Buying a car | Oxfordshire County Council

Buying a car

Advice if you decide to buy a car

When thinking about buying a new or used car, there are many things to consider in addition to what make and model of vehicle you would prefer.  In the list of requirements, how many people do you think would consider sustainability as an issue to consider?  Sustainability is not just limited to hybrid and electric cars, but also looks at car use, distance travelled and fuel efficiency – all of which are becoming increasingly important factors when purchasing a car.

The What Car? Website provides a wealth of information in regards to what to consider when purchasing a new car, as well as what to look out for and what is the best make and model for your requirements.  What Car? has a webpage providing comprehensive information on Green Cars – looking at the many car categories, issues, difference in hybrid / electric / hydrogen cars, as well as providing a green car buyer’s guide.

Electric vehicles

Electric Vehicles (vehicles propelled by an electric motor or powered by rechargeable battery packs) can have certain advantages and benefits such as energy efficiency, reduced local air pollution, performance benefits and reduce energy dependency.  However, driving range, battery weight and cost and recharge cost can provide challenges that you wouldn’t normally find with petrol / diesel based cars.

If buying for environmental reasons, also consider your likely usage level of the vehicle; if you only plan to do occasional or short journeys using the car, it may actually be more sustainable (from a carbon perspective) for you to buy a small fuel-efficient petrol/diesel vehicle.  This is because the battery is very carbon intensive to produce, and (in a 2011 independent study into electric vehicles) it was found that considering the whole life of a vehicle, the electric car only starts to generate a carbon benefit over an average traditional car after about 50,000 miles have been driven.

For information on electric vehicle charging infrastructure within the county please visit Chargemaster or the National Charge Point Registry webpages.

Last reviewed
20 November 2015
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