While I had been focusing on the house as a way to cut our CO2 emissions, it was becoming apparent that there would be little we could do to find any more significant reductions in usage.
But, there was something we could change lurking outside of the house. The cars!
We drive an average amount, and had a Renault Alliance convertible that was 25 years old, and got about 22 mpg in town (though it only drove 3000 miles) and a Chrysler Grand Voyager that got about 30 mpg, that was 10 years old, and starting to cost us quite a bit after we had its gearbox refurbished.
Rather than continue to fret about these two cars, I put my foot down and decided we needed to do something about it.
Now the UK has a scheme where cars that put out less than 100 g/km pay £0 road tax, less than 110 g/km pay £20, less than 120 g/km pay £30, and less than 130 g/km pay £90.
Older cars pay £180 per year. So, right there, a potential savings of £360 a year, if I an get two cars in the lowest band.
Well, that didn’t happen, but we did manage to get a Citroen C1 (or Toyota Aygo/Peugot 107 depending on which brand you went with) that attracts only £20 road tax, and a Kia Cee’d SW 2 that attracts £90 road tax. We had tried to buy a Skoda Octavia that is in the £30 bracket, but unfortunately had to cancel the order as delivery slipped.
The C1 has now done 4400 miles since we bought it (and with my son learning to drive in it), and averaged 48 mpg, more than double the 22 mpg car it replaced.
The Kia has been travelling all over the country with a boat on top for my daughters sailing, and despite that, has averaged 47.6 mpg over the 7000 miles it has travelled.
So, the Chrysler generated 58% more CO2 than the Kia and the Renault generated 118% more than the Citroen.
How much CO2 have we saved? A ton!
On the Kia, 647 l * 2.7 kg / l * .58 = 1013 kg
On the C1, 416 l * 2.3 kg/l * 1.18 = 1129 kg
That’s a 55% reduction in CO2 caused by travelling, and that’s assuming we had the same cars. In fact we’re actually driving less now too.
And how much money since last October?
Kia: £871.26 * .58 = £505 + £90
C1: £519.46 * 1.18 = £612 + £160
Grand total: £1367 in the 10 months we’ve had the cars.