Save Money, Save the Planet: Eco-Driver Training
Want to save money and help the environment at the same time? Just 50 minutes with a specialist instructor could save you £400 a year. The Energy Saving Trust estimates that on average those who do the training save 15% on their vehicle carbon dioxide emissions too. One recent graduate, Les, tells their story.
How can you drive at a slower average speed, use less petrol, and still get to your destination more quickly? That’s what I was left pondering, after taking part in a trial eco-driver session last week, organised by Brighton council.
Accompanied by an “instructor” (it was his car, after all), I drove a 15 minute circuit around Preston Park and Hollingdean, and recorded my average miles per gallon (about 30mpg). After some tips on how to drive more economically, I then had two more goes, and got my fuel consumption down to 47 mpg.
Even though I’m not a heavy car user, this equates to an annual saving of £419 on fuel, and 689 kg of CO2 emissions, according to the Energy Saving Trust.
Driving like this takes a bit more concentration, but I felt calmer for driving with more awareness – and even though I ended up with a slower average speed, I got round the same circuit in 12 minutes. And I still can’t quite figure it out …!
Top Tips to Drive Greener
The Energy Saving Trust’s advice to save fuel includes:
- changing up a gear before you reach 2,500 revs in petrol cars, 2,000 in diesel
- driving smoothly and checking tyre pressure
- see Energy Trusts Fuel Efficient Driving page for more ideas.
The Environmental Transport Association, a sustainable travel lobby group and insurance and breakdown cover provider, have other helpful advice on their website.
Are You Interested in Free Training
If you live in the Lewes Road transport improvements area (from The Level to Falmer and including Hanover and Elm Grove, Hollingdean, Moulsecoomb, Bevendean and Coldean), free eco-driver training is available from the City Council, in return for a one-week travel diary. Contact email@example.com or 290498.