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Don’t blow it – good planets are hard to find

Driving style has a huge impact on fuel consumption and is key to reducing your impact on the environment.  You can buy the greenest car on the market but if you drive it badly or use it too much, you simply undermine all the benefits.  There are however some things you can do to save money and reduce CO2 emissions and pollution.  Here are some environmental driving tips from IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards, Richard Gladman.

Get your car serviced regularly. A well-maintained car is safer and greener


  • Make sure you are using the right engine oil; if you have any doubts check your handbook. Make sure your oil is checked regularly and if you need to top it up ensure you use the correct grade


  • Avoid unnecessary loading. Putting too much weight on your vehicle can burn more fuel. Take off any unused roof racks, roof boxes or cycle racks as they will also waste fuel


  • Check your tyre pressures – underinflated tyres waste fuel. Check your handbook as some vehicles now have an economy option in their settings for tyre pressures


  • If possible choose a parking space you can drive out of quickly. Time spent manoeuvring out of a space with a cold engine wastes fuel. Try to reverse park so you can drive away quicker
  • Richard said: “The key to green driving is to take a gentle approach when braking and accelerating combined with looking as far ahead as possible to plan a smooth path through traffic. There isn’t any point in rushing to the next traffic light just to have to wait. These are just the sort of skills that advanced drivers take for granted but can make a big difference to your wallet and to air quality around you.  Consider investing in the IAM RoadSmart eco-driving course as it could pay for itself very quickly in fuel savings.”


    Notes to editors:

    1. Richard Gladman is IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards.
    2. IAM RoadSmart has a mission to make better drivers and riders in order to improve road safety, inspire confidence and make driving and riding enjoyable. It does this through a range of courses for all road users, from online assessments through to the advanced driving and riding tests. IAM RoadSmart is the trading name of all businesses operated by the UK’s largest road safety charity, the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) and was formed in April 2016 combining the IAM, IAM Drive & Survive, PDS and IAM Driver Retraining Academy. The organisation has 92,000 members and campaigns on road safety on their behalf. At any one time there are over 7,000 drivers and riders actively engaged with IAM RoadSmart’s courses, from members of the public to company drivers, while our Driver Retraining Academy has helped 2,500 drivers to shorten their bans through education and support programmes.

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