Renting a car? Read our eco-driving tips

We all want to get the best deal possible when renting a vehicle, but after we’ve signed the contract, how can we further reduce our costs? One of the the best ways to conserve fuel is to drive economically; and you won’t only save money – you’ll also be helping to reduce pollution and protect the environment with these eco driving tips. Where possible, choose an electric car.

Car maintenance

One of the real advantages of hiring a vehicle is that the rental company will ensure that their vehicles are regularly serviced and maintained. A well-maintained vehicle, properly topped up with the right specification of oil, runs more efficiently and so consumes less fuel. The rental company will also ensure that the tyres are properly inflated – this is important because underinflated tyres can increase fuel consumption, as the engine has to work harder.

Think whether you really need to drive

Before even getting into your rental car, think: do I really need to drive to make this journey? If the destination you’re travelling to is not far away, consider walking or cycling instead. Not only is this better for your health, it’s better for the environment too. See our green living tips.

Don’t idle

Switching on the engine and idling the car is a real waste of fuel, so only switch it on when you’re ready to leave. Similarly, if you’re waiting for a passenger or stuck in traffic for more than a couple of minutes, switch off the engine.

Reduce the load

If you’re renting a vehicle to transport goods or belongings, pack the car or van as efficiently as possible. The fewer trips you need to make, the lower the cost of the fuel that you’ll use. Try not to carry excess weight, as the heavier the vehicle, the greater the fuel consumption. This means removing unnecessary items from the vehicle and reducing the load.

Smoothly does it

Try and drive your rental vehicle as smoothly as possible. This means accelerating gently without putting your foot to the floor, and decelerating smoothly without suddenly braking sharply. Smart use of the gears can also reduce wear and tear on the transmission, and consider skipping a gear – for example by moving straight from second to fourth gear.

Be economical with the air con

Your air conditioning system uses more fuel when you’re driving at lower speeds, so in summer when you want to cool down, consider rolling the windows down instead. In the colder months, don’t just continuously blast the heating out, but switch it off when the car has reached a suitable temperature.


eco driving tips