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Eco-friendly AA driving tips to save you up to £700 ahead of COP26



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A two-car family could save more than £700 a year by changing the way they drive, which would not only conserve money but also be better for the planet.

The government plans to ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars in 2030 as part of efforts to cut carbon emissions in the UK - but the AA says all drivers can make a difference now to their environmental footprint while saving money in the process.

The future role of electric cars will be a major talking point next month when world leaders begin gathering in Glasgow for climate conference COP26.

The AA estimates a family could save £700 a year by making small changes to the way they drive
The AA estimates a family could save £700 a year by making small changes to the way they drive

A ban on the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles in the UK, scheduled to come into force in 2030, forms a major part of the government's efforts to control the planet's rising temperature and cut the nation's dependency on fossil fuels.

But motoring organisation the AA says now is the time for car owners to re-evaluate their driving regardless of the type of vehicle they currently own and that every motorist can do more to lessen the impact motoring has on the environment.

Here are 7 changes the AA suggests drivers can adopt:

Speed and fuel consumption go hand in hand
Speed and fuel consumption go hand in hand

1.Speed

Sticking to constant lower speeds is not only safer but makes your fuel go further. Drive at 70mph and you’ll use up to 9% more petrol or diesel than at 60mph and up to 15% more than at 50mph. Driving at speeds of up to 80mph is not only illegal but will use up to 25% more fuel than travelling at 70mph.

Erratic driving is more harmful to the environment and uses more fuel
Erratic driving is more harmful to the environment and uses more fuel

2. Driving style

Further gains can be made by modifying your driving style. An erratic driving style will use up more fuel, consequently be more harmful to the environment, and will see you filling up more often. Drivers should aim to drive 'smoothly' - this would include gently accelerating and reading the road and travel conditions ahead to avoid breaking heavily or unnecessarily.

Keeping your tyres in good condition will help your environmental footprint
Keeping your tyres in good condition will help your environmental footprint

3. Check your tyres

Regular checking of tyre pressures and tyre treads help your wheels roll more efficiently. Under-inflated tyres or low pressure means that more of the tyre is touching the road, which will cause more friction. The harder your car has to work, the quicker and more fuel it will need to burn in order to get you to your destination.

Faults with your car can affect emissions so regular servicing is important
Faults with your car can affect emissions so regular servicing is important

4. Service your vehicle

Regular servicing of your car means it will run more efficiently and any faults that may be causing you to use up fuel more quickly can be identified and repaired.

Sharing a car with colleagues or parents at your children's school or linking trips will all cut down on car use
Sharing a car with colleagues or parents at your children's school or linking trips will all cut down on car use

5. Trip chain or car share

Can you combine car trips? For example picking up shopping on your way from from work or dropping your children somewhere and running an errand in the same journey. The fewer journeys you can make from scratch and the more driving you can combine the better it is for both your fuel bill and the planet. Alternatively share a vehicle when you can, perhaps with a work colleague or fellow parent at your child's school, while cutting out the smaller journeys by walking or cycling where possible.

Remove boxes, roof racks or heavy loads in your boot
Remove boxes, roof racks or heavy loads in your boot

6. Take a load off

Take off the unused roof box or bike rack when they're not in use and take a look inside your boot to see how many heavy goods you're carrying. The more 'drag' you're creating on your car the harder it will need to work and the more fuel that will consume. Tougher driving conditions like that will use up petrol or diesel more quickly and consequently release more of its harmful fumes into the environment.

Reversing your car into a space is advised
Reversing your car into a space is advised

7. Reverse park

How good is your reverse parking? Did you know that backing into parking spaces means that you will lose less fuel when you have to pull off cold. Slow manoeuvres when your engine is at its coldest use more fuel than when it is warm. Facing forward means that you will be able to drive away more quickly and spend less time driving slowly while your engine is cooler.

The AA believes drivers, regardless of the type of car they drive, can help environmental pollution
The AA believes drivers, regardless of the type of car they drive, can help environmental pollution

President Edmund King said while the biggest change to driving will no doubt be driven by the ban in nine years time, there is plenty drivers can do in the interim.

He explained: “COP26, which the AA is proud to support, is about us all reducing our carbon footprint and all drivers can help whether driving electric, petrol or diesel cars.

"Not only can we help the environment, but a petrol or diesel two-car family could save more than £700 pa just by changing their driving style and speed.”



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