Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Choosing low emissions vehicles

Choosing low emission vehicles


If your business has a fleet of vehicles, you could reduce emissions significantly and save costs by choosing more environmentally friendly vehicles.

Generally, newer and smaller vehicles will tend to use less fuel and emit fewer harmful emissions.

Petrol and diesel engines have different effects on the environment. Diesel engines generally produce less CO2 but emit more air pollutants than petrol engines. As a general rule, if you intend to use the vehicle for long-distance or motorway driving then consider a diesel engine for fuel efficiency and lower CO2 emissions. If the vehicle will be used more in urban areas, where air quality is a greater consideration, consider a fuel-efficient petrol engine.

There are several business benefits of choosing lower-emissions vehicles. These include tax breaks, lower running costs and reduced environmental impact. See the page in this guideline: Reduce the environmental impact of transport logistics

Before investing in new or second-hand vehicles you should check their CO2 and air pollution emission levels. Environmental performance varies within each class. You could reduce your CO2 emissions and cut fuel bills by up to 25 per cent simply by choosing the most efficient vehicle in each class.

Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA): Levels of CO2 emissions, vehicle excise duty and company car tax for new cars

Look at the fuel economy label on new cars. This will indicate the emissions, running costs and fuel consumption for the make and model.

Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership: Fuel economy label explained

The Energy Saving Trust can help you to reduce your fleet costs and improve the carbon footprint of your business. For example, a business with a fleet of 100 vehicles could save up to £90,000 each year by implementing green fleet policies. Your business may be eligible for free on-site consultancy from a fleet management expert.

Energy Saving Trust (Northern Ireland) Reducing the environmental impact of your fleet

Energy Saving Trust (Scotland): Making your fleet more sustainable

You can also call the Energy Saving Trust Fleet Transport Advice Line on Tel 0845 602 1425.

Lower CO2 emissions vehicles may be subject to lower taxes such as vehicle excise duty. See the page in this guideline on Taxes, tax breaks and grants for low-emission vehicles.

You could also consider the benefits of alternatively powered vehicles, such as cars that run on electricity. See the page in this guideline on how to Use alternatively powered vehicles


In this guideline

Choose low emissions vehicles

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