Find out how owning an eco-friendly car and making greener motoring choices can help the planet and also save you money on car insurance.
A car is considered ‘green’ if it’s more environmentally friendly than a regular car. In other words, a ‘green’ car is cleaner to run because it has fewer or no emissions.
Also known as eco cars, they reduce reliance on conventional fuels and cost less to drive..
Owners of green cars can also benefit from lower road tax and congestion charges.
Designed to be energy efficient and create a smaller carbon footprint than traditional cars - there are several types of green cars that operate and are powered in different ways:
These run purely on electricity and are charged by plugging the car into special charge points.
You can charge electric cars at home, on the street or by using public charge points. But typically their range isn’t as far as other types of car.
On the plus side, because they don’t produce any exhaust emissions, if you own one of these cars you’ll be exempt from road tax.
For maximum efficiency and flexibility, a hybrid car combines the use of an electric powered motor and a regular combustion engine powered by petrol or diesel.
Self-charging hybrid cars charge the battery as you brake and drive, so they work best if they’re used mostly in the city.
There are also hybrid cars that you plug in at charging stations. These plug-in options have bigger batteries, so you can drive further on electric power than with a self-charging car.
These cars use fuel made from renewable organic materials like cooking oil and sugarcane. Although they’re not commonly found in the UK, biofuels are now being blended into the production of regular vehicle fuels to make their use more environmentally friendly.
Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) cars have lower emissions and are better for the environment than regular cars. But even though you can convert your car to LPG, you won’t find new LPG cars widely available in the UK.
A hydrogen fuelled car is an electric car powered by chemical reactions between hydrogen and oxygen. You fill these up with hydrogen at a pump and their only emission is water. Still rare in the UK, they may become more popular as the demand for eco-friendly cars grows.
When it comes to car insurance there are several options - but which is best will depend on your needs and the type of eco-friendly car you have.
When you’re taking out insurance for a green car bear in mind that:
Historically, with their newer technology and fewer of them on the road, electric cars were usually more expensive to insure.
However, the popularity of plug-in cars has soared, with more joining the road in 2021 than during the whole of the last decade.
And in a recent survey by the Office for National Statistics, 44% of adults said they were likely to switch to an all-electric car in the next ten years.
With more electric cars on the road, you may find that premiums drop lower than those for petrol and diesel cars. But insurers will still take into account a host of other factors, including your age and driving history, to calculate the cost of your premium - so it’s a good idea to compare providers.
As well as starting to reduce their premiums for plug-in car owners, insurers are also looking at other ways to promote eco-friendliness. For example:
If you haven’t made the change to a green car yet, there are still ways you can reduce your car’s emissions and carbon footprint:
By driving carefully and reducing the miles you cover, you could also benefit from cheaper insurance premiums. Adopting good driving habits can help you keep your car in great condition too.