Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland
Emissions from vehicle exhausts are a significant source of air pollution. Air pollutants in vehicle emissions include:
You should try to limit the vehicle emissions produced by your business as they may:
Make sure that your vehicles comply with emission limits and weight regulations. The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) carries out roadside checks to enforce these standards.
Ensure your vehicles comply with exhaust emission standards as specified in the:
These schemes are operated by;
Your local council monitors air quality in your area. If the air quality exceeds a certain threshold, it may declare an area to be an Air Quality Management Area.
Some local councils are introducing low emission zones to reduce pollution in urban centres. These are areas where you may have to pay a daily charge if your vehicle doesn't meet certain emission standards or qualify for an exemption. Check with your local council to find out if there are any low emission zones or air quality management areas in your area.
You can also search for air quality management areas on the Defra website.
You must turn off your engine if your vehicle is stationary to reduce exhaust emissions and noise. You can be prosecuted or fined by some local councils if you leave your engine running while stationary for more than a few minutes.
You can benefit from tax breaks by buying low emission vehicles.
Reducing vehicle emissions: Choose low emission vehicles
You can reduce your vehicle emissions and possibly reduce running costs by using alternative fuels, such as gas or electrical hybrids.
The Energy Saving Trust has produced a smart phone app that can save you money and track your fuel use. You can find out about the app at:
You can fit older vehicles with devices that reduce their emissions. This can be a cheaper alternative to upgrading engines.
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) reward businesses that use cleaner, more fuel-efficient cars. Road tax and National Insurance Contributions (NICs) are linked to the car's exhaust emissions, particularly its CO2 emissions. You can get more details from the HMRC.
Service all your vehicles regularly.
Make sure tyres are correctly inflated and remove roof bars and boxes when they are not needed.
Remove any excess weight by only carrying what you need.
Keep speed down. Driving at 50-60 mph produces the lowest emissions. Driving over 70mph rapidly increases vehicle emissions. It can cost up to 15% more in fuel to drive at 70mph compared with 50mph.
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