Car Shopping: the Eco-Friendly Way

As you may be aware, there are quite a few options these days when it comes to making your morning commute more eco-friendly. While some people are keen to ride their bikes or jog to work (getting in their exercise while cutting back on carbon emissions), not everyone has that option. However, people find other ways to compensate, such as taking public transportation or joining carpools. But when it comes to buying your own vehicle (still the transportation of choice for most people) you can go even further, not just with the car you choose but with your shopping methodology. Here are a few tips to make the car-buying experience as eco-friendly as possible.

The auto industry has seen some major changes over the last several years thanks public to demand for cars that meet green standards (in terms of both greenery and greenbacks), environmental reports decrying the impact of fossil fuel consumption, governmental decrees setting higher standards concerning acceptable limits for carbon emissions, and of course, the economic downturn. The result has been a surge of automobiles that provide consumers with fuel-efficient, cost-effective alternatives to the gas-guzzling, carbon-spewing cars of yesteryear.

It began with hybrids and quickly evolved to include fully electric cars as well as those able to run on alternative fuels like ethanol, methanol, compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG), liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), biodiesel, and even hydrogen (although the last one is more theoretical at this point since distribution is a problem). And of course, the new plug-in hybrids have added another dimension of accessibility for drivers not quite ready to give up their gas-powered vehicles just yet. The point is that there are tons of options on the market for the eco-friendly citizen looking for ways to green up every aspect of his or her life, including transportation.

But you probably already knew that such options were available. The trick is selecting the one that is best for the environment and for your lifestyle. And here you can green up the works, as well. You don’t have to shop for a car the same way your parents and grandparents did. Thanks to the growth of the internet as a tool for commerce you can now shop from the comfort of your own home far more quickly than previous generations (no more spending a day touring dealerships to compare cars). And the wealth of information provided online could allow you to make your selection and order your new automobile without ever setting foot outside your door.

With myriad sites offering cross-checking capabilities, reviews, road tests, side-by-side comparisons of comparable cars, features, pricing, and even the ability to “build your own car”, there’s almost no reason to go to a dealership anymore (except perhaps to get loan approval and attempt to haggle the price down). Although some people are still keen to test drive cars, you can at least use the vast scope of information available on the internet to narrow down your search so that you need visit only a couple of retailers rather than the dozen you originally had on your list. And if you’re old clunker finally bit the dust, leaving you sans your four-wheeled locomotion, skip the car hire service or cab call and pedal your bike over to a nearby dealership row to peruse the goods in a decidedly eco-friendly manner.

About the Author

Sarah Danielson is a contributing writer for Car Rentals – car hire Faro Airport, the best online car rental supplier with over 4,000 locations worldwide.