| Car Life
Steps to a greener car, like car maintenance (image shows person checking gas cap), and using car less (image shows people bicycling and taking bus).

One of the world’s top electric vehicles gets a remarkable 335 miles on a full charge, reports Fortune. That’s an eco-friendly car! Unfortunately, that particular vehicle also comes with a price tag of almost $100,000. Ouch!

Luckily, here are five ways to make your car an environmentally-friendly one without spending that much green! Whether your vehicle is five years old and needs to last another five years—or is ten years old and needs to last until it falls apart—you can incorporate driving habits that are good for the environment and your wallet.

Just think G.R.E.E.N.!

  1. Go Public 

You can’t beat public transportation when it comes to alleviating your toll on the environment. That’s because you’re not hopping in a car and driving somewhere by yourself. You’re doing it much more efficiently with others. According to the American Public Transportation Association, more than half the U.S. population has access to public transit, so do Mother Nature a favor and use it!

Bonus tip: Using public transit more often could also help you save if your car insurance offers a low-mileage discount.*

  1. Replace Your Filters and Gas Cap 

A dirty air filter reduces your engine’s performance. Swapping it out for a fresh, new one is the auto equivalent of downing a double shot of espresso.

And while you’re making easy but useful changes, take a look at your car’s gas cap. Is it cracked? Damaged in such a way that it’s always loose and won’t close tight? If so, you’re losing gas as vapors escape from your tank. Getting a nice, tight-fitting cap will keep that gas where it belongs—away from the atmosphere.

  1. Stay on Top of Regular Maintenance

Make sure you’re taking your car in at least annually for a check-up. Your local car care expert will be able to:

  • Check your tire pressure and make sure it’s where it needs to be, which can improve gas mileage by more than 3%.
  • See if dirty spark plugs are misfiring, causing you to waste fuel.
  • Confirm your engine’s cooling system is operating well and not running so cold that fuel efficiency takes a hit.
  1. Exercise for Your Health AND Your Errands 

If you’re like some people, you may not get enough exercise. One in four adults in the world don’t get enough exercise, reports TIME. Are you one of them? How often do you hop in your car for errands when you could just as easily accomplish them on foot or while riding a bike?

Walking or peddling your way to an errand-free day might be one of life’s greatest two-fers precisely because it makes both you and the planet healthier. And all it may take is adding a wire basket onto your bike or slinging on a backpack.

Environmentally-friendly cars won’t help you get fitter, but more exercise might!

  1. Navigate Like a Swede

In other parts of the world, drivers must pass eco-driving tests to get their driver’s licenses — these tests are designed to educate motorists on how to reduce their carbon footprint. For example, in Sweden, eco-driving tests are mandatory!

Experts state that incorporating eco-driving techniques can result in as much as a 20% reduction in fuel consumption. According to NPR, the test requires drivers to avoid engine idling, utilize engine braking (that is, anticipating braking scenarios and removing your foot from the gas pedal), and plan the day’s itinerary to avoid unnecessary starts and stops.

Go Green and Save Green with Your Car Insurance

Incorporating these tips could help you save money by reducing fuel consumption and extending the life of your car. They may also help you save the planet by reducing CO2 and NOx emissions.

Driving less can also help you score discounts on car insurance at Direct Auto Insurance. Call, click, or come into your nearest agency today.

*Discounts may only apply to certain coverages and are subject to terms and conditions and may not be available in all states or distribution channels.