Drive smart tips

Combine Trips
Plan ahead to reduce your number of vehicle trips. For example, if you need your car for work, plan to do other errands along the way or on your way home. Shop locally so that you can walk or cycle - it is a great way to get active, experience your neighbourhood and support local businesses while running errands.

Be idle free
Idling your vehicle to warm it up or while pulled over can seriously damage your engine and waste gas. Turn off your engine while parked and reduce damage to your engine, save fuel and protect our air quality. Your lungs and engine will thank you for it.

Ditch your car starter
Not only do car starters waste fuel, it can cause damage to your engine. Rather than running your car to warm it up, dress warmly and drive slowly for the first few minutes, while your car warms up. Even diesel engines do not require more than 30 seconds of idling before driving. If you are concerned about warming your engine, use a block heater with an automatic timer to turn it on for no more than two hours before you plan to drive. Check out the truth about idling page for more information. 

Choose the correct sized vehicle
When purchasing a vehicle, consider purchasing a smaller, more fuel efficient vehicle and renting a truck or other large vehicle when needed. When purchasing a used vehicle, get a full mechanical inspection to ensure it runs efficiently. 

The Province offers CEV for BC point of sale incentives of up to $5,000 per eligible clean vehicle purchased in BC.  The Province also offers Residential Rebates for Purchase of Qualifying Electric Vehicle Charging Equipment.

Keep your vehicle well maintained
Regular tune ups can improve vehicle performance and reduce emissions. Simple actions, such as checking/changing your oil regularly and ensuring your tires are properly inflated, all add up to significant improvements in vehicle efficiency.

Take it easy
Speeding and accelerating too quickly can waste a lot of fuel. To maximize fuel efficiency, accelerate smoothly and allow plenty of space between you and the next vehicle. When travelling on highways, drive the speed limit. Driving at 90 to 100km/h can reduce fuel use 15 to 20 per cent compared with driving at higher speeds.

Take a load off
Remove unnecessary racks and other items to reduce the weight of your vehicle to avoid drag and improve your vehicle’s fuel efficiency.

The Central Okanagan is part of, a free online resource for meeting carpool partners. Remember, you can carpool to more places and for more reasons than work. If your family is involved in activities after work and school, try to carpool with friends and neighbours.


Modo is a local member-owned carshare service with over 700+ cars, SUVs, trucks and hybrids starting at $5/hour across the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, and the Okanagan. With Modo, you get all the benefits of having a car, without all the hassles of owning one (or two). Their rates include gas, insurance, maintenance and parking privileges. Simply pick up a car and return it at the same location.

Zipcar has a similar service that currently operates in and around the University of British Columbia Okanagan Campus.