Reducing your car journeys

Woman walking outside

Transport is Scotland’s biggest contributor to climate change, responsible for over a quarter of all our greenhouse gas emissions, with cars accounting for more than a third of these transport emissions. By reducing the number of daily journeys you take by car, you can help make Scotland a healthier, fairer, greener place to live and significantly contribute towards reaching net zero.

Benefits of reducing your car journeys

Changing how we travel benefits not only the environment, it benefits entire communities, by improving our air quality, making our roads safer, and even increasing support of local businesses.

It also benefits each and every one of us as individuals. Using alternative means of transport other than our cars can help to improve our mental and physical health, as well as giving us more opportunities to connect with others and in some cases can help save us time and money.


Travel less


  • If you need to speak to a healthcare professional, and it doesn’t have to be in person, try using NHS Scotland’s Near Me video calling platform.
  • Why not work or learn from home some days of the week if you can. Video calls make it easy to dial into meetings or classrooms.
  • Consider online shopping and delivery for heavier, bulky items. This could be more sustainable than you making an individual trip by car.

Live locally


  • Re-plan your food shopping habits to buy heavy or bulky long-life items less frequently and make more trips on foot or by bike to the local shops to buy fresh foods, like fruit and vegetables.
  • Think about how you can swap, share, or repair existing items. Sharing items within your community can mean travelling less by car to find and buy new things.
  • Consider picking somewhere local when meeting up with family and friends. This could make it easier to walk, wheel, cycle, or take public transport to get there, and if you do still need to travel by car, you’ll have reduced the distance you need to drive, which will reduce your carbon emissions.

Choose walking, wheeling, or cycling


Combine trips or share car journeys


  • If you need to pop out for a few different reasons, aim to combine all the trips into a single journey, so you’re driving less miles.
  • You could even coordinate with friends, family, and your local community to share journeys and reduce the number of one person car trips.
  • Consider replacing one or more cars with a club car membership, which means using cars only as and when required, without being tied to ownership. For more information about car clubs and how to find your local club, visit CoMoUK

Your Guides

Your Guides

How businesses, public and third sector organisations can help

People’s travel habits are shaped by the wider context in which they live andyour organisation could play a vital role in helping staff, customers, and service users to reduce their car journeys. Below are some of the actions you could take.

Helping people travel less


  • Providing online options for accessing services and appointments.
  • Encouraging working or learning remotely.
  • Offering sustainable delivery options.
  • Maintaining, improving, and promoting the availability of local services and amenities.

Making it easier for communities to live local


  • Ensuring local services and amenities are easily accessible for people travelling by walking, wheeling, cycling, or public transport, to encourage them to support and enjoy what’s nearby.
  • Making sure local services and amenities are accessible for people who use their vehicle as a mobility aid, to avoid them needing to travel to a more distant destination.

Encouraging people to walk, wheel, cycle and to use public transport


  • Ensuring that information about your services and amenities gets people to think about their mode of travel, including by providing relevant journey planning, wayfinding, and facilities that support sustainable travel wherever possible.
  • Encouraging and supporting employees to choose sustainable travel to their place of work, including promoting the Cycle to Work Scheme. Considering becoming a Cycle Friendly Employer and exploring the range of other Active Travel Funding available.
  • Being considerate of business travel arrangements and exploring options of sustainable travel methods.

Supporting people to combine journeys


  • Considering the location of services to make it easier for those choosing not to drive or combining multiple trips.
  • Coordinating staff travel and logistics/deliveries to share journeys and reduce the number of one person car trips.
  • Thinking about organisational car ownerships and if this can be replaced with car club membership allowing access and usage of cars nationwide. For further information on car clubs visit CoMoUK

Resources are available at

Find out what Scotland is doing to support people and businesses travel less by car.