The impact of used cars on the environment

Vehicles have an unavoidable impact on the environment. According to a study by the European Agency, 30% of greenhouse gas emissions in the Union are produced by transport.

The transport sector is one of the main causes of environmental pollution. In order to protect the environment and promote sustainable development, regulations regarding greenhouse gas emissions are therefore becoming increasingly strict. In recent years, the used car market has been growing more and more. What is the environmental impact of these used cars?

Smaller carbon footprint of a used car

Purchase a used car requires less budget than buying a new car. One of the factors that explain the success of this category of vehicles, in addition to the price, is also ecology. In addition to being more affordable, used cars are durable and less polluting than new cars.

Regardless of type, make or model, every new car has a more or less high carbon footprint. Carbon footprint refers to the amount of pollutant emissions generated during the production and use of a product. During the last two processes, cars release toxic particles such as carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, water vapor, methane, etc. into nature.

When driving, the car produces CO2. However, it is the production phase of the car that pollutes the environment the most. The automotive industry consumes a large amount of raw materials for the production of its machines. The carbon footprint can be extremely high depending on the type of car.

Even so-called “green” cars cause widespread pollution. For example, according to a study by the consulting firm Carbone, as an electric city car produces approximately 10.2 tons of CO2 during its production and end-of-life cycles. In contrast, a thermal city car emits 6.7 tons of CO2 during the same cycle. Electric cars are therefore more polluting during the production phase.

In addition, a study by Toyota reveals that 28% of polluting emissions emitted by a car during its entire life cycle are attributed to its production. Buying a used car is therefore an excellent solution for to limit car production and the environmental pollution it causes.

Reducing waste with the purchase of a used car

In France, about 1.5 million cars become unusable every year. In addition to basic equipment such as the passenger compartment, the engine or the body, the car also contains toxic and polluting solid and liquid substances. In particular, we have airbag explosives, air conditioning fluid, batteries, drain oil and even brake fluid.

The materials used to make them make these objects waste hazardous to the environment. When stored or stored in poor conditions, these substances pollute the soil and groundwater and can also cause accidents. This is the same case when they are treated in a way that is not suitable for ecological standards.

Even if you decide to recycle your car at the end of its useful life, this solution is not 100% ecological. A vehicle at the end of its useful life can be disassembled and some parts reused. These generally include body materials and electronic components. Buying a used car is therefore an ideal solution to reduce the production and dismantling of cars and the hazardous waste that these processes create.

Conservation of natural resources

The automotive industry uses a large amount of raw materials (alloys, aluminum, steel, etc.) to produce cars. The production of one car requires at least 15 tons of raw materials. For make a battery for an electric car for example, it requires various minerals such as cobalt, graphite, nickel, copper and lithium. These resources then become more and more scarce.

The automotive industry also uses fossil fuels to make cars. In addition to contributing to the depletion of natural resources, the production of automobiles causes other serious environmental consequences such as soil and water pollution, waste production, loss of biodiversity associated with mining activities and deforestation.

In addition, the production of plastics, the extraction of metals and the energy used in the production of new vehicles create a significant ecological footprint. By buying a used car, you contribute to a decline in demand for the production of new cars which will reduce the use of natural resources necessary for this operation. You are also helping to protect the planet by reducing the carbon footprint associated with the production of new cars.

Promotion of the circular economy

Our current society is essentially based on a linear economy consisting of production, purchase, use and disposal. This economic model advocates wasting resources and promotes environmental pollution. In order to protect the planet, many industries are trying to make a smooth transition to a circular economy that they are focused on reuse, recycling and extending the life of products. This is the case with cars with used car promotions.

When you buy a second-hand car, you help give this product a second life. You also contribute to reducing the hyper-productivity of new cars, preserving natural resources and reducing the carbon footprint.

The recycling market is also a factor that supports the circular economy. Reusing end-of-life auto parts helps reduce waste and promotes more efficient resource management.

In addition, the purchase of used cars contributes to the change in mentality towards consumption. When consumers prioritize reuse, they indirectly encourage the automotive industry to adopt more responsible and sustainable practices. By opting for these used vehicles, you optimize the chances of making the circular economy the norm instead of the exception in the long run.

Car brands with reduced environmental impact

During use, some cars have a very high carbon footprint. In order to preserve the ozone layer, it is therefore crucial to choose a relatively ecological brand.

Some car brands stand out for their commitment to more sustainable practices. This is the case with Tesla, which is a pioneer in the field of electric cars.

Electric cars are characterized by the fact that they produce almost no pollution. They do not emit carbon dioxide or CO2, but only a few particles. Although there is no such thing as a 100% ecological car, an electric car comes very close to this ideal.

With its iconic hybrid lineup, including the Prius, Toyota is also a car brand with a reduced environmental impact. Its hybrid vehicles combine the energy efficiency of an electric motor with the flexibility of a gasoline engine.

Cars of this brand consume little fuel and emit few greenhouse gases. Nissan is also a key player in promoting vehicles with reduced environmental impact. Electric models such as the all-electric Nissan Leaf are particularly attractive options.

If your budget doesn’t allow you to qualify for cars from these luxury brands, you can turn to more affordable cars like the Kia Niro Hybrid or the Hyundai Kona Electric from Hyundai and Kia.

These brands have developed electric and hybrid options to offer green alternatives to a wider audience. But sustainability isn’t just limited to engines. Some brands such as Volvo emphasize the use of recyclable and sustainable materials in the production of their cars.

How to properly maintain a used car?

To keep your used car in good condition for as long as possible, you need to maintain it properly. of adequate fluid levels are the primary factors that guarantee the optimal functioning of the car and prevent premature wear of its components.

Therefore, regularly check the levels of fluids such as power steering fluid, brake fluid, coolant and engine oil. It helps to clean dirt, cool the engine and reduce friction between moving parts. Be sure to replace it according to the manufacturer’s recommendations to maintain the longevity of your car’s engine.

You should also check your tires regularly to make sure they are in good condition. Check tire pressure, overall condition and tread wear to ensure even wear and good grip.

Then take care of the battery. Check its charge regularly with a voltmeter to make sure it is working properly. Also, use warm water, baking soda, and a wire brush to regularly clean the battery terminals.

Maintenance of the cooling system is also very important. Open the reservoir frequently to check the coolant level. We recommend that you change the specified fluid every 40,000 kilometers or every two years.

Don’t forget too check the brake pads and in case of excessive wear, deformation or cracks, replace them with the help of a professional.

Last but not least, you should pay special attention to the cleanliness of the interior and exterior of your used car. Wash it often with suitable products to remove dirt, grime and dirt. Also vacuum the interior to maintain a pleasant environment for you and your passengers.

Leave a Comment