Many of us are trying to be more eco-conscious in our lifestyles (especially with the increasingly rapid rollout of ultra-low emission zones in certain areas). In line with this, considering the environmental impacts of your vehicle choice is vital, and this is even more significant when buying a used car. So, in line with this, today’s guide outlines some of the main things you should know about how used cars can impact the environment (and how to help).
Minimising your car’s impact on the environment
While used cars are generally more damaging to the environment, there are several benefits. For example, by choosing a used car over a new car, you’ll help reduce the demand for new vehicles. In turn, this reduces the number of cars ending up as scrap and lessens demand on dwindling resources.
In addition, you can potentially take steps to make a more informed decision when buying a used car. Try to run a vehicle check before agreeing to the purchase to ensure the car hasn’t been run into the ground; this can make it a more reliable and fuel-efficient option than a car that’s done hundreds of thousands of miles. Where possible, opting for a hybrid or electric used car can also help lower your use of petrol and diesel, further cutting your carbon contributions.
But things don’t stop with the car purchase itself. Further tips to minimise your car’s impact on the environment include driving carefully, paying more for greener fuels, and the like; plus, try to replace your car with other transportation methods that are more energy efficient where possible.
How a used car can impact the environment
All cars have an impact on the environment to a varying degree. However, used cars can potentially be more impactful, which is hugely important to consider as part of your decision.
Some of the main ways that second-hand models might play an impact the environment include the following:
- Inefficient systems: Compared to modern cars, used cars are generally less efficient than their current counterparts. As such, they are likely to use more fuel, and this can cause additional damage to the environment.
- Replacement parts: Many used cars will have had something go wrong at some point in time. As such, it’s important to consider the impact that replacement parts – such as a new battery or replacement bodywork – can have on the world around us.
- Less renewable fuels: Efficient electric vehicles are a relatively new innovation. Thus, although they can positively impact the environment if powered by green energy, older cars are more likely to run on petrol or diesel. These can both be much more polluting than clean green energy, which is well worth keeping in mind.
While used cars aren’t necessarily the best for the environment, there are steps you can take to lessen their impact. Make sure you’ve considered these when making your purchase – and if you’re still not sure, always start by checking the model’s emissions and the individual vehicle’s history.