Car emissions

Car Emissions

One particular area where we are looking to make changes to our Co2 Emissions is our motor cars. Do you even know how much CO2 your vehicle produces and are you aware that even without changing your car you can reduce your vehicle emissions!

Reducing Car Carbon Dioxide Emissions

* Lower the weight in your car (don't leave unnecessary items in your car, especially if they weigh a lot)

* Check your tyre pressure, you car will perform at its best when the tyres are at the correct pressure, you can find this in your log book, or sometimes on the inside of your car door (at the bottom)

Finding your Sweet Spot

* Don't sit idle, if you are going to be at a standstill for longer than 3 minutes, turn the engine off

* Don't over accelerate, save the 0-60 tests for the track

* Switch the air conditioning off

What is your sweet spot?

There have been many tests conducted on fuel efficiency (CO2 emissions), and despite popular belief driving slow does not always prove to provide the most effective MPG (miles per gallon) or the lowest CO2 emissions.
After various tests it seems that every car is different, and it is your task as the driver of your car to find the most effective speed. Even the same make and model of car can differ so you cannot even rely on another owner's findings.

Read more information on Lowering Your Car's Emissions.

Car Emissions Examples

Below is an example of a range of cars from smart to performance to 4x4 to show that Small Engine Size does not always equal Low Car Exhaust Emissions.


Make Engine/BHP* MPG Co2
Smart Car Fortwo Coupe - 2007 onwardP1ltr/61bhp60112g/km
Mini Cooper S - 2006 onwardP1.6ltr/175bhp45149g/km
Honda Civic Hybrid - 2006 onwardH1.4ltr/114bhp61109g/km
Mazda Rx8 - 2003 onwardP1.3ltr 231bhp23299g/km
Vauxhall Astra T.Top - 2006 onward P1.6ltr/103bhp38168g/km
Nissan 350z roadster - 2005 onwardP3.5ltr/276bhp24280g/km
Porsche 911 Coupe - 2004 onwardP3.6ltr/325bhp23295g/km
Porsche Cayenne - 2003 onwardP3.6ltr/290bhp19310g/km
Hyundai Santa Fe CRTD - 2006 onwardD2.2ltr/148bhp39191g/km
Lexus RX 400h CVT - 2003 onwardH3.3ltr/269bhp34192g/km
Subaru Forester - 2008 onwardD2.0ltr/144bhp44167g/km
Ford Fiesta Eco DPF - 2008 onwardD1.6ltr/88bhp67110g/km
BMW 1 Series 118D - 2004 onwardD2.0ltr/120bhp50150g/km
Corvette C6 Conv V8 - 2005 onwardD6.16lt/398bhp21310g/km
Toyota Prius Hybrid - 2009 onwardH1.8ltr/134bhp72.489g/km
AudiTT CoupeTDI Quattro - 2006 onwardD2.0ltr/167bhp53139g/km
*P = Petrol, D = Diesel, H = Hybrid

The 4x4 high emission rumour, is it myth or fact?

Well, that all depends on the vehicle you choose as for example:-

VW Touran 1.9 TDI 7 Seater = 144g/km V’s Vauxhall Astra 1.9 CDT 3 door = 186g/km

You would probably expect that the Astra would show the lowest cars emissions, especially as both vehicles are Diesel, but this isn't the case, it seems that research is the key as you cannot always judge by engine size or fuel which would actually be the lowest on emissions.

Lower CO2 emissions - Lower Road Tax

By purchasing a car with lower CO2 emissions, you lower the level of Road Tax payable to the government. The levels for each increase in road tax are dictated by the emission level of your car and the levels are as follows:-


Tax Band Cost of 12 months Tax Emissions Number of vehicles in this category
A Free 0 g/km 100 g/km 8
B £35 101 g/km 120 g/km 268
C £120 121 g/km 150 g/km 945
D £145 151 g/km 165 g/km 878
E £170 166 g/km 185 g/km 900
F £210 186 g/km 225 g/km 1106
G £400 225 g/km + 668

So you can see that currently the lowest emission categories have the fewest vehicles though in time I think we should expect to see this change.

As previously mentioned this is only a small selection so that you can see that engine size does not automatically equal low emissions, the best thing you can do is to keep in mind emissions when looking for your next car and of course the Sweet Spot when driving your current car. The "drivers" out there are not going to want to sacrifice driving pleasure for fuel economy or lowering CO2, but you may be able to find a car which for you ticks all the boxes. There are so many makes and models to choose from now you should be able to find one that is perfect for you.

where to now? Lowering car Emissions Ride 2 Work Home Insulation Grants

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Updated on 9th February, 2009

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