Is Buying a Used Car Better for the Environment?

We are all being regularly told that we need to take action about the climate crisis and make environmentally responsible decisions. Everyone knows that cars are one of the largest contributing factors to global warming but, for some of us, they are completely necessary to facilitate everyday life. If you are considering purchasing a new-for-you vehicle, you might be wondering what the environmental impact of buying a new car is. Here, we’ve broken it down so you can make an informed decision.

Cars have a huge environmental impact before they’ve even got out on the road. The manufacturing process of all the component parts that go into making a new car like steel, rubber, plastic and paints, leave a huge carbon footprint behind. Even an electric car, arguably one of our best options in terms of running cars in a sustainable way, can have a negative effect on the environment if their charging station isn’t a renewable energy source.

Do Your Research

You’ll need to do some research though before making a decision about a used car. Look online and at sites such as https://www.bordercityautos.co.uk/used-cars where the dealers will give you the best possible advice when it comes to making a purchase. You are perfectly entitled to test drive a used car before making your purchase – remember, this is a big investment. You wouldn’t buy a house without going to look round it so there’s no reason to treat buying a car any differently. Similarly, if you are buying from an online ad or a friend of a friend, you can also ask a mechanic to come and check out the car before you make a commitment.

When you buy a used car, you are also preventing the environmental damage improperly disposed of cars can cause. Have you ever thought about what happens to cars when they are no longer needed? Whilst around three quarters of a car can be recycled, including the steel frame, there are components of a car which are significantly more difficult to dispose of. For example, the battery can leak acid into the ground or water. As well as that, you’ve got the tires, which take between 50 and 80 years to decompose.

Reduce Carbon Emissions

There are many ways you can help with the problem of car-related carbon emissions. You can download apps which help you monitor your carbon footprint and will suggest alternatives you can make. This can help offset the environmental impact of running a car. You can research the car you are considering ensuring it has better fuel mileage than the one you already have. Using public transport wherever possible will not only decrease your carbon footprint but also improve the life of your vehicle.

Common Sense

By using your intuition, for example, combining trips in your vehicle wherever possible and carpooling, you can make running a car part of living a greener lifestyle. Whilst their impact on the environment is generally negative, remember it’s how you use the car that will make the biggest difference. It’s a buyer’s market in terms of used cars so, if the first few don’t meet your standards, keep looking – the right one is just around the corner.

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