journeys isn’t always realistic. Luckily, there are some tips and strategies from the experts at the RAC that you can implement when you are driving which can help you to use less fuel.

Accelerating and braking gently can reduce excessive fuel consumption and can also minimise additional wear on your vehicle caused by over-braking. By looking ahead and anticipating the need to stop or slow down early, you can reduce your speed and limit the need to brake sharply.

Avoiding high speeds where possible can improve vehicle efficiency. Cars are usually most efficient when driven between 45 and 50 mph1 as cars use more and more fuel as they go faster. Travelling at around 75 mph will use about 15% more fuel than travelling at 60 mph2

Looking after your car is a great step toward optimising its efficiency. Seemingly small things can make a big difference to fuel consumption. For example, having your tyres not properly inflated will increase resistance and therefore fuel consumption. 

Reducing the amount of weight that is carried in your car and removing unused roof racks and boxes will help decrease your overall fuel consumption.  Anything that increases drag on the vehicle with significantly increase fuel use especially at high speeds.



2 Energy Saving Trust