Hunter’s Chase, Red Lodge

Smarter Travel Choices

With the future of car travel changing, it is good to consider other options when it comes to car travel.

Did you know?

• Each week, the average Brit spends seven hours in their car;

•The average annual cost of car insurance is £436;

• Drivers spend on average £89.67 per month on fuel;

• It’s likely that you will play eye-spy in the car around 1,470 times during your lifetime!; and

• Over your lifetime, on average you will have 7,817 singalongs to the car radio!

The concept of smarter travel choices is about thinking differently, how could you reduce the amount of travelling you do, how could your lifestyle improve?

There are other ways in which you can reduce your travel, including simply cutting the number of journeys you make. For example, could you have your weekly food shop delivered instead of driving yourself and walking or cycling to the local convenience store for smaller purchases? One supermarket van delivering to several properties could take many cars off the road thus improving air quality and reducing congestion. Just making small changes can really add up and everyone’s efforts combined can make an impact.

Perhaps you could also speak to your employer to see if it is possible to work from home just one day a week?  Some employers are more flexible and adaptable in their working practices, such as allowing flexi-time to fit around public transport services. Not driving the car for one day a week automatically reduces car usage by 20%! Or alternatively, you could ask to adapt your working hours slightly to travel outside of peak hours. Of course, this isn’t suitable for everyone and every profession, however, small changes add up and make a difference!

Eco Driving

Additionally, here are some tips on how to drive a little more economically:

Maintenance:

  • Check your tyre pressures regularly (and before long journeys), under-inflated tyres use more fuel as they increase rolling resistance.
  • Service your car regularly to maintain engine efficiency.

Before you set off:

  • Although handy to have when needed, roof-racks and boxes increase your fuel consumption, take them off if they’re not being used to reduce drag and save on fuel.
  • Lose any unnecessary baggage, extra weight means extra fuel!
  • Plan ahead and know where you’re going. Getting lost lengthens journeys and also means using up more fuel.
  • Combine short trips, cold starts use more fuel so it pays to group your errands together when you can.
  • Start your engine when you’re ready to set off on your journey, an idle engine wastes fuel and your engine will warm up quicker when you’re moving too.

On the road:

  • Drive smoothly, accelerate gently and read the road ahead to avoid unnecessary braking.
  • Cut down on the air-con; Air-conditioning increases fuel consumption at low speeds (the effects are less noticeable at higher speeds); and
  • Stick to the speed limits and try to keep your car moving at constant speeds as higher speeds with constant braking and accelerating uses more fuel than rolling.
  • The faster you go the greater the fuel consumption (cruising at 70mph uses up to 9% more fuel than at 60mph and up to 15% more fuel than at 50mph).
  • Newer car models (since 2014) have been fitted with gear shift indicators, these encourage you to use the most efficient gear for your speed. Try changing gears at an engine speed of 2,000 rpm for diesel, or 2,500 for petrol.

The future of car travel is electric!

If you’re thinking about a new car, why not look at a hybrid or electric vehicle? Today’s electric and hybrid cars can drive over 320 kilometres on a single charge and you could save yourself hundreds of pounds compared to petrol or diesel cars.  Visit goultralow.com for a handy ‘home charging calculator’ that can help you to find out how much does it cost to charge an EV at home. There are almost 20,000 public charging point connectors in the UK including rapid chargers.

There are significant benefits to driving electric or hybrid vehicles; they are cheaper to run than combustion engines potentially saving up to two thirds of the cost on petrol or diesel (see a ‘Journey cost savings calculator’ here), they tend to be cheaper to maintain because there are hundreds of fewer moving parts and associated mechanical problems, additionally, they are better for the environment with no exhaust emissions (pure EV do not even have exhaust).

To find EV charging points through the UK visit the handy CarWow or Zap Map websites.

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