As concern about climate change grows and the list of green technologies gets longer, more and more drivers are considering green cars. Car insurance comparison website Tiger.co.uk investigates the benefit to the environment and to drivers’ pockets.
There are many types of green car, some are purely electric and produce no pollutants as they drive. Others are known as "hybrid" cars and have both a combustion engine and an electric engine. Some cars manage to be green simply by maximising the efficiency of their combustion engines to produce fewer pollutants while some are powered by a hydrogen fuel cell which is a relatively new but fast growing technology, tipped by some to be the future of motoring.
By definition, under the UK economy labelling system, a green car needs to produce no more than 140g/km of CO2. In comparison the new McLaren Supercar (the MP4-12C), produces 279g/km of CO2, nearly double that of an official green car and more than three times the 89g/km which a Toyota Prius hybrid car produces.
As well as producing fewer emissions green cars can save their drivers money. For example, the less carbon dioxide the car produces per kilometre, the less the driver pays to tax the vehicle. Under current UK rules, for petrol and diesel cars registered after March 1st
2001 any car that produces less than 101g/km of carbon dioxide will pay no vehicle tax and vehicles producing less than 121 g/km will only pay £30 for the year. Cars registered after April 1st
2010 which produce less than 131g/km of CO2 will pay no tax, after that the more grams of CO2 per km a car produces the more the owner will pay in vehicle tax.
Green car drivers save money on fuel too. Electric cars don’t need any fuel at all, and although they still cost money to charge, it’s cheaper than it would be to fill the fuel tank if it was a standard car. Hybrid cars save drivers money on fuel as the batteries they use are charged by the heat from braking, meaning that they can get far more miles out of a gallon of petrol than most other cars. Other models are simply designed to be as fuel efficient as possible and as such can save a few pounds at the pumps.
Finally, any driver who visits London on a regular basis in their green car will be pleasantly surprised when it comes to the congestion charge. There is a 100% discount for all cars which produce less than 100g/km of carbon dioxide and electric/hybrid cars.
Andrew Goulborn Commercial Director at Tiger.co.uk commented, “Driving a green car presents drivers with a great opportunity to make serious savings on motoring. At the moment there are only a few truly green models available on the UK market, but as the price of technology comes down they are certain to become more widely available. Many car insurance
companies are offering great deals to greener car owners, some will even offset you carbon emissions for the period you are insured by them! Using sites like Tiger.co.uk to shop around for the best car insurance quotes
can give drivers a better idea of what is on offer.”