Saga Car Insurance's Guide to Offsetting Your Vehicle's Carbon Footprint

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Saga is a leading car insurance provider and as such we are acutely aware that global warming has become a very harsh reality. This is largely due to the amount of CO2 emissions that humanity has been pumping out into the atmosphere over the years. In order to manage this issue, we have some suggestions which can help you to offset the damage done daily by your vehicle

It's estimated, that approximately 27 billion tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) is emitted worldwide, every year. Part of that figure can be attributed to fossil fuel consumption - and that means your car.

All conventional cars produce carbon dioxide - it's simply a bi-product of burning diesel or petrol. But as a driver and an owner of a vehicle, you can help to balance the damage your car is inflicting upon the environment with carbon offsetting.

What is carbon offsetting - and how does it work?

Put simply, carbon offsetting is based around the idea that you can pay to wipe clean the environmental damage that occurs every time you drive to the supermarket, or pick the grandchildren up from school. In return for your money, a growing number of companies will offer to invest, on your behalf, in any number of environmentally sound projects. Anything from planting trees in the Amazon, to offshore wind farms in the North Sea or solar panels for third world hospitals.

How much does offsetting cost?

The cost of carbon offsetting can vary quite considerably. According to recent studies, you can pay from as little as £2, or as much as £19, a ton. The reason for the variation is that there is a trading market for emission reduction credits, so the price can regularly go up or down.

How much carbon does a car produce?

Every carbon offsetting website has its own calculator for working out how much carbon your vehicle produces in a year. The figure is based on the size of your car, what fuel it uses and how many miles a year you drive. This figure is then translated into a fee - or carbon offset.

As a rough guide, the average medium-size car produces a ton of CO2 for every 1,900 miles driven. If you drive a 4x4, the mileage drops to 1,350 miles.
It doesn't take a mathematical genius work out, that with an average mileage of just 10,000 miles year, you could be pumping out anything from over 5 and a quarter, to seven and a half tons of carbon, every 12 months.

Where to start carbon offsetting

There are many online carbon offsetting companies offering schemes to help you live a carbon neutral lifestyle. So, if you're interested in balancing the effects of your actions, both on and off the road, you could only be a couple of clicks away from helping to save the environment.

To find out more about Saga's car insurance policies and their attitude to green driving, visit


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