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An Eco-Friendly Guide to Buying a New Car

By Features Desk

Tuesday, July 14, 2020.

We have never been faced with so many options when buying a new car. As the world slowly transitions from heavy-duty fuel guzzlers to more efficient or electric alternatives, the marketplace is flooded with a myriad of choices.

One notable trend is that car buyers are starting to be more environmentally conscious. This doesn’t mean that drivers everywhere are abandoning SUVs and high emission vehicles. It simply means that sustainability is becoming an increasingly significant factor when purchasing a new car

The problem with having an eco-friendly approach to car buying today is that it’s difficult to distinguish what vehicles truly are eco-friendly. Although vehicle manufacturers take environmentally conscious measures, making cars creates more harmful emissions than the vehicles are likely to in their lifetimes. When you consider the manufacturing and shipping emissions, are any vehicles actually environmentally friendly? 

The truth of the matter is that vehicles and vehicle manufacturing is going nowhere. Petrol and diesel engines emit billions of metric tons worth of carbon dioxide into the Earth’s atmosphere every year. Therefore, the bigger effort we make to be more eco-friendly when buying and running our vehicles, the more likely we are to have a positive environmental impact. 

Here are seven tips for taking the eco-friendly route when buying a new car. 

Photo by Mike from Pexels.

  1. Carry out extensive research

When purchasing a new car, most people tend to carry out extensive research. With an eco-friendly focus, it’s crucial to complete thorough research to determine how environmentally friendly each vehicle is. 

Car brands can use the terms “eco-friendly,” “low emissions,” “environmentally friendly,” and many more to their advantage when selling. Although the vehicle itself might have a small carbon footprint, the manufacturing process or materials that make up the car might not be “green.” 

Take the time to consider all facets of the vehicle, and don’t assume that it’s eco-friendly just because the manufacturer claims it is.

  1. Suitability

Choose a vehicle that’s suited to your needs. If you’re environmentally conscious, you should be ruling out vehicles that aren’t necessary for your lifestyle. SUVs, 4 x 4 pick up trucks, and large engine sports cars are dream cars for many, but are they needed? 

Adapt your car choice to your lifestyle. If you have a large family, you’ll need something suitable for carrying multiple people. If you’re a farmer or are involved in construction, you’ll require something more heavy-duty. Likewise, a city driver’s needs differ significantly from someone who travels a lot for work. 

For the average driver, eco-friendly cars with a focus on low emissions and fuel efficiency are most suitable. They can perform optimally on the open road and in traffic. Electric vehicles work well in modern cities, while they will probably come up short in more rural parts, where charging points are harder to come by. 

  1. Fuel economy

The fuel efficiency of your vehicle should be a priority from a monetary and environmental standpoint. It is a practical and cost-effective way of managing car expenses in a world of ever-changing fuel prices. 

Petrol and diesel engines burn fossil fuels to operate. Fossil fuels are finite resources and are harmful to the environment when burned. Fuel-efficient vehicles use less fuel and are therefore more beneficial for the environment. 

Fuel economy is very important to consider if you drive a lot. While diesel-fueled engines are generally better for the environment than petrol, neither are sustainable. 

  1. Consider tax and insurance costs

Governments are taking action to combat pollution and environmentally damaging practices. There are tax implications for road users who drive inefficient vehicles. Cars that are less fuel-efficient and emit higher levels of harmful gases, such as carbon dioxide, are charged higher rates of tax. It’s likely that these taxes will increase in the coming years. 

It’s important to consider the insurance costs for your car too. Many things can drive up insurance costs. Ensure that you shop around if you’re driving with convictions on your licence or if you need quotes for different engine types. 

  1. Prioritise safety

While fuel efficiency, low emissions, responsible manufacturing, materials, and green policies are all major influences when buying eco-friendly vehicles, safety should be a main priority. 

Fortunately, modern cars are safer than ever. However, there are some features that you can focus on to ensure the safety of a car. Look out for a vehicle that has a structurally strong cabin, crumple zones, ABS, multiple airbags, and safety belts. 

The weight of a car can also impact safety in the event of a crash. Larger and heavier vehicles generally provide better protection. 

  1. Electric vehicles

Although electric vehicles (EVs) are still being developed and the safe disposal of batteries is far from optimal at present, these are the most eco-friendly vehicles on the market today. What’s more, they are also more cost-efficient to run and are likely to save you money on tax and insurance.

EVs emit no exhaust emissions, helping to reduce the huge levels of air pollution caused by vehicles. 

EVs do not run on fossil fuels and don’t use up the Earth’s finite natural resources. EVs run on batteries and need regular charging to operate. These charging stations can be powered by renewable energy, such as solar power or wind energy. This enables electric cars to be totally reliant on renewable energy sources. In theory, you can drive an EV even if you’re off the grid. 

Some recent EV models are now manufactured using eco-friendly and recycled materials. The Nissan Leaf is partially made from recycled bottles, plastic bags, and old car parts.

  1. Hybrid vehicles

Hybrid vehicles are a combination of petrol or diesel engines with an electric motor. They can generally operate using the electric motor, the regular engine, or a combination of both. Hybrids come in several varieties that are suited to different driving styles. 

Although hybrid cars aren’t as eco-friendly as fully electric vehicles, they are more fuel-efficient and emit less carbon dioxide than comparable petrol or diesel engine vehicles.

If an EV isn’t suitable for your lifestyle or driving requirements, a hybrid vehicle might be the next best option in terms of eco-friendliness. 


An Eco-Friendly Guide to Buying a New Car

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