lounging in car

Despite advances in technology and engineering, automobiles aren’t going away anytime soon. Many people are concerned about climate change and global warming and everything that contributes to our world’s changing atmosphere and weather, including autos. Is it better for the environment to buy and drive a new or a used car?

When you have this question on your mind before shopping for a car, consider all the factors that impact the environment and driving a vehicle.

The Real Impact
You may think of metal and glass when you think of auto manufacturing, and gasoline to fuel vehicles. But the real impact of building a car is energy. The Sierra Club cites the Argonne National Laboratory study that says it takes the equivalent of 260 gallons of gasoline to build an average car. And surprisingly, it’s even 25 percent more than that to build a hybrid car.

So while buying a new, more energy-efficient hybrid or electric vehicle may seem like it’s better for the environment, you should look at all the data. Used vehicles are not using up newer and different materials for the new technology. Additionally, the longer you keep a vehicle operational, the more the initial energy cost and impact is spread out over time for lower impact per mile driven.

Size (and manufacturing year) Matters
The auto products company Gold Eagle reminds us that the amount of emissions depends on the amount of fuel burned. That means smaller used cars produce no more harmful emissions than energy-efficient newer cars. So if you’re in need of a used car, but want to be environmentally friendly, the smaller the car the better as far as emissions.

With all the improvements in auto emissions equipment, a lot of older cars will still pollute more than newer cars. But cars from the late 80s are the exception, producing just half the pollution of other older models. So the new versus used car dilemma as far as the environment has some interesting and valid facets to consider.

Looking for a car can be complicated, especially if being environmentally responsible is important to you. A good consideration is looking at used hybrid and electric vehicles, and small cars built in the late 80s. That makes dealerships with large inventories important.

When you are buying a used car in Arizona and want to be mindful of the environment,  it’s easy at Auto Action Arizona’s many convenient locations.