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GreatAir Manchester
current air quality in Greater Manchester

GreatAir Construction
air quality on construction and demolition sites

What can you do?

Make a Smarter Choice
Firstly, decide whether you need to use your car or not is there an easier or better way to get to where you want to go? This is what smarter ways to travel is about. For example, a short local journey can be made by bicycle, and a trip into a busy town centre may be best done on the train, tram or bus. A car may be the easiest way to do your weekly shopping at the local supermarket.

For further information on different modes of transport either visit the Greater Manchester smarter ways to travel website or take a look at our Tell Me More section.

Using your car
If you do need to use a car, try some of these helpful hints:

  • Ensure your vehicle is regularly serviced and maintained.
  • You can also save fuel and emissions by driving more economically and switching off your engine when you are parked up. Learn more about Smarter Driving.
  • Ensure your vehicle has a valid MOT certificate, which includes an emissions test certificate.
  • Report excessively smoky vehicles you witness polluting the roads of Greater Manchester. Report a ‘Dirty Diesel’
  • Report vehicles idling unnecessarily in Greater Manchester. Report an ‘Idling Vehicle’
  • If you’re thinking of upgrading your car, consider its emissions (and save money too). Buying a new car


Smarter driving
Reducing the amount of fuel you burn is the obvious aim of being a greener or ‘smarter’ driver. This can not only save you money on fuel but also reduce your vehicle running costs, save you time and improve the environmental performance of your vehicle by minimising emissions.

Personal car travel is the largest single source of CO2 emissions, representing a staggering 21% of the total UK domestic emissions. But you can help us reduce emissions and save money at the same time - read on to find out how!

By using the Energy Saving Trust's tips to becoming a smarter driver you can:

  • Reduce your annual fuel bills.
  • Cut your carbon emissions.
  • Reduce wear and tear on the vehicle.
  • Enjoy safer, less stressful journeys.

Smarter Driving Tips
The following tips can reduce the impact your vehicle has on the environment and save money at the same time:

  • Look after your vehicle by maintaining it regularly - having it serviced can prevent costly repair bills.
  • Watch your speed! Driving at 50mph uses approximately 10% less fuel than driving at 70mph on a motorway.
  • Don’t keep your engine running when your car is stationary for more than a minute.
  • Switch off your air conditioning and reduce fuel consumption.
  • Make sure your engine is properly maintained and improve fuel economy by around 10% or more.
  • Reduce your fuel consumption by up to 39% by removing accessories such as roof racks and roof boxes.
  • Keep your tyres correctly inflated - under-inflated tyres cause drag and waste fuel.
  • Choose a more fuel efficient car when replacing yours, and save up to 3 month’s worth of fuel a year.

Report a dirty diesel

To report a smoky vehicle seen in Greater Manchester or Warrington you will need the following information:

  1. The type of vehicle (HGV, van, bus, taxi etc)
  2. Vehicle make, model and colour
  3. Vehicle registration number (and the Taxi License number if applicable)
  4. Company name (if apparent)
  5. Where you saw the vehicle (motorway/road name if possible)
  6. Date and time of sighting

Report the vehicle online or telephone 0161 234 5004.

If you see the vehicle again after reporting it and it appears to still be emitting excessive amounts of smoke, please inform us. We will then contact the relevant enforcement authority to enable them to take further action.

Report an idling vehicle
You can report vehicles that are parked with their engines running unnecessarily for significant periods of time in Manchester City Centre. To report a vehicle seen in Manchester City Centre you will need the following information:

  1. The type of vehicle (HGV, van, bus, taxi etc)
  2. Vehicle make, model and colour
  3. Vehicle registration number (and the Taxi License number if applicable)
  4. Company name (if apparent)
  5. Where you saw the vehicle (location/road name)
  6. Date and time of sighting

Email or telephone 0161 234 5004.

Buying a new car
If you’re thinking of upgrading your vehicle then check out the low road tax rates based on CO2 emissions and fuel type at

For example, the difference in tax between the most and least efficient brand new small family petrol manual car is £300 for the first year and £210/year thereafter (SEAT Leon 1.2 TSI 105PS Ecomotive with Stop-Start, 124g CO2/km, versus Audi A3 Sportsback 2.0 TFSI 200ps quattro S-Tronic, 180g CO2/km. Comparison carried out November 2010).

Over recent years both petrol and diesel vehicles have been required to meet increasingly strict emission limits known as Euro standards. Euro standards set limits for the following pollutants: Carbon Monoxide (CO), Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx), Hydrocarbons (HC) and Particulates. There are a number of emissions reductions systems and particulate traps on the market. More information is available at the Department for Transport website.

There’s more information on our Tell Me More page and a wealth of useful facts and tools to find the CO2 emissions and fuel costs of new and used cars at the actonco2 webpages.

Public Protection PartnershipEnergy Saving TrustCall Manchester Environment on 0161 234 5004Cleaner Vehicles Campaign logo
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