Category Archives: Buying Guide

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Sub 100g/km CO2 emissions Cars

car co2 emissions

car emissions

Below is a list of vehicle with CO2 emissions of 100g/km or less.

Vehicles with CO2 emission below 100g/km (Band A) qualify for a lower rate of Vehicle Excise Duty (VED). All vehicle below 100g/km will also benefit from a lower rate of Company Car Tax.  More savings will be made at the fuel pumps too. 

Cars that emit 100g/km of CO2 or less and meet the Euro 5 standard for air quality receive a 100% discount off the London Congestion Charge as of 04/01/2011.

More details about London Congestion Exempt Cars including the Green Vehicle Discount and the Alternative Fuel Discount can be found in our guide London Congestion Charge

 

Updated 10/01/2013 Make & Model Trim & Engine Fuel Type Combined MPG from:

CO2 Emissions [g/km] from:

congestion charge exempt cars Nissan to build Electric Leaf in UK Nissan LEAF LEAF Electric N/A N/A
congestion charge exempt cars "Electric Smart Car now available to buy" Smart fortwo Electric N/A N/A
congestion charge exempt cars Peugeot i0n £5,000 EV grant Peugeot i0n i0n Electric N/A N/A
congestion charge exempt cars Mitsubishi i-MiEV ev grant Mitsubishi i-MiEV i-MiEV Electric N/A N/A
congestion charge exempt cars Citroen C-ZERO deliveries reach UK Citroen C-ZERO C-0 Electric N/A N/A
congestion charge exempt cars G-Wiz AC & “i” Electric N/A N/A
congestion charge exempt cars NICE Mega City Electric N/A N/A
congestion charge exempt cars new tesla store in london Tesla Roadster Electric N/A N/A
congestion charge exempt cars Toyota Prius electric  Plug-in car with £5,000 Government grant Toyota Prius Plug-in Plug-in Petrol-Electric 134.5 49
congestion charge exempt cars Toyota Yaris full hybrid company car running costs Toyota Yaris hybrid T3 1.5 VVT-i hybrid E-CVT Petrol Hybrid 80.7 79
congestion charge exempt cars Hyundai i20 Blue emits just 98 g/km CO2 Hyundai i20 1.1l CRDi Blue 2012 Diesel 88.3 84
congestion charge exempt cars 99g/km Kia Rio 3-door goes on sale Kia Rio 1.1l CRDi (Eco 85) Diesel 88.3 85
congestion charge exempt cars New look smart fortwo Smart Fortwo coupe & cabrio MY2011 Diesel 85.6 86
Citroen C3 e-HDi 70 - just 87g/km Citroen C3 e-HDi 70 Airdream EGS Diesel 83.1 87
congestion charge exempt cars New Peugeot 208 with CO2 levels from 87g/km Peugeot 208 1.4 e-HDi 70 EGC 3 door Diesel 83.1 87
congestion charge exempt cars Ford Fiesta 1.6 Duratorq TDCi ECOnetic (95PS) Stop-Start Diesel 85.6 87
congestion charge exempt cars The new Lexus GS 450h full hybrid makes its world debut Lexus CT CT200h 15″ 2013 Petrol Hybrid 74.3 87
congestion charge exempt cars Toyota Auris Hybrid prices Toyota Auris Hybrid Icon 1.8 VVT-i hybrid 2013 Petrol Hybrid 74.3 87
congestion charge exempt cars Skoda Fabia GreenLine II achieves 127.8 mpg Skoda Fabia Estate & Hatch 1.2 TDI 3 cylinder 75PS GreenLine Diesel 83.1 89
congestion charge exempt cars Improved 2012 Toyota Prius hybrid Toyota Prius 1.8 VVT-i hybrid E-CVT Hybrid 72.4 89
congestion charge exempt cars New Fiat Punto prices Fiat Punto 1.3 16v MultiJet 85, 2012 onwards Diesel 80.7 90
congestion charge exempt cars New Alfa MiTo range Alfa Mito 1.3 JTDm-2 85 bhp Diesel 80.7 90
congestion charge exempt cars

Fiat 500 TwinAir get City Break

Fiat 500 & 500c

0.9 TwinAir Turbo 85 Dualogic

Petrol 72.4 90
congestion charge exempt cars New Renault Megane 2012 prices and specifications Renault Megane 2012 dCi 110 Stop Start Diesel 80.7 90
congestion charge exempt cars Volkswagen Polo 1.2 TDI 75PS BlueMotion Diesel 80.7 91
congestion charge exempt cars Ultra-efficient SEAT Ibiza E Ecomotive with 89 g/km of CO2 Seat Ibiza 5dr & Coupe 1.2 CR TDI 75PS Ecomotive Diesel 80.7 92
congestion charge exempt cars "Volvo V40 D2 models feature sub-100g/km CO2 emission" Volvo V40 D2 Diesel 78.5 94
congestion charge exempt cars

Vauxhall Corsa

1.3CDTi 16v 95PS

Diesel 78.5 94
congestion charge exempt cars new low emissions clio Renault Clio 1.5 dCi 88 ECO Diesel 78.5 94
congestion charge exempt cars "Fleet deal for new Honda Civic 1.6 i-DTEC" Honda Civic 1.6 i-DTEC ES, ES-T, EX, SE, SE-T Diesel 67.3 94
congestion charge exempt cars New Chevrolet Aveo with efficient, low-emission engines Chevrolet Aveo 1.3VCDi eco (95PS) Diesel 78.4 95
congestion charge exempt cars New Fiat Panda prices Fiat Panda 2012 0.9 TwinAir Dualogic Petrol 68.9 95
congestion charge exempt cars Nissan Micra DIG-S with new low-emission engine technology Nissan Micra DIG-S Visia Petrol 68.9 95
congestion charge exempt cars Citroen DS3 e-HDi 90 Airdream DStyle 95g Diesel 78.5 95
congestion charge exempt cars 508 range to include new-generation e-HDi Peugeot 508 HYbrid4 200 Diesel Electric 78.5 95
congestion charge exempt cars 2012 honda insight hybrid Honda Insight 1.3 IMA HE, HE-T Hybrid 68.9 96
congestion charge exempt cars Order books open for New VW Up! VW UP 1.0 60PS BlueMotion Technology Move up! Petrol 62.8 96
congestion charge exempt cars The new Skoda Citigo Skoda Citigo 1.0-litre Petrol 62.8 96
congestion charge exempt cars 96g/km Seat Mii city car available to order now Seat Mii 1.0 60PS Ecomotive Petrol 62.8 96
congestion charge exempt cars Kia cee’d priced from £14,395 Kia cee’d 1.6 CRDi Diesel 76.3 97
congestion charge exempt cars Chrysler Ypsilon Chrysler Ypsilon 0.9 85bhp Twin Air Petrol 68.9 97
congestion charge exempt cars Hyundai i30 2012 1.6l DOHC 15″ wheels Diesel 76.3 97
congestion charge exempt cars Peugeot 207 1.6 HDi FAP (92 bhp) Oxygo Diesel 65.6 98
congestion charge exempt cars The New Peugeot 308 Peugeot 308 1.6 e-HDi 112 EGC SR Diesel 74.3 98
congestion charge exempt cars The new Citroen C4 Citroen C4 e-HDi 110 Airdream EGS6 Diesel 74.3 98
congestion charge exempt cars Sporty compact Mercedes A-class with emissions from just 99 g of CO2/km Mercedes A-class 2013 A 180 CDI Diesel 74.3 98
congestion charge exempt cars "2013 Golf Bluemotion mk7" VW Golf 2013 1.6 TDI 105PS 5 door S Diesel 74.3 99
congestion charge exempt cars Dacia Sandero dCi 90 Diesel 74.3 99
congestion charge exempt cars New Peugeot 107 with improved fuel economy & lower CO2 emissions Peugeot 107 1.0i 68 3 door Petrol 65.7 99
congestion charge exempt cars "91g/km Peugeot 3008 hybrid diesel car" Peugeot 3008 HYbrid4 99g / SR Diesel Electric 74.3 99
congestion charge exempt cars "Citroen DS5 Hybrid4 emissions reduced to just 91g/km" roen DS5 Hybrid4 Hybrid4 200 Airdream DSign Diesel Electric 74.3 99
congestion charge exempt cars New looks and greener performance for Toyota's urban star Toyota Aygo 2012 1.0 VVT-i 5 speed Manual Petrol 65.7 99
congestion charge exempt cars 99g/km Citroen C1 from £6,995 Citroen C1 1.0 manual Petrol 65.7 99
congestion charge exempt cars New 99g/km CO2 for engine the BMW 1 Series BMW 1 Series 116d Efficient Dynamics Diesel 74.3 99
congestion charge exempt cars Hyundai i10 - Most genuinely economical petrol-engined car Hyundai i10 1.0l SOHC Petrol 67.3 99
congestion charge exempt cars new a3 audi stop Audi A3 1.6 TDIe 105PS with Stop-Start Diesel 74.3 99
congestion charge exempt cars new c30 volvo drive Volvo C30 2011 DRIVe Diesel 74.3 99
congestion charge exempt cars Audi A1 introduction scheduled for November Audi A1 & Sportback 1.6 TDI 105PS Diesel 74.3 99
congestion charge exempt cars Ford reveals Europe's most efficient non-hybrid family car Ford Focus 1.6TDCi (109PS) (ECO StartStop) Diesel 74.3 99
congestion charge exempt cars new toyota iq3 Toyota iQ 2011 1.0 VVT-i 5-speed manual Petrol 65.7 99
congestion charge exempt cars New SEAT Leon - Sub-100g/km TDI Ecomotive Seat Leon 1.6 CR TDI 105PS Ecomotive Diesel 74.3 99
congestion charge exempt cars new 2011 mini Mini One & Cooper Hatchback – with particle filter Diesel 74.3 99
congestion charge exempt cars kia picanto 3 door KIA Picanto 1.0l SOHC Petrol 74.3 99
congestion charge exempt cars volvo s40 green car of the year Volvo S40 DRIVe Diesel 74.3 99
congestion charge exempt cars Suzuki Alto with zero VED and zero London congestion charge Suzuki Alto 1.0 Petrol 65.7 99
congestion charge exempt cars New Nissan Pixo reduced emissions and congestion charge exemption Nissan Pixo 1.0 Petrol 65.7 99
congestion charge exempt cars Vauxhall takes Astra SUB-100g Vauxhall Astra 1.7CDTi ecoFLEX 130PS S/S 99G with 16/17″ wheels Diesel 76.3 99
congestion charge exempt cars skoda green line cars Skoda Octavia 1.6 TDI 105PS Greenline Diesel 74.3 99
congestion charge exempt cars volvo drive models Volvo V50 DRIVe Diesel 74.3 99

 

Please note that the guide above is for information only.  Article show may not depict specific model, year or emission levels.  Different options, including engine size, transmission, model year and optional extras can effect CO2 emissions.  Please refer to your dealer for more information. Alternatively more information can be found at; carfueldata.direct.gov.uk

 

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London Congestion Charge Guide

london congestion charge exempt cars low co2

UPDATE 25/04/2013 – New London Congestion Charge rules have brought the qualifying CO2 emissions figure down from 100g to 75g/km.  Owners can still register a new or existing vehicle that qualifies under the previous 100g/km limit up to 28 June. Their exemption will continue for a three-year transition period, ending on 24 June 2016.  The new rules for the Ultra Low Emissions Discount come in to force on 1 July 2013.

04/01/2011 – The Mayor of London has announced that as of 4 January 2011 a new Greener Vehicle Discount will be created as part of the revised scheme, providing a 100 per cent discount to cars that emit 100g/km of CO2 or less and meet the Euro 5 standard for air quality.

The 4th January 2011 also marks the end of charging in Western Extension and the introduction of Congestion Charge Auto Pay which offers a £1 discount and easier, simpler payments.

The London Congestion Charge

The London Congestion Charge is currently charged at £10 if you pay by midnight on the day of travel or £12 if you pay by midnight the following charging day.  Paying by Auto Pay reducing the charge to £9. It operating Hours are 7:00am – 6:00pm Monday to Friday, excluding Public Holidays and is marked by traffic signs where the charging zone begins.

London Congestion Charge Exempt Cars

The vehicles below qualify for a 100 per cent Congestion Charge discount. You will need to register with tfl to receive the discount.

Cars exempt from the Charge include:

How to Qualify
To qualify for exemption of the London Congestion Charge, you will have to register with Transport for London (TfL).  Details of the application process and forms can be found on the TfL website.  A review of exemption criteria will be carried out in 2012.

Alternative Fuel Discount

The current Alternative Fuel Discount provides a 100 per cent discount to some vehicles that are powered by an alternative fuel (TfL uses the DVLA definition of alternative fuel vehicles – which includes LPG, natural gas and petrol-electric hybrids).  However, some of the benefits of the Alternative Fuel Discount have been outpaced by technological developments in other vehicles. This means that some new vehicles that do not qualify for the Alternative Fuel Discount have better environmental performance than some vehicles that do qualify.  The Alternative Fuel Discount will be closed to new registrations on 24 December 2010.  However, owners of vehicles registered with TfL before that date will continue to receive a 100 per cent discount for a two year period.

More Information

For a full guide and application forms please visit www.tfl.gov.uk.

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Green Car Running Costs & Savings

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Purchasing Costs

When purchasing a green car, the initial outlay for the vehicle is usually more expensive.  For example, an electric car will cost more than a small petrol car and hybrids command a premium for the advance technology they use.

If running a vehicle on an alternative fuel, such as LPG, CNG or Ethanol, these usually entail a conversion cost of approximately £1200 – £2000.

This is not always the case though.  The most fuel efficient and greener petrol vehicles tend to be the smaller engines super minis which make up the range introduction.  These are sold in huge volumes and therefore the initials outlay is higher.  Diesel equivalents are usually an additional £500 to £1000 compared to the petrol version.

There may also be grants available.  At the time of writing, £5,000 grants are available on selected electric cars.  Please visit our electric car pages for details

Fuel Costs

Savings come in a wide range of forms.  The more efficient vehicles burn less fuel (or no fuel in the case of electric vehicles), therefore making savings at the pump.  With petrol prices at record highs this is always an important factor to new car purchases whether they are green conscious or not.  Alternative fuels are not subject to as high as tax rate as petrol and diesel and therefore the price per litre is usually cheaper too.

Car Depreciation Costs

After fuel costs, the second biggest cost is depreciation.  As there is becomes a larger demand for greener vehicle, hybrid, electric and bi fuel vehicles no longer depreciate as much as before and industry figures suggest they may now be level to than of an average vehicle as more dedicated green showrooms drive up demand.

Tax Costs

Green vehicles receive further benefit is tax breaks too.  Road tax is now calculated on your vehicles CO2 emissions.  Therefore the lower the emissions, the less you will pay.  A full guide can be found here (Green Car Tax).  Company car users also pay tax on their vehicle based on its CO2 emission on a sliding scale.  This ranges from % to 35%. Details of which are found here at Green Car Tax.

Congestion Charge Savings

The greenest vehicles are also exempt form paying the London Congestion Charge.  If you enter into the charging zone you car charged £8 per day.  For someone entering everyday, this can be a huge saving.  For full details, visit our congestion charging page.

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Car Tax, Showroom Tax & Company Car Tax

Everything you need to know about emissions based car tax.

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car tax

Car Road Tax (VED) – registered after 1 March 2001

The amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) your car emits now has an effect on how much tax you pay.
For new cars registered after 1 March 2001, road tax is based on the cars CO2 emission level. The current rates applicable to cars from 01 April 2012 are shown below.

Petrol & diesel cars Alternative fuel car
Band CO2 emission (g/km) 12 months rate 6 months rate 12 months rate 6 months rate
A Up to 100 £0.00 Not available £0.00 Not available
B 101-110 £20.00 Not available £10.00 Not available
C 111-120 £30.00 Not available £20.00 Not available
D 121-130 £100.00 £55.00 £90.00 £49.50
E 131-140 £120.00 £66.00 £110.00 £60.50
F 141-150 £135.00 £74.25 £125.00 £68.75
G 151-165 £170.00 £93.50 £160.00 £88.00
H 166-175 £195.00 £107.25 £185.00 £101.75
I 176-185 £215.00 £118.25 £205.00 £112.75
J 186-200 £250.00 £137.50 £240.00 £132.00
K* 201-225 £270.00 £148.50 £260.00 £143.00
L 226-255 £460.00 £253.00 £450.00 £247.50
M Over 255 £475.00 £261.25 £465.00 £255.75

*Includes cars with a CO2 figure over 225g/km but were registered before 23 March 2006.

Car Road Tax (VED) – registered before 1 March 2001

The current rates applicable to cars from 01 April 2012 are shown below.

Engine size 12 months 6 months
Up to 1549 cc £135.00 £74.25
Over 1549 cc £220.00 £121.00

Car Showroom tax

Payable in the first year of purchase – From 01/04/2010

Petrol and diesel cars Alternative fuel car
Band CO2 emission (g/km) 12 months rate 6 months rate 12 months rate 6 months rate
A Up to 100 £0.00 Not available £0.00 Not available
B 101-110 £0.00 Not available £0.00 Not available
C 111-120 £0.00 Not available £0.00 Not available
D 121-130 £0.00 Not available £0.00 Not available
E 131-140 £120.00 £66.00 £110.00 £60.50
F 141-150 £135.00 £74.25 £125.00 £68.75
G 151-165 £170.00 £93.50 £160.00 £88.00
H 166-175 £275.00 Not available £265.00 Not available
I 176-185 £325.00 Not available £315.00 Not available
J 186-200 £460.00 Not available £450.00 Not available
K 201-225 £600.00 Not available £590.00 Not available
L 226-255 £815.00 Not available £805.00 Not available
M Over 255 £1,030.00 Not available £1,020.00 Not available

www.direct.gov.uk

COMPANY CAR TAX

Please Note:  This page is intended as a quick guide only.  Visit the HMRC website for full details.

2012-13  2013-14  2014-15 
CO2  g/km Petrol Diesel Petrol Diesel Petrol Diesel
0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1-75 5 8 5 8 5 8
76-94 10 13 10 13 11 14
95-99 10 13 11 14 12 15
100-104 11 14 12 15 13 16
105-109 12 15 13 16 14 17
110-114 13 16 14 17 15 18
115-120 14 17 15 18 16 19
121-124 15 18 16 19 17 20
125-129 16 19 17 20 18 21
130-134 17 20 18 21 19 22
135-139 18 21 19 22 20 23
140-144 19 22 20 23 21 24
145-149 20 23 21 24 22 25
150-154 21 24 22 25 23 26
155-159 22 25 23 26 24 27
160-164 23 26 24 27 25 28
165-169 24 27 25 28 26 29
170-174 25 28 26 29 27 30
175-179 26 29 27 30 28 31
180-184 27 30 28 31 29 32
185-189 28 31 29 32 30 33
190-194 29 32 30 33 31 34
195-199 30 33 31 34 32 35
200-204 31 34 32 35 33 35
205-209 32 35 33 35 34 35
210-214 33 35 34 35 35 35
215-219 34 35 35 35 35 35
220+ 35 35 35 35 35 35

The percentage used to calculate the benefit is based on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions measured in grams per kilometre (g/km).  This can be found on your cars log-book.

The relevant CO2 emissions percentage is determined by the table below:

Full electric battery-powered car are exempt from the charges until 2015. Cars emitting less than 75g/km will be at charged 5% 2015.

www.hmrc.gov.uk/cars

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Green Car Technology

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green car technology

Electric Cars

Electric vehicle are increasing with popularity as battery technology advances, and counties and consumers try to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels.  Electric cars are powered by an electric motors (DC or AC) which draws its power from an on-board battery packs which act as an energy store.  Batteries, usually Nickel metal-hydride or Lithium-ion are charged by simply connecting the vehicle to a mains power supply, and is usually charged overnight for a full charge, or within a matter of ours if dedicated charging points are installed.  A feature of most modern electric cars is the regenerative braking system which allows the battery to be topped up when the brakes are applied.

Until recently electric vehicles available in the UK were smaller 2 seater cars from small bespoke manufacturers with a range of of 40 to 80 miles and a top speeds from 25 to 45 mph.  More recently, electric cars are from mainstream manufacturers are larger car with five seat and distance ranges in excess of 100 miles.

Electric cars are favoured by city drivers given their limited range and current charging infrastructure, and are more popular in cities where a congestion charge is in force such as London.  Huge savings can therefore be made from avoiding the congestion charge, free road tax, no petrol costs and in may cities, free parking and even charging.

Electric Cars are sometimes referred to as zero emission cars, but this refers to tailpipe emissions.  Emissions are produced during the generation of electricity unless a renewable energy supplier is used.

Hybrid Cars

Hybrid cars generally use a combination of two power sources.  The most common hybrids currently available on the market use both electric motors and the petrol combustion engines however certain manufacturers are now offering diesel hybrid cars. 

Batteries are charged and act as a storage device to power an electric motor, usually working when the vehicle is travelling at low speed or in traffic, therefore making it ideal for city driving.  The petrol or diesel engine, usually a small efficient unit then powers the car when more power is needed such as at higher speeds or under hard acceleration allowing the combustion engine to only operate at its more optimum efficient speeds.

The combustion engine is used to recharge the battery cells along with regenerative braking, therefore hybrid cars do not need to be plugged into an external power supply.  This combination of battery power and internal combustion engine produces less pollution and CO2 as no gases are released when the electric motor is running.

2012 saw the launch of plug-in hybrid cars which means rather than the electric motors being charged and powered by the conventional engine, they are charged by plugging the vehicle in to a mains plug.  This is more efficient and eliminates the inherent problems on pure electric cars such as range and charge times. As such, plug-in hybrid cars benefit from up to £5k in UK government grants.

Bio-Diesel Cars

Biodiesel is produced from renewable energy sources such as rapeseed, sunflower or soybean oil.  Biodiesel is green as it has the potential to be carbon-neutral, that is to say all the carbon dioxide emitted during use of the fuel when emitted from the vehicle is balanced by the absorption from the atmosphere during the fuel crop’s growth.

Biodiesel in some instances can be a direct replacement for diesel, however most manufacturers remain cautious about engine wear and recommend a blend of between 5% to 30% biodiesel although some modern engines are capable of running on 100% biodiesel.

Ethanol Cars

Ethanol, also known as grain alcohol is produced from plants, usually sugar cane.  The fuel has a high octane rating which in turn means increased engine efficiency.  Ethanol is widely used globally as a fuel and is increasing in popularity in Europe.  A number of manufactures have developed flexi-fuel vehicles (FFVs) currently available on from Ford, Saab and shortly Volvo cars. 

Flexi-Fuel vehicles can run on a blend of ethanol and petrol, usually up to E85 (85% Ethanol, 15% Petrol) which is the most common blend in the UK or just petrol.  This gives drivers flexibility as the current ethanol filling station in the UK is limited.

Bioethanol is green as it has the potential to be carbon-neutral, that is to say all the carbon dioxide emitted during use of the fuel when emitted from the vehicle is balanced by the absorption from the atmosphere during the fuel crop’s growth.

LPG Cars

Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) is a natural hydrocarbon fuel made up of propane and butane.  LPG produces far less carbon dioxide than petrol and fewer particulates and nitrogen oxides than diesel.  It can be used within a modified internal combustion engine after conversions which cost around £1,500-£2,000.  A conversion includes the installation of a second fuel tank for the LPG which means the vehicle can switch between petrol or LPG.

LPG has the special property of becoming liquid when under pressure, and reverting to gases at atmospheric pressure. This means it can be easily and conveniently stored as a liquid.  About 60% of the world supply of LPG comes from the separation of natural gas products, and 40% is a by-product from the refining of crude oil.  In the past, LPG has been considered as waste and flared off; now it is recognised as a major energy source and currently offered by about 10% of refuelling stations.

Fuel Cell Cars

Fuel cells are electrochemical energy conversion devices which produce energy from an electro-chemical reaction.  Electricity can constantly be produce as long as the flow of reactants is available.  Although the technology is now available, the technology is still being developed and is current expensive.  One problem is that hydrogen can still not be produced efficiently to make viable as an alternative fuel just yet.

Many manufacturers have already demonstrated fuel cell vehicles and there are a handful currently in use providing important information and feedback for the future development of fuel cell cars.

Compressed Natural Gas

Compressed Natural Gas is a fossil fuel sourced from reserves deep under the Earth’s surface. It has lower CO2 emissions compared to petrol/diesel but is still a greenhouse gas. 

Similarly to LPG it requires a conversion so that the car can be switched between gas and petrol.  The gas is compressed in a cylinder rather than being stored as a liquid form.  The gas mixes well with air prior to combustion and has a high octane rating and therefore is fuel efficient.

CNG is popular worldwide and increasing in popularity in the UK.  There are a number of aftermarket conversions available and options also available from the factory from manufacturers such as Volvo.

Petrol Cars

Petrol engine cars are the most common car available.  They are generally cheaper than their diesel or alternative fuel counterparts to buy.  Petrol powered cars release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and burn non-renewable energy sources.  We all know this is bad for the environment but there are obviously some petrol cars which are less harmful (greener) than others.

The most efficient petrol cars return the best miles per gallon (mpg) of fuel and therefore produce the lowest CO2 emissions.  These are usually the smaller super mini’s as they are lighter and therefore have smaller engines.  These cars are usually the cheapest Green Cars to buy and running cost are low.  Concessions are made with lower road tax rates for producing less harmful emissions and they are usually cheaper to insure and you will notice savings on fuel because of their efficiency.

Diesel Cars

Diesel cars sales are on the rise in the UK as consumers are more cost conscious and demand more efficient vehicles.  Across Europe, diesel sale amount to nearly half of all new vehicle sold.  Diesels operate on average 30% more fuel efficiently than petrol powered vehicles by using higher compression ratios and higher combustion temperatures. 

Diesel still release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and is a non-renewable energy sources but this is usually less so than in petrol cars.  However other compounds such as nitrous oxides and particulate matter is released which have harmful effects to the ozone and humans.

You you may think then diesel cars are not so green then but they certainly can be greener and by buying the most efficient in terms of good miles per gallon (mpg) of fuel and the lowest CO2 emissions will help the environment.

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Green Car Buying Advice

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Pick a responsible car
If you cant live without a car, or walking, cycling and public transport is not a viable alternative, try to choose as clean as car as possible. Focus on a car with low emissions (expressed as grams per kilometre of carbon dioxide, or g/km of CO2) and its fuel economy (miles per gallon, or mpg).

Think about the manufacturing
Try to pick a make of car with a track record for environmental performance. Not all manufacturers are as green as they would like you to think.

Pick a clean-fuel car
You may want to consider an alternative fuel car (Bio-fuel, LPG, CNG), a hybrid or electric car.  These technologies are not for everyone, for example, an electric car would not suit someone who lives out of a city centre or wants to drive on motorways.  Remember, often fuel efficient petrol and diesel cars are just as economical as hybrids depending on driving conditions and usually cheaper to buy and maintain.

Know what you want and can afford

Choose your vehicle at the right price level, you may want to consider a used car as opposed to a new one, or even a pre-registered vehicle.  For used vehicles, a good place to start is our classifieds section.

Online is a good place to start looking, collect information and to benchmark the lowest possible price. There are many discounts to be had if you purchase you new vehicle through an online retailer however don’t do so before visiting your local dealer, they may be able to match the price for you.  Each of our review pages give a guide price to pay and we also have a special deals and offers page.

Just like you would shop around for Car Insurance, don’t settle for the first Car Finance quote.  The dealer wont necessary offer you the best package so search the internet and even your local high street bank or supermarket for the best deals.

Remember to consider all the costs involved in car ownership.  These include Road Tax, company car tax, fuel costs, congestion charge, servicing and maintenance, parking and depreciation.

Find the right Car for You

  • If you live in central London and will be entering the congestion charge zone, buy a car which is exempt from paying the daily charge.

  • Make sure the car is a suitable size to carry passengers you require including boot space.  Don’t be afraid to take the pram or golf clubs to the dealership to make sure the car meets your needs.

  • Ask yourself if the vehicle is suitable for the miles and speeds you travel.  If your usual commute is around cities and you are stuck in traffic, a small supermini may be more suitable than even the most fuel efficient motorway barge.

  • Read reviews in consumer guides including details about reliability, manufacturer warranty and even the service offered by the dealers.

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