Reducing your vehicle emissions

How to use work vehicles efficiently


Your business can benefit from using vehicles in a safer and more fuel-efficient way. This will limit your vehicle emissions and lower your transport costs by reducing your insurance premiums. See the page in this guide on the benefits of reducing your vehicle emissions.

Safer driving means fewer injuries and fatalities, less accident damage to vehicles and less unproductive downtime for vehicle repair. You should manage the risks from using your vehicles and:

  • develop and implement driving for work policies
  • address staff training needs
  • maintain your vehicles

Read about driving for work policies and good practice in work-related road safety.

Using vehicles efficiently

You can use fuel more efficiently by:

  • making sure that tyres are inflated to the correct pressure
  • removing any unnecessary clutter from vehicles
  • keeping vehicle speed down, eg it can cost up to 25 per cent more to drive at 70 miles per hour (mph) compared to 50mph - driving at 50-60mph produces the lowest emissions
  • avoiding harsh braking and acceleration
  • switching off the engine when at a standstill for more than three minutes
  • using air conditioning and other onboard electrical devices such as mobile phone chargers sparingly as this increases fuel consumption
  • pre-planning routes - you can reduce the impact of journeys by using less congested routes and avoiding peak travel times
  • avoiding using vehicles for short journeys, eg combining several short trips into one longer one - cold engines use 60 per cent more fuel per mile than warm engines

Consider whether flexible working practices could reduce your use of vehicles. This could include:

  • working from home
  • working flexible hours
  • teleconferencing or videoconferencing
  • providing incentives for car-sharing
  • using meeting venues that are easily accessible by public transport

Training for vehicle drivers

Training your employees to drive efficiently can reduce your fuel use and make your staff safer. For example, a one-day Safe and Fuel Efficient Driving (SAFED) course for van or heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers could help save up to £500 of fuel per vehicle per year, depending on mileage.

Maintain vehicles

Maintain commercial vehicles in good working order so that they work efficiently. You should:

  • service all your vehicles regularly
  • inflate your tyres correctly as under-inflated tyres can increase fuel consumption by up to 3 per cent
  • remove roof bars and other items when you do not need them
  • monitor fuel consumption to help detect problems early
  • check that the exhaust system is in good working order