Your own car

If you need to own a car, choose an environmentally friendly alternative - a “green” car. It causes less emissions of CO2, nitrogen dioxides, and particles.

Green cars are cars that emit less CO2, such as electric cars, plug-in hybrids or charge hybrids, and natural gas vehicles. Cars that run on E85 or 100% HVO also have low emissions.

At miljö you find facts about different car models. There you can also check what the costs would be to own a certain car.

Fill up with ecofriendly fuel

If you have a car that can run on several fuels you can easily make a big difference for the environment by choosing an environmentally friendly fuel.

Some diesel cars can refuel on 100% HVO, which is a renewable fuel. There is also fuel with the Svanen label, which is largely renewable.

There are several web pages where you can find charging stations by GPS-coordinates. You can also find charging stations through the Fortum app Charge & Drive.

Biogas has a very low effect on the climate. By choosing biogas you lessen the climate impact even more.

At you find gas stations for biogas in Sweden and in Europe.


The ethanol in Sweden comes mainly from European grains or sugar beets. A small part is also made by American corn and Central American sugar canes. The ethanol production is not competing with food production. Since 1990 Europe has transformed enough farmland to fuel a third of all of Europe´s car fleet on ethanol and biogas. If we also make biofuels from straw, it will be enough for all cars.

Wash the car in the right location

Washing your car in your driveway at home can cause discharge of environmentally damaging chemicals and heavy metals such as cadmium and lead.

  • Do not wash the car in the driveway or street. The dirty and contaminated water will run into the stormwater inlets and then further into our lakes and water courses.
  • Instead, wash your car in a do-it-yourself carwash or in an automated carwash. They have oil separators and purification equipment that prevent heavy metals, toxins, and chemicals from entering into nature.
  • If you absolutely must wash your car at home, do not wash it on the street or in the driveway. Instead, wash it on a gravel path or lawn. This way, the ground can partly catch the toxins and break them down.
  • Use eco labeled products for washing the car.
  • Finish washing the car with a car wax. Dirt doesn´t stick as easily on a waxed surface and you don´t need to wash the car as often.
  • When you change oil and glycol, bring the refuse to a toxic waste recycling facility.
  • Use an acid based rust remover if you need to remove rust. Acid is better than solvents.

Think twice about tires

To reduce your impact on the environment and climate, it is important to both choose the right tire and check the pressure in the tires.

The tires of the car affect both fuel consumption and the environment. Generallly, a wide tire demands more fuel than a thinner one.

  • See to it that your tires are type-approved (E- or e-branded) and have enough tread depth to keep good traction.
  • Buy retreaded tires. The old pattern is removed when the tire is retreaded, and 80 percent of the tire is reused. Therefore, only half of the energy is used when making a retreaded tire. Retreaded tires meet the standards of Trafikverket (The Swedish Transport Administration) and the EU quality requirements. (Ändra i svenska, Vägverket är avvecklat)
  • Consider what type of winter tires you need. Studded tires tear off much more environmentally damaging particles than stud-free tires. Studded tires are less effective on loose snow, use up to three percent more fuel, and cannot be used on certain streets of Stockholm. Stud-free tires make less noise and can be used earlier in the winter season.
  • Look for the Svanen-brand when buying new tires.

The tire industry informationsråds webbplats

When the air pressure in the tire is too low, the fuel usage increases, the tires wear down faster, and the grip weakens.

  • Check the pressure at least once a month. A tire loses about 0,1 bar per month. The recommended pressure for a vehicle can be found in the car manual, and applies to cold tires. There is nothing to gain by pumping in more air than the recommended amount.
  • If you have been driving a couple of kilometers you can compensate for the heat of the tires by adding 0,3 bars on the recommended pressure.

Environmental tips for you as a car owner


You can decrease your fuel consumption up to 15 percent by using the gear shift and the gas pedal in a conscious manner. To drive economically also means a calmer and safer manner of driving.

  • Plan your drive so that you avoid unnecessary stops.
  • Accelerate fast up to desired speed.
  • Gear up early and drive on highest possible gear.
  • Drive with even gas and good forward planning.
  • Keep to the speed limits.
  • Use the engine break.
  • Avoid engine idling.

Economic driving is a part of the education for getting a drivers license, and most driving schools also offer separate courses in Eco-driving.

Drive with the right tire pressure and choose the right tire

When the air pressure in the tire is too low, the fuel usage increases, the tires wear down faster, and the grip weakens. In general, a wider tire requires more fuel than a narrow one.

Use an engine heater

Using an engine heater is one of the easiest ways to lessen the fuel consumption and wear on the car engine. 

  • A cold engine uses more fuel and emits more exhaust than a warm engine. With an engine heater you can save up to 1 deciliter for each ride.
  • A cold start increases the wear on the engine corresponding to a 300 kilometer drive.
  • The engine heater can be supplemented with a space heater, often called passenger compartment fan. It works like a heater fan and gives a comfortable temperature in the car. The passenger compartment fan can also have a positive effect on safety since the heat gives higher comfort and ice free car windows.


Recommended usage times for an engine heater
Temperature Time
Below -15° C 1,5 hour
-15°C–0°C 1 hour
-15°C–0°C 20 minutes
Above 10°C Engine heater is not needed

Remove unnecessary load

An unnecessary load in the car and on the roof increases the weight of the car and therefore its fuel use. A roof box gives, besides the extra weight, an increased air resistance for the car which slows it down.

  • Lessen the load and avoid a roof rack/roof box. It saves both money and lessens the strain on the environment. If you drive with a 100 kilo unnecessary load it will lead to a fuel increase with about 6 percent in a medium sized car. A ski rack on the roof increases the fuel use by 20 percent.
  • Check that you don´t carry unnecessary baggage in the trunk.

Take care of your car

Taking care of one´s car is good both for the environment and for one´s economy. By regularly servicing your car, and changing the oil and filters, you can avoid unnecessary fuel consumption and increased environmental stress.

An advantage with keeping the car in good shape is that the car lasts longer and its resale value increases with updated service records. As a car owner you are responsible for maintaining the car so that it follows the environmental laws.

  • Change oil according to recommended intervals.
  • Use synthetic oils. This can lower the fuel consumption a couple of percent in the winter.
  • Clean the engine regularly. This is important in order to avoid salt coatings that can create flashovers in the ignition system.
  • Clean the EGR-systems (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) regularly, about every 50 000th kilometer. If the EGR-system is clogged the exhaust of nitrogen oxides can be doubled in city driving.
  • Change the spark plug and parts in the ignition system, at around 20 000 kilometer intervals. Bad spark plugs can cause misfiring so that the engine loses its effect and uses more fuel.
  • Make sure that the air filter is not dirty. A dirty filter increases the fuel consumption and therefore also the emissions.

To make sure your repair shop or garage is certified you can look for a sign with a green dot. The repair shops connected to Kontrollerad Bilverkstad always give guarantees and estimate the price in advance.

No more engine idling

Engine idling is both economically and ecologically unsustainable. In the city of Stockholm, engine idling is allowed only for one minute.

  • Do not idle engine. More fuel is used during one minute of idling than what it takes to restart the engine.
  • Scrape the car windows before you start the car. The exhaust fumes are the most poisonous when the engine is newly started and cold.
  • See to it that there are no children near an idling car. Children are more sensitive to exhaust fumes, and because they are shorter they come closer to the exhaust pipe.