Green Driving Tips - Helping the environment
- Switch to energy saving light bulbs. They last around 10 times longer than ordinary light bulbs, and each bulb could save up to £60 over the bulb’s lifetime.
- Reduce draughts and wasted heat by fitting cheap, easy-to-fix seals on exterior doors. Letter boxes and keyholes can be covered too.
- Insulate your hot water tank with a jacket to save on your heating.
- Insulating your loft is one of the simplest ways to save energy – within a year you could save over £100.
- Insulate wall cavities to save money and create an even temperature in your home. A third of the heat lost in an un-insulated house is through the walls.
- When buying new electrical appliances, look for the Energy Saving Recommended logo. These products are the most energy efficient in their category.
- Switch off electrical appliances and phone chargers, rather than leaving on stand-by.
- Recycle where ever possible.Always check packaging for details, and shopaccordingly.
- Use water sparingly at work, home and in the garden.
Use fuel efficiently
The most important action you can take to reduce CO2 is to use fuel as sparingly as possible:
- Start the engine without using the accelerator.
- Don’t leave the engine running to ‘warm up’.Vehicles today are designed to warm up fast, so there is no need to leave the engine running for 5 minutes on cold mornings.
- Avoid unnecessary idling – don’t leave the engine running if you are waiting and not in traffic.
- Turn your engine off in traffic queues if it looks like more than a few minutes wait.
- Drive in the highest gear possible without labouring the engine.
- Drive more smoothly: avoid excessive acceleration and heavy braking. Not only will this reduce your vehicle’s overall fuel use, it will also reduce wear and tear.
- Change up through the gears at relatively low engine revs. Refer to your owner’s manual for the optimum gearshift points for manual cars.
- Avoid using air conditioning unless really necessary. Most systems need to be run regularly but not all the time.
Plan your route
- Short trips (less than 6 miles) can increase fuel consumption by 20% in summer and 50% in winter. Plan your route to include all the places you need to go, rather than making lots of separate journeys.
- If possible, avoid rush-hour and roads known for their heavy traffic. A crawling vehicle releases three times more smog-producing emissions.
- Offer and share lifts to minimise journeys. Maintain correct tyre pressure
- Refer to your handbook and check tyre pressure regularly particularly before long journeys. The extra resistance caused by under inflated tyres uses more fuel.
Optimise fuel economy
- The optimum fuel economy for most vehicles is achieved at a steady speed of between 50 and 60 mph (speed limit permitting). Miles per gallon (mpg) decreases sharply above 58 mph.
Remove excess weight
- Remove unnecessary weight from your boot. Reduce unnecessary drag
- Roof racks and roof boxes that are not permanently fixed to the vehicle should be removed when not being used.
Maintain your car
- Check your car regularly for fluid leaks such as oil, grease, coolant, transmission and brake fluid. They are all harmful to the environment.We will be delighted to undertake these checks for you.
- Never dispose of radiator antifreeze or coolant down a drain. These substances contain ethylene glycol, which is poisonous to fish and other wildlife as well as humans. Put it in a sturdy container and dispose of in an environmentally responsible manner. Many repair facilities accept these items or contact your local council recycling sites.
Choice of car
- It is now much easier to choose low emission and economical vehicles.
- Compare models and classes. Even similarly sized cars can vary in fuel efficiency up to 45% – check the miles per gallon (mpg).
- Consider diesel cars that have lower or zero CO2 emissions. They are also more tax efficient
Winter Driving Tips
We all know that the British weather is unpredictable at the best of times and road conditions can change without warning, especially in the Winter. So when severe weather hits we advise you to listen to local traffic reports and make an informed decision. A meeting can always be re-arranged as your safety is the number one priority.
Check Your Vehicle
It is vital that you check your vehicle, especially when you are planning to drive in winter weather conditions. Ensure that your vehicle is well maintained and serviced;
- Make sure that your battery is fully charged
- Keep the lights, windows and mirrors clean and free from ice and snow
- Consider adding anti-freeze to the radiator and winter additive to the windscreen washer
- Ensure that your tyres have plenty of tread depth and are maintained at the correct pressure
- Check that your wipers and lights are in good working order.
When You Need Assistance
Even though you may think it's common sense, the pressure to arrive at an important meeting can cloud your judgment and compromise your safety. If you need assistance, your vehicle has broken down or you have simply lost your way, remember the following;
- Do not use a mobile phone while driving. Stop somewhere safe or ask a passenger to make the call
- If you are unsure on what you should do, pull over safely and refer to your company procedure in your driver handbook
- If you have broken down on a motorway, it is best to use a roadside emergency telephone, the breakdown/ emergency services will then be able to locate you easily. If you have to use a mobile phone, make sure you know your location from the numbers on the marker posts on the side of the hard shoulder
- Abandoned vehicles can hold up rescue vehicles and snowploughs. To ensure that the road is cleared as quickly as possible, stay with your vehicle until help arrives
- If you have to leave your vehicle to get help, make sure other drivers can see you by using a torch (pointed to the ground) or safety vest within your safety pack.
Plan Your Journey
When you are planning to drive during wintry weather conditions, take care to plan your journey so that you can avoid any unnecessary risks to your safety;
- Check the local and national weather forecasts
- Listen to local and national radio for travel information
- Tell someone at your destination what time you expect to arrive
- Clear your windows and mirrors before you set out and carry a screen scraper and de-icer.
How You Drive
When the roads are icy or slushy, consider your driving style. The speed limit is not something to aim for in these conditions, even if you are in a rush it's not worth risking yours or other drivers' safety on the road;
- To avoid locking your wheels whilst braking on ice or snow, allow your speed to fall and use the brake pedal gently
- Make use of vehicle winter settings (gearbox) if provided
- It can take ten times longer to stop in icy conditions than on a dry road. Drive slowly, allowing extra braking distance to slow down and stop
- Be aware of any additional noise confirming that traction and/or stability systems may be operating on the car
- Use the highest gear possible to avoid wheel spin
- Avoid harsh braking and acceleration, taking care to manoeuvre gently
- If you start to skid, ease off the accelerator but do not brake suddenly.
Please note that these suggestions from Inchcape Fleet Solutions are not intended to replace or override any policies, rules and procedures applicable to your business.
To the extent permitted by law we, Inchcape Fleet Solutions, will not be liable by reason of breach of contract, negligence or otherwise for any loss occasioned to any person acting, omitting to act or refraining from acting in reliance upon this Driver Information Sheet, arising from or connected with any error or omission in it.