In this post we’ll take a look at whether buying a second-hand car is better for the environment. When it comes to living more sustainably, one of the major choices we have to make is the form of transport we use. For many, that means driving a car. In a recent post we shared a beginner’s guide to switching to an electric car, which revealed some of the realities of choosing to drive an electric vehicle, including charging, environmental impact and price tag. Let’s rev our engines and get started, is buying second-hand when it comes to cars the sustainable choice?
We all know that shopping second-hand for furniture, fashion, and homeware is a very sustainable option. It means we keep potential plastic out of landfills and that our money is positively contributing to the decrease in worldwide textile demand and subsequent waste. Less resources used and wasted. But does the same apply to vehicles?
So, are second-hand cars better for the environment?
Reuse, Repair, Redrive
First things first, if you’re already driving a car that is in decent condition, then it makes more sense from a green perspective to keep your old car running and well-maintained as long as you can. There are some significant environmental costs to both manufacturing a new car and adding your old car to the ever-growing collective scrap heap.
When manufacturing a new car, materials like steel, rubber, glass, plastic, chemical paints, and all the other parts and pieces that go into producing a car leave a footprint. In a study conducted by Toyota in 2004, approximately 28% of carbon dioxide emissions can occur during the manufacturing process and transport of the car to the dealership. That’s a pretty significant impact of the environment before the car is even on the road. So, if your existing car is roadworthy and safe to drive, better to make the most of it before buying new.
Buying A Second-Hand Electric Car
If you read our beginner’s guide to switching to an electric car, you will remember some of the eye-watering price tags that new electric cars can fetch. For many people, buying a brand-new electric car is simple not within budget. If this is the case for you, why not buy a second-hand electric car instead? You can often find Nissan used cars online from KAP Motors, including electric vehicles and hybrids with a much lower price tag than if you bought new. They provide pre-inspected cars with warranties, so there’s no need to worry about the condition of the vehicle either.
Consider Fuel Consumption
If you choose to buy a second-hand car one of the major things that you need to consider is the fuel consumption. Opt for a car with better fuel consumption as this will contribute less to global warming. Simply because the more fuel you use, the greater the CO2 emissions. CO2 is the main greenhouse gas and private road transport produces 85% of transport-derived greenhouse gas. Another incentive is that vehicle excise duty (VED or car tax) is based on the level of CO2 emissions, In other words less polluting cars pay less road tax. Fuel consumption also plays a factor in owning an electric vehicle, if you’re not charging your electric car from a renewable energy source, then you are still harming the environment.
Is buying a second-hand car is better for the environment? In summary, yes is the answer to this question. However, there are several factors to take into account:
- Can you continue to drive your existing vehicle? If so, then do.
- Driving a second-hand car reduces the negative environmental of manufacturing a new car.
- Before buying a car, look at what the fuel consumption of the vehicle is like. If it’s low, then it’s better for the environment.
- Could you buy a second-hand electric car, if yes this is an even better choice to go for.
- How will you charge your second-hand electric car? Sign up to a renewable energy supplier to ensure your car is not harming the environment.