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Selecting vehicles

Factors to consider during selection of vehicles to minimise impact on environment include:

  • Size and weight – smaller and lighter is more fuel-efficient.
  • Engine type – automatic engines are less efficient.
  • Fuel type, for example petrol, diesel, Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), hybrid electricity/petrol and natural gas. Diesel, LPG and natural gas engines emit fewer greenhouse gases than petrol engines. Natural gas results in less air pollution than regular fuels. Diesel produces more particles than other fuels.
  • Emission controls – since the 1980s cars have been fitted with catalytic converters which reduce air pollution.
  • Fuel consumption labels – are included on new cars and indicate litres of fuel the car uses to travel 100kms and the amount of carbon dioxide emitted in standard driving conditions.
  • Green vehicle guide rating - the Australian Government Green Vehicle Guide provides ratings of new cars based on greenhouse and air pollution emissions.
  • Age (of used vehicles) – an older vehicle will not be as environmentally friendly as recently manufactured vehicles and may be less fuel-efficient.
  • Maintenance and servicing history (of used vehicles) – failure to regularly maintain and service a vehicle can result in lower fuel efficiency and more emissions.

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Supported by the Community Sector Investment Fund (external link - opens in a new window).