Driving and the environment

Driving and the environment

The way you drive affects the impact your car has on the environment. Fuel-efficient driving is all about keeping this impact to a minimum.

Driving in a fuel-efficient way will

  • make your journeys more comfortable
  • reduce your fuel bills
  • reduce emissions that are harmful to the environment.

It’s not difficult to do either; the most important things are to

  • drive smoothly: sharp acceleration, heavy braking and stop-go driving will use more fuel
  • empty the boot and remove roof racks when not being used
  • load your car carefully if you’re using a roof rack to avoid creating too much air resistance
  • maintain your car to keep it working efficiently
  • switch off your engine if you’re stationary for more than a couple of minutes
  • plan your route so you can avoid roadworks and congestion
  • drive off as soon as possible after you start the engine: modern cars don’t need to warm up.

For more information on fuel-efficient driving, see the Driver Knowledge Centre.

Electric vehicles are much cleaner to run than petrol- or diesel-engine vehicles. You can get a grant towards the cost of buying an electric car or van:

  • 25% off the cost of a car up to a maximum of £5000
  • 20% off the cost of a van up to a maximum of £8000

The grant is available for electric vehicles (EVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and hydrogen-fuel-cell vehicles: check the guide on GOV.UK to find out which vehicles are eligible and how to claim the grant.