Enterprise recommends accelerating slowly in traffic to use less gas
Motorists across the country are looking for ways to get the most out of the gasoline their cars use—not just to reduce the cost, but to reduce their car’s impact on the environment. Agents can help their clients by sharing Enterprise Rent-A-Car’s Keys to “Green” Driving—useful tips that drivers can use to cut down on fuel use and save money, both while traveling and at home.
“When it comes to improving fuel economy and reducing our impact on the environment, every little bit helps,” says Steve Short, vice president, Leisure Business Development at Enterprise. “As we look for ways that we as individuals can make a difference, smarter driving is one step we can all take.”
Here are some of Enterprise’s tips for environmentally friendly driving that your clients can easily follow:
Lighten your load. The more weight a car carries, the lower its fuel economy will be. Pack only what you need (including emergency items) for vacations, and remove unneeded items from your back seat and trunk. These simple steps can cut significant weight, enabling your car to use less fuel.
Reduce your speed and keep the RPMs down. As speed increases, so does drag. This means that driving at higher speeds reduces your fuel economy. In fact, for every 10 miles per hour you reduce speed, you improve your fuel economy by four miles per gallon.
Use the right fuel. Although some vehicles do call for higher-octane gas to maximize performance and fuel efficiency, most cars don’t need premium fuel. Check your owner’s manual when choosing what grade of gasoline to use, and don’t spend the extra money on a premium grade if you don’t need to. If you have a FlexFuel vehicle, which uses E85 fuel (a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline), take a minute to locate E85 fueling stations near you by visiting www.e85refueling.com. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, using E85 can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 20 percent.
Avoid the top-off. Drivers often top off their tank beyond the gas pump’s automatic cutoff point to get an even total or to squeeze in as much fuel as possible. But that extra squeeze can lead to spills and release gas vapors into the air. This wastes money and pollutes the air, even aggravating smog in bigger cities.
Give the brake a break. Even after planning ahead, you may find yourself stuck in a traffic jam. When you do, avoid jackrabbit starts and keep your acceleration moderate and steady, as cars use the most gas when they accelerate. Leave some space between your car and the one in front, and look ahead for any potential slowdowns so you can ease off the gas rather than slam on the brake.
Cool off wisely. A common—if well-intentioned—mistake drivers make is turning off the air conditioning and rolling down their windows to save gas, regardless of circumstance. It is true that rolling down the windows in lieu of the AC can increase fuel economy at slower speeds, but at faster highway speeds, open windows can actually increase drag and hurt fuel economy. So consider the weather—and your speed—before deciding how to stay cool on the go.