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May 22, 2018  |  Login

Drive a Small Car

Driving a small car can significantly improve your environmental impact and reduce the strain on your wallet.

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When it comes to cars and the environment, bigger is never better! Next time you’re ready to buy or lease, go small and lessen the damage your driving does to the environment. The carbon emissions from the cars we drive are some of the biggest contributors to global warming and air pollution. More than half of a 2-car family’s carbon emissions come from the vehicles they drive, according to the Inter Press Service. Despite the rise of the SUV, fuel economy is now a crucial factor in car purchasing decisions. The popularity of small cars has soared recently as drivers realize the major environmental and financial benefits of having a lighter vehicle.

The difference between a small and a large car is dramatic. Even the best large car or SUVs only get about 20 miles per gallon on the highway, whereas a small car or hybrid can get 40 mpg or more. You can see how enormous this difference is when you consider the fact that the difference between 25 mpg and 20 mpg can total 10 tons of carbon dioxide emissions over the car’s lifetime. With gas prices rising to ever-greater heights, having a small car can impressively reduce the financial burden of filling the tank. Having higher fuel efficiency means you will need to fill your tank less often. If you are in the market for a car, consider the big benefits of downsizing and going lighter. The environment and your bank account will thank you.


Take Action / Next Steps
  • Want to learn more? Click here to read about the benefits of smaller cars and other ways to drive greener on ecomii.

  • Try out this tool from the EPA that will evaluate the environmental impact of your car. Use it to compare different makes and models to see what kind of a difference a smaller car can make.


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Did You Know?

Click below for more facts about this tip.



1.Consumer Reports. [May 2008] “When to Downsize Your Car.” Available from: [6 August 2008] “Causes of Global Warming.” Available from: [6 August 2008]

3.Johnson, Keith. [2 May 2008] “Car Crunch: Pricey Oil Boosts Small-Car Sales.” The Wall Street Journal. Available from: [6 August 2008]

4.Leahy, Stephen. [5 June 2008] “Soaring Energy Costs May Force Low-CO2 Living.” Inter Press Service. Available from: [6 August 2008]

5.Vlasic, Bill. [2 May 2008] “As Gas Costs Soar, Buyers Flock to Small Cars.” The New York Times. Available from: [6 August 2008]

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