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How to Buy an Eco-Friendly Car

Go Green or Drive Trying

Cars are a major cause of environmental pollution due to their emission of toxic substances like carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons. That much is known. With more and more people growing conscious of the environment, we are seeing many take eco-friendly measures in their personal lives in a bid to save the planet. This has seen an increasing number start cycling to work, with short drives being sacrificed for walks instead. But it doesn’t mean cars are going obsolete. Far from it.

The good thing is that we now have cars with less adverse effects on the environment compared to the regular gas guzzler. For anyone who is on the market for a green car, there are many choices to make your pick from. Fuel-efficient petrol cars, hybrids and electric cars are all eco-friendly, with many other nuances in between to think about. What this means is that the decision to purchase one can be a tad overwhelming, especially considering eco-friendly is a term that is being increasingly used as a marketing gimmick. With these 5 tips on how to buy an eco-friendly car though, your decision will be much easier because you’ll know what to look out for.

Type of Vehicle

car lined up

When it comes to eco-friendly cars, there are three options to choose from: fuel-efficient petrol cars, hybrids and electric cars.

  1. An eco-friendly petrol car is one that has been optimized to run on less fuel through various technologies such as guidance mechanisms for efficient gear-changing, engine-off mechanism that turns off the engine when the cars stops at lights, lighter body weight etc.
  2. Hybrids are a cross between gasoline and electric systems, with four technologies to choose from at present: series hybrid, parallel hybrid, series/parallel (power split) hybrid and plug-in hybrid.
  3. An electric car is one that is powered by an electric engine and battery only. This is on the high end of the price spectrum and has been met with concerns about its ability to do long drives, two factors that have led to a slow uptake. However, it is the greenest car available on the market.

Fuel Efficiency: Gasoline vs. Diesel vs. LPG

fuel car dashboard

You also need to inquire about the engine type. If it is a petro-efficient petrol car, what type of fuel does it run on – petrol, diesel, or LPG?

  • Diesel is more fuel-efficient than petrol which has endeared it to many car owners in different countries. While fuel efficiency is one thing to look for in an eco-friendly car, the flipside to using diesel is that it has higher levels of nitrogen oxide and produces particulate matter.
  • Petrol is more fuel-efficient than LPG but has higher emissions compared to LPG which burns cleanest of all three.

Color of the Car

blue light convertible

Everyone has a favorite shade they would fancy on their ride. When it comes to “green cars” though, lighter colors tend to be more eco-friendly than their darker counterparts. For instance, the AC in light-colored cars does not have to work as hard to keep things cool compared to, say, one in a deep blue- or black-hued vehicle. If you live in hot climates, opt for lighter colors as they help to conserve energy and maintenance of the car.

Opt for Manual Transmission

manual gear

The death knell for manual transmission may have been sounded decades ago, but it remains a favorite for many a driver. Now, there is even more reason to warm to it: manual transmission boosts your gas mileage by giving you more control over your vehicle’s transmission. For all their benefits, automatic transmissions can be fuel hogs.

Look for Sportier Suspensions

sport red car

When shopping for an eco-friendly car, look at options available with sport-tuned suspensions. This gives you better control of your car due to the tighter springs and increased damping. The green benefit comes in the handling on the road. A sporty suspension allows for better accelerator use and less brake because the vehicle hugs the road. The result is savings on both fuel and brake maintenance – a driver couldn’t ask for more!

When buying an eco-friendly car, also consider browsing consumer reviews to know what actual buyers think. By and large, buying a green car is a wise and sensible decision which is not only trendy, but saves the planet a whopping lot.

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