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Buying an eco-friendly car

This week, Public Health England called for new ways to slash air pollution and improve health, with a particular focus on improving children’s health. The suggested measures include banning cars from idling close to schools and hospitals, offering priority parking for electric cars, banning lorries in city centres, and promoting car pool lanes to cut down on the amount of cars on the road.

Although there isn’t much research into the effects of cars idling on the roads, a 2016 study showed that pollution levels were reduced by as much as 36 per cent in areas where drivers were asked to turn off their engines whilst their cars were stationary. Most modern cars contain stop-start systems where the engine turns off automatically when it stops, but older cars don’t tend to have this function.

Typically, older cars do produce more carbon monoxide than new cars – especially older diesel cars, although around half of diesel cars recently approved for sale in Europe have been found to emit pollutants that exceed the current legal levels for air pollution.

When picking a green car, it’s important to think about how much money you are willing to spend on your car, and also the type of travelling that you’ll need it for. Electric cars may produce zero emissions, but they aren’t a realistic option for everyone – at the moment, they are still expensive, and charging stations are few and far between. They also aren’t ideal for long-distance journeys, thanks to the charging time. However, if you’re set on an electric car, the Nissan Leaf is a spacious, eco-friendly family car, and is more affordable than many of the other electric options on the market.

Hybrid models, such as those by Toyota and Lexus, use a combustion engine alongside an electric motor and battery pack to keep them running. Due to the ever-growing number of hybrid options, they are becoming an increasingly popular option for those who are hoping to cut down on their emissions and save money on fuel. The Toyota Yaris Hybrid is a practical, reliable hatchback that boasts very low running costs, making it perfect for young families. If you’re looking for something a little sleeker, the Audi A3 E-tron plug-in hybrid offers competitive benefit-in-kind tax payments and free road tax alongside its classy interior. However, it’s not to say that you can’t stick with a trusty petrol car to help reduce your carbon footprint – there are still plenty of options that produce lower emissions. The Alfa Romeo MiTo is fuel-efficient and economical, whilst the Renaut Clio is ideal for urban driving – but as the future is looking increasingly electric, if you’re thinking about getting a new car, it may be time to start thinking hybrid. We offer finance on a huge range of cars, so get in touch with our team to find out what we can do for you.

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