What Can I Do?

Smarter driving tips

In order to reduce CO2 and other emissions, the first priority is to switch off wherever possible, but there are a number of other tips for doing so. The best way is to use the car only when it is necessary. For example, instead of using it for short journeys, consider walking or taking public transport where possible. Try planning journey routes to avoid congestion, combine trips, or perhaps car sharing.
When you are considering purchasing a new vehicle, choose the most fuel-efficient vehicle of the type you need. The fuel consumption of similar sized cars can vary by as much as 45%. By choosing the most fuel efficient car in class, rather than the one with the average emissions, can typically reduce fuel consumption by up to 24%.

There are also a number of simple ways that you can reduce the emissions when you drive

  1. “Switch Off” your engine whenever possible-remember, Idling costs you money, pollutes the air and harms your environment.
  2. Regular servicing helps keep the engine at best efficiently. If you need your emissions checked free of charge, visit our testing van (see testing programme).
  3. Cold starts-drive off as soon as possible after starting.
  4. Minimise weight-don’t carry unnecessary weight, empty the clutter.
  5. Drive smoothly and efficiently-harsh acceleration and heavy braking have a very significant impact on fuel consumption. If you are going to stop take your foot off the accelerator early. Driving more smoothly saves fuel.
  6. Slow down-driving at high speeds significantly increases fuel consumption.
  7. Use higher gears as soon as traffic conditions allow.
  8. Remove roof racks when not in use; they add weight, increase drag and increase fuel consumption
  9. Regularly check your tyres to ensure that they are inflated to the correct pressure.
  10. Check your fuel consumption-it will help you get the most from the car. Changes in overall fuel consumption may indicate a fault.
  11. Use air-conditioning sparingly-running it continually will increase fuel consumption significantly.
  12. Plan ahead-choose uncongested routes, combine trips or car share. Perhaps try Lift Share
  13. Try to avoid using your car for short journeys-use public transport, ride a bicycle or walk whenever possible. Cars are more polluting so short journeys because they are cold.

Eco driving includes actions like maintaining a steady speed at a low RPM, shifting gears early, checking tyre pressures frequently, and considering how much fuel you are burning. Transport companies and fleet operators can actually reduce their costs by up to 15% by training drivers to use these simple actions.

In order to reduce the amount of harmful emissions and pollutants released by vehicles, regular maintenance checks are required. The actual schedule of car maintenance varies depending on the year, make and model of a car, its driving conditions and driver behaviour. In addition, emissions testing can help ensure that vehicles are within the required legal limits.

East Central Scotland Vehicle Emissions Partnership offers free emissions testing in East Lothian, Midlothian, West Lothian and Falkirk. Each test lasts only 5-10 minutes and a few minutes spent on testing can cut costs dramatically. See our emissions testing page for more information and to book your test.

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To report Smoky or Idling Vehicles contact the Hotline Number 01845 451 888

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