Features that affect the environment

If it’s petrol or diesel-powered, your vehicle will consume non-renewable fossil fuels and result in the emission of carbon dioxide. Driving will also produce emissions that affect air quality and create noise.

Air conditioning

Air conditioning provides real safety benefits such as demisting windows in wet or humid weather and keeping you comfortable and alert. However, using air conditioning will increase your fuel consumption.

What you can do

At speeds below 80km/h, it is generally more efficient to open a window than to use the air conditioning.


A good exhaust system:

  • ensures your vehicle is burning fuel efficiently

  • reduces the emission of greenhouse gases and other pollutants

  • protects you and others inside your vehicle from harmful carbon monoxide

  • reduces vehicle noise.

Things to watch out for:

  • The smell of petrol while driving – an indicator of a possible exhaust leak.

  • The smell of burning oil – a possible signal of a worn out engine.

  • Smoke emissions – your vehicle may simply need an engine tune up or a new air filter. But smoke may signal the need for more serious repair. See your mechanic.

A number of legal requirements aim to minimise harmful emissions from the exhaust system. Does your vehicle meet them? Check the exhaust emissions standards for vehicles.

Exhaust emissions standards for vehicles

What you can do

Keep your vehicle regularly tuned and maintained, check for exhaust leaks yourself.

Vehicle safety checklist


Tyres are a vital safety feature. Good tyres grip the road, which is what helps avoid crashes. Driving on poorly inflated tyres affects your vehicle's performance and uses more fuel.

What you can do

Regularly check your tyre pressure.

Check your car tyres