This is one of a series of articles brought to you by the MOT Chelmsford blog.
When it comes to renewing your car, it is no longer just a choice between petrol and diesel engines. Choosing an electric car or hybrid model would be a more environmentally friendly option. And, of course, it is worth bearing in mind that all electric cars are exempt from road tax.
There are also cars that run on biofuels, although you would need to check the availability of these fuels in your area. Consider a vehicle with a 1.4 litre engine or smaller. All new cars are tested to check that their exhaust emissions meet European standards, so as a general rule, the newer the car the lower the emissions.
Having your petrol engine car professionally converted to run on Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) would probably mean it gives off lower toxic emissions. The conversion costs around £1,000 but you would notice a big saving per litre at the pumps. Discover whether your petrol or diesel engine can be converted to run on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), which emits fewer toxic chemicals.
Cars with diesel engines use less fuel and don’t give out as much CO2 as their petrol engine counterparts, but the latter produce fewer toxic emissions.
Whatever car you drive, there are lots of simple things you can do to save fuel. Under inflated tyres create more rolling resistance, which uses more fuel. Check the tyre pressure regularly and adjust it if necessary. Have your old tyres replaced with energy saving ones where possible and arrange for the wheel alignment to be looked at, as your car will be more energy efficient if it is correctly set.
A little TLC will go a long way to keeping your car in good condition and running at its most efficient. Make sure you have it serviced regularly, keep the engine correctly tuned, check that the fuel and ignition systems are operating as they should. When you change your oil use the correct grade recommended for your car, and keep your air filter clean.
Extra weight equals extra fuel consumption, so, before you set off, remove any unnecessary items from the boot and do not travel with an empty roof rack. Do you need air conditioning on? How about the electrical items, such as a heated windscreen?
Drive off as soon as possible when you start your engine up and don’t pump out more CO2 than is necessary. Avoiding harsh braking and heavy use of the accelerator, which will reduce your fuel use and the wear and tear on your car. If you are at a standstill for more than three minutes turn the engine off.
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