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Even in a city with a great public transport system you may still find the need to use a car for some journeys. After all, if you’ve done a really huge food shop or bought a new gas bottle for your barbeque, then carrying this home on public transport is not something to look forward to. In London though there are other options available to give us alternatives to buying and maintaining our own car.

Impact of Cars

Cars are a major contributor to air pollution producing significant amounts of nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, and particulate matter. 80-90% of cars' environmental impact comes from fuel consumption and emissions of air pollution and greenhouse gases.


  • It’s a tough question to ask but do you really need to own a car? If you find that you rarely use your car consider whether you could sell or scrap it and join a car club instead

  • Join a car club – you can book a car and go where you want when you want without having to worry about tax, insurance, MOT’s or parking permits – you only pay for what you use. If you live in Brent, Ealing, Harrow, Hounslow or Richmond you can join Zipcar or City Car Club.

  • Could you share a car with a family member of friend? Work out who will pay for what and how you decide who uses the car on what day.

  • Instead of driving to work everyday on your own see whether a colleague wants to share – you could take turns driving and share the petrol costs.

  • Regular maintenance and checks can help keep your car on the road for longer. Pay attention to warning lights in your car and check basic things like the oil level. There is lots of information available to help you with this.

  • The way you drive influences the amount of wear and tear on your car for example harsh braking and accelerating will mean the parts on your car wear faster.


  • Most of us will chose to buy a second hand car because of the cost, a used car can offer goof value and it should be in good working order. Before you buy make sure you do research and make sure you’re buying from a legitimate person.

  • If your car is in good working order and you want to get rid of it then try to sell it or allow Giveacar to sell it for you and give the money raised to a charity of your choice.

  • Giveacar is a social enterprise that organises the donation of end-of-life vehicles to charity. Every car collected is recycled to high environmental standards, and raises an average of £80 for charity. Since Giveacar started in 2010, over 150 cars have been collected in the West London area, raising over £10,000 for charity. If you’d like to donate a car, then you can choose from national charities like Cancer Research UK, or local charities like West London Churches Homeless Concern.


When your car is serviced or repaired check the place you take it to knows what they are doing. Good repairs can help keep your car on the road for longer. If your car needs a lot of repairs get several quotes.


Car manufacturers are making their cars easier and easier to recycle and making more of the car recyclable.

There is legislation to make sure that cars are recycled where possible. If you are scrapping your car make sure it goes to an Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF) and you get a certificate of destruction to prove it has been recycled and not dumped somewhere.

For more information follow the quick link to the Environment Agency website or ask a web search engine.