The Energy Saving Trust has helped taxi and private hire drivers to drive more efficiently through Smarter Driving training, giving them the skills to save up to £500 per year on fuel.

With traffic set to rise in the capital this summer by a third, more than 456 London cabbies have been schooled in smarter driving techniques since January in an effort to help them better anticipate road conditions and increase fuel efficiency.

London’s black cab drivers excelled themselves, achieving an average fuel saving of 24%, against an average driver fuel saving of 15%.

According to a 2009 report, taxi drivers in London travel an average of 8,000 miles per year, spending £2,224 on fuel at work. Cabbies could then save more than £500 per year at work if they continue the smarter driving techniques learned during their training.

Bob Saynor, Smarter Driving programme manager for the Energy Saving Trust, said: “A London taxi driver uses around 1,590 litres of fuel per year, releasing over four tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. With heavier traffic congestion and even more visitors using transport on the city’s roads, emissions during this time are likely to increase to even greater heights.

“The Smarter Driving techniques help drivers anticipate further ahead, drive more smoothly and avoid unnecessary acceleration and braking. It’s great to see cabbies adopt the techniques so readily, as the combined reduction in emissions will contribute to a real difference in air quality in the city. We hope they keep up the good work.”

Saynor said that the training the drivers have received should help to minimise the impact of pollution this summer and beyond, adding: “I would urge other businesses in London interested in reducing their fuel consumption to take the training and techniques on board.”

Smarter Driving training not only helps drivers save money and reduce emissions but it also makes for safer drivers due to the strong focus on greater anticipation.

The training is available to businesses in any industry and takes 50 minutes per person to complete. The cost of the course is subsidised by the Department for Transport at just £25 per driver. The Energy Saving Trust provides the vehicles and insurance and sessions start and finish at the workplace so disruption to the working day is minimised.

Smarter Driving courses can be organised by emailing