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Eco-safe drivingBe an ‘eco-safe’ driver or rider and contribute to road safety as well as reducing your fuel consumption and vehicle emissions. Making changes to your driving style will also save you money. From September 2008, anyone sitting a driving test will also get feedback on their eco-safe driving manner.

DL 25 marking sheetFrom 10 September 2008, if you're sitting a driving test, you’ll also be assessed on your ability to drive or ride in a way that shows eco-safe driving techniques.

This assessment is not part of the existing assessment criteria for the practical test and you will not fail your test because you don’t demonstrate eco-safe driving techniques.

The driving examiner will assess control and planning, and at the end of the test will give you feedback, as guidance, on how efficiently you’re driving.

Always try to use the vehicle controls as smoothly as possible, with particular attention to:

  • starting and moving away
  • accelerating using gears
  • driving at an appropriate speed

Start/moving away: Try to avoid excessive revving when starting your engine and moving away.

Accelerator: Use the accelerator smoothly and progressively. When appropriate take your foot off the accelerator and allow the momentum of the vehicle to take you
forward. Avoid pumping the accelerator as this uses more fuel.

Gears: It’s not always necessary to change up or down through each gear; in certain situations you could try skipping gears.(  ie: changing from 2nd to 4th or more commonly 3rd to 5th or changing down from 4th to 2nd etc...) use the highest possible gear for the speed, without making the engine struggle.

Appropriate use of speed: Ensure that your speed is appropriate to the road, traffic and weather conditions. Consider how inappropriate speed can affect fuel consumption and emissions.

Reduce harmful emissions by anticipating road traffic conditions and acting in good time, rather than reacting to them at the last moment, especially:

  • showing hazard awareness and planning
  • making use of engine braking
  • stopping the engine when appropriate

Hazard awareness/planning and anticipation:  Identify hazards early, allowing adequate time to react - this will result in braking and acceleration that is smooth and progressive. Maintain space around your vehicle and drive calmly.

Engine braking: Use engine braking when possible. With your foot fully off the accelerator the engine needs little, if any, fuel.

Stopping the engine: When you are stuck in traffic or waiting for someone, the engine is idling so you are wasting fuel and adding to CO2 emissions. If you are likely to be at a
standstill for a while, simply switch off your engine

Tyres • Check regularly and keep at recommended pressure.

Weight • Don’t carry unnecessary weight. • Remove roof-rack/luggage boxes when not
needed to reduce air resistance.

Speed • Don’t exceed speed limits, accelerate gently. • Consider using cruise control where it would be appropriate.

Engine • Turn off your engine if you are likely to have a prolonged wait. • Use air conditioning only when you need to.

Route Planning • Plan your route to avoid known congestion points. • Try to travel during off-peak times. • Consider sharing the vehicle and avoid unnecessary short journeys.

Down load leafletDownload Eco-Safe Driving leaflet (PDF, 2855K)

Act on Co2This reduces wear and tear on your vehicle and will help in reducing CO2