Smart Driving and The Environment

Posted by Thame Cars on Mar 5, 2019 1:00:00 PM

Many modern cars are designed to combine high performance and low fuel consumption. Fuel consumption has a lot to do with the car you buy, but whatever you drive there are things you can do to save fuel, save money and cut pollution. 

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Discerning buyers look for good fuel economy, low Carbon Dioxide emissions and a less harmful environmental footprint in the form of recycled materials, friendlier manufacturing processes and less wastage of waning fossil fuel supplies. The EU has recently released its Euro6 guidelines, meaning that every new car sold must meet stringent standards for exhaust emissions, including Nitrogen Oxide, Carbon Monoxide and Carbon Dioxide. What this means for you is that manufacturers are upping their game in engine technology, benefiting you at the petrol pumps. You'll now find a growing selection of smaller engines fitted with turbos, for example Ford's EcoBoost engines, meaning that even petrol engines are capable of more than 60 miles per gallon, which was almost unheard of just a few years ago.

Here are some tips on smart driving.


  • Stick to the limit – going faster uses more fuel. Drive at 70mph and you’ll use up to 9% more than at 60mph and up to 15% more than at 50mph. Taking it up to 80mph can use up to 25% more fuel than at 70mph
  • Go up the gears sooner – Since 2014 new car models have been fitted with a gear shift indicator to encourage use of the most efficient gear. Essentially, try changing up at an engine speed of around 2,000 rpm (diesel) or 2,500 (petrol).  
  • Cut down on the electrics – this may seem relatively insignificant but can make a big difference to the fuel efficiency. Turn off your rear window heater, demister fan and headlights when you don't need them. Similarly, air-con increases fuel consumption, essentially its prudent not to use it all the time and only when you need it.
  • Driving style – it might sound obvious, but smart driving involves driving smoothly, accelerating gently and read the road ahead to avoid braking unnecessarily. Decelerate smoothly by releasing the accelerator in time, leaving the car in gear.

Thame Cars Myth Buster - Coasting

Previously it was accepted that drivers could try to save fuel by rolling downhill out of gear but it’s not recommended as you don’t have full control:

  • You can’t suddenly accelerate out of a tricky situation.
  • Coasting in modern cars won’t save you fuel these days either. Fuel and ignition systems are effectively combined and controlled by one Electronic Control Unit (ECU). When you take your foot off the accelerator the ECU cuts the fuel supply to the injectors which means there's no benefit in coasting.

How much can you save?

These days, economy is usually near the top of our wish list when changing car. Diesel engines are now extremely efficient with most drivers expecting to get well over 50 miles per gallon, but new smaller engines fitted with a Turbo mean that petrol equivalents aren't that far behind.

Most new cars now have on-board computers, if yours does it’s easy to see your cars MPG/Miles per gallon. If you want to see how much you can improve on your current fuel consumption all you need to do is;

  1. Take a note of the overall average
  2. Reset the computer and start recording a new average
  3. Try to compare similar periods of time – whole weeks or months say – and similar types of driving 

To work out your average MPG/Miles Per Gallon without an on-board computer:

  1. Fill the tank and take a note of the mileage
  2. Keep a record of any subsequent fuel purchases (you don't have to completely fill the tank again until you're ready to work out your mpg.)
  3. Try to use the same pump at the same garage you first filled the car and fill the tank again
  4. Divide the total mileage since the first fill by the total number of litres used and multiply by 4.546 to get miles per gallon

For Example: If you've covered 1000 miles and used 101 litres of fuel, your average mpg = (1000/101)x4.546 = 45mpg)

See more Tips on Saving your Fuel

When buying a New Vehicle

Vehicle choice can have a major impact on fuel costs and emission and generally, the smaller the engine size the more efficient a vehicle will be. Most modern cars have smaller engines but have the same, if not better output in terms of speed and performance, so you’re not sacrificing anything there.

Cars are now much more fuel-efficient and you have a choice of different engine types: petrol, diesel, hybrid and electric. You can compare fuel consumption, tax and emissions information for used car models at Directgov.

At Thame Cars we are happy to assist you in picking an efficient car or value your current vehicle so you can part exchange for a more efficient one. Call us on 01844 854 023 or click the image below to enquire.

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