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3 Ways to stay green when buying a new family car

Professional blogger and writer from Tasmania, Australia. Vegan friendly and a DIY and lifestyle addict. Blogs over at Kirsty Girl when not playing with her totally spazzy sheepdog, Spot.

How to purchase an environmentally friendly car that meets your family's needs

If you’re passionate about saving mother earth, you probably always try to buy responsibly. When it comes to buying a new car, finding something environmentally friendly while sticking to a budget, keeping your family safe and making sure there’s enough room for everyone can be a heavy ask. I recently purchased a new family car and these are some of the factors I took into consideration when choosing something safe, practical and environmentally friendly.

Consider buying a 'green’ car

Of course, if you're truly passionate about the environment, one of your first considerations is whether you can buy an electric vehicle instead of a gas guzzler. Whether you’re interested in buying a hybrid to make sure you’ve always got a little extra something in the tank for emergencies or you want to go seriously green and buy a battery electric vehicle, there's a lot to be said for electric cars.

Many argue that electric cars aren’t actually all that environmentally friendly due to the electricity produced by the grid, if you’re charging with the use of solar panels or something similar, buying an electric car is really as eco-friendly as you can get when purchasing new.

Buy a used car

Instead of buying new, many eco-conscious people will look for used models first. If you have more than three kids or are your kids’ friends chauffeur, you probably have your heart set on a big family wagon or jeep SUV. Buying a large car used will be a heck of a lot greener than buying new. Not only is buying used more environmentally friendly, it will also help you stick to a healthy budget.

If you’ve already got a favorite new make and model on your list, take a look at the qualities and price differences in last year’s model on your local classifieds site. You’ll find not much difference in quality, but there’s a huge difference in price. Not only will the environment thank you, your wallet will too.

Get something fuel-efficient

Whether you choose to buy new or used, you’ll need to consider how fuel-efficient your chosen model is, for both environmental reasons and to save you a lot of money in the long term. Though hybrids have awesome fuel-efficiency, it’s guzzled down around 1,000 gallons of petrol before it even hits the showroom.

According to Wired, if you buy a used, fuel-efficient car such as a Toyota Tercel, Ford Festiva or even the early '90s Dodge Colts, it will actually be more environmentally-friendly than buying a new hybrid. You’ll be putting less carbon-dioxide into the air with a used, fuel-efficient car in good condition than a new Toyota Prius.

There’s a lot to consider when trying to stay green when purchasing a new family car. I hope these tips keep you sane while finding one that keeps your family safe, saves you money, is easy to maintain and is environmentally friendly. I know how daunting it can be trying to stay green and buying a new car at the same time.

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