With cooler climes approaching, it’s no surprise that the roads are getting busier. Holiday season in general will see our motorways become a hotbed of traffic as vacationers will start coming in early. Unfortunately, this also means an increase in noise, congestion and pollution, which is bad news for our long-suffering environment.

In a country like the UAE, we heavily rely on our own cars as our daily means of transport. While we know that vehicles CO2 emissions have a major impact on our environment, it would be somewhat unreasonable to ask every driver to give up their preferred mode of transportation. Here are a few tips to help you become an eco-friendlier driver, reduce your carbon footprint and save on your fuel consumption.

Don’t let the engine idle when you’re stationary

Some of the best luxury cars such as Volvo and some BMWs and Mercedes now have a feature that cuts the engine if you’re stuck in traffic and not moving for a certain length of time. This prevents emissions from building up and contributing further to global warming.

It also saves you money, as when the engine is shut off, you’re not burning fuel. If you are stuck in a traffic jam then switch the engine off and start it back up when the traffic starts moving again.

Use a well-maintained vehicle

We make sure all of our rental vehicles are in tip-top condition at Hertz, and ensuring that a car is well maintained can help reduce emissions and the amount of fuel you use. Even something as simple as making sure you have the right tyre pressure can make a huge difference to the amount of fuel you burn, so keep up to date with your servicing, and do those weekly checks to ensure your car is running as efficiently as possible.

A heavy foot means more emissions

Smooth driving can make a real difference to the amount of fuel you burn on a journey. If you have a ‘heavy’ accelerator foot then you’ll use far more fuel than if you aim for smooth, progressive acceleration and smoother braking.

Go green

While fully electric cars are still developing (especially when it comes to ‘miles per charge’ figures) a hybrid car is a great choice if you want to cut your emissions and become a more eco-friendly driver. Hybrids really come into their own around town, when the electric motors take over in slower, stop-start traffic conditions. The very latest models also ‘self-charge’, using the energy of the braking force to recharge the batteries. Once you hit the open road you can switch over to the standard petrol engine for those longer trips.

Travel light

The more weight you’re carrying, the more force you need to move your vehicle. An extra 100lb in the trunk can cut down your car’s efficiency by 2%, which may not sound like much initially, but over the course of a journey could make a real impact on your fuel consumption.

The figures are even worse if you use a roof-rack. The aerodynamic drag it causes can make a 5% impact on your performance so if you can, travel light and pack as much as you can inside the car, rather than on the roof.