Skip to content

AAttitude

Environment

Go straight to the quiz!

Get greener!

Whether you own a car or not, it doesn't take a genius to work out that driving isn't exactly environmentally friendly. A 1.8-litre car travelling 12,000 miles per year, on average, produces 3.51 tonnes of carbon dioxide.1 Cars produce less than 50% of the UK's total carbon monoxide emissions,2 affecting the quality of the air that we breathe.

Motorway intersection from the sky Here's how to limit your environmental impact when driving.

  • Switch off your engine when you're stationary for more than two minutes – this saves fuel.
  • Control your speed – it can cost up to 25% more in fuel to drive at 70mph compared to 50mph.3
  • Share your car journeys. The average British car has 1.2 passengers. If two car drivers shared a car they could reduce their overall pollution by 60%.4
  • Don't always take the car – 80% of journeys are under five miles and 33% are under one mile – both are easy to do without the car.5
  • Ensure you have the correct tyre pressure. Driving with under-inflated tyres increases fuel consumption by 1%.6
  • Think about the fuel you're using – a car with efficient fuel consumption is more environmentally friendly as it produces lower emissions than larger cars.
  • Consider diesel engines or alternative fuels such as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and compressed natural gas (CNG) – all of which have lower CO2 emissions than standard petrol cars.
  • Consider driving a 'hybrid' vehicle – these combine a conventional engine with an electric motor and battery and offer reduced fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, with potentially lower emissions of all pollutants.
  • While neither petrol nor diesel vehicles are particularly environmentally friendly, diesel vehicles are environmentally less damaging as they have lower CO2 emissions.
  • Keep your car well maintained, as this will improve its performance and limit fuel consumption.

Topics to think about/discuss

  • With rocketing fuel prices and fears that oil supplies will dry up in 50 years – what will the cars of the future run on?
  • Why are four-wheel drives among the most controversial cars on the road in terms of the environment, congestion and pollution?
  • Eco-driving is to be made part of the driving test from 2008 – if it was part of the driving test now, could you come up with three ways to save fuel?

1 Vehicle Certification Agency, Department of Transport
2 National Atmospheric Emissions Industry (NAE)
3 Environmental Transport Association (ETA)
4 Ibid
5 Ibid
6 Ibid

Choose your instructor

Find the right one for you

Go now

Street aware

Take an online driving lesson

Start now

Choosing your car

Tips for buying your first car

Read now

Book Lessons
AA Drivimg school