6 ways to reduce fuel emissions from your car

Not only will reducing your emissions help the local and global environment, but it will create a cleaner, more efficient vehicle that can also save you money. We now live in a world where we need to be more eco-friendly and there are a number of ways motorists can help. Here are 6 ways to reduce your vehicle’s emissions, plus information on how being environmentally-friendly can benefit you.

1. Change fuel type

When you pull into a petrol station and see the pumps labelled with ‘premium’ or ‘super’, it’s easy to think these are just marketing tricks trying to get you to spend more money. However, there is much more to these fuels than just important-sounding names. Active cleaning agents are contained inside of these types of fuels, which help to remove dirt from the engine, while also cleaning it in the process. They may additionally lead to the vehicle improving its performance levels. All fuels must meet the minimum requirements set by British Standard regulations (BS EN228), but some stations will also display the research octane number (RON). The RON is a number between 1-100 which labels how the fuel performs. It should be at least 95.0 for ‘super’ fuel and 98.0 for ‘super plus’. Of course, fuel efficiency will depend on how old the vehicle is, the make and model, as well as the type of journeys you regularly take. You might also experience variation between branded fuel and supermarket versions. But after using the ‘premium’ or ‘super’ fuel at least a few times, you will be able to tell if there is a noticeable difference.

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2. Clean the engine

This may seem like a difficult task to undertake but it is actually quite straightforward. If used correctly, fuel injector cleaners can dissolve the build-up of debris and residue which emit pollutants. Firstly, add a cleaning agent directly into the fuel system to remove the built up deposits. Always read the instructions, but most vehicles require the agent to be poured directly into the fuel tank (which should be at least a quarter full). Then, you should drive your car, as the fuel injector cleaner will be burnt off in the engine while it’s running. Repeat this every three months and you will reduce the emissions being released by the vehicle. If you are not already using a premium fuel, this is also worth considering.

3. Change the oil

Despite its importance to every vehicle, many drivers do not tend to regularly check under the bonnet, so the oil often remains out of sight and out of mind. Without oil in the car the engine would not be lubricated, cleaned, cooled or protected from wear and tear. In order to keep the vehicle running as efficiently as possible, the oil must be regularly changed. If this is not done, you will be more likely to experience mechanical issues. The easiest point of reference is to check your vehicle’s handbook so you know when it needs to be serviced. In addition, if you opt for a Leasing Options maintenance package, we’ll cover all routine servicing – including oil changes. You can read more about leasing with maintenance in our FAQs.  

4. Change how you use the vehicle

The way the vehicle is driven can have a big effect on the emissions being released. Not only will making a few simple adjustments reduce emissions, but this can maximise the vehicle’s efficiency and save you money. Where possible, always ensure your tyres are inflated to the correct pressure level and reduce your speed to between 50-60mph – even driving at 70mph could significantly increase petrol costs. When at a standstill, do not leave the engine running for more than three minutes, and avoid braking or accelerating suddenly as this will lead to more wear and tear. A high rev count is also not good for the engine or the number of pollutants being released.

5. Avoid taking shorter journeys

Having a car is supposed to make life more convenient, which is why we tend to use it for almost everywhere we go. But the more journeys you go on, the more pollutants the engine will emit – even if you do everything possible to reduce your carbon footprint. A simple way around this is to reduce the number of times the vehicle is used. Walking, cycling or taking public transport could be an alternative for some trips. You may also be able to combine trips into one journey, cutting down the amount of time you are out on the road.

6. Make your next vehicle one with lower emissions

When you’re looking for a new car, a great way of reducing emissions and saving money is to choose an eco-friendly option, like an electric or hybrid car. This is because most emissions from generating electricity are lower than burning fuel. Electric or hybrid cars can also reduce greenhouse gases and produce little to no air pollution. Alternatively, if you do not want an electric vehicle, consider your vehicle’s fuel type. There is a difference between the way petrol and diesel engines affect the environment. While a diesel engine will produce lower levels of CO2, compared to a petrol engine it will release more pollutants into the air. A diesel-powered vehicle is considered better for regular, long-distance usage, while for city driving and frequent short distance driving, a petrol engine offers more efficiency.

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Our favourite eco-friendly cars

At Leasing Options we provide a fantastic range of eco-friendly cars for customers who want to reduce their carbon emissions. Here are some of our favourite green cars that are available to lease:

Audi E-Tron Estate – Audi’s first fully electric car that sits between the Q5 and Q7 as a large luxury SUV. It comes with a 95KW battery that supplies two electric motors lasting for up to 248 miles.

Mitsubishi Outlander Estate – An update on the pioneering Outlander PHEV hybrid that comes with an improved 2.4 litre engine and all-electric capabilities of up to 28 miles.

Jaguar I-Pace Estate – Enjoy around 250 miles of driving on a single charge in this electric powered SUV, which features a reliable and powerful 90KW battery pack.

Hyundai Ioniq Hatchback – A popular family car that has hybrid, plug-in and full electric options. Going full electric gives you an 88KW engine with a maximum range of 174 miles.

Kia E-Niro Estate Special Editions – An electric car with a 282 mile range, the E-Niro looks similar to the hybrid and plug-in options provided by Kia. A popular choice with families.