The Most Comprehensive Environmental Policy  of any Classic Car Hire Company in the Industry

The Open Road operates what we believe to be the the most comprehensive environmental policy of any classic car hire company in the industry.


Energy Usage

  • Heating – Office – the office heating is part of the central heating system for the house and has thermostatic valves on the radiators to control the temperature.  When the house central heating system is not being used a small thermostatically operated electric fan heater is used but only when the office is occupied.  This is set to only come on if the temperature drops below 18C and off again at 20C.
  • Lighting - External – we have one light at the gate of our premises which uses an energy saving bulb and is on a timer so it only comes on in the evenings with the timer being changed throughout the year. 
    • We have other external lights at the front of our premises, all of which are on PIR sensors and so only come on when a person or car is detected.
  • Lighting - Garages – the lighting in both of our garages is on split circuits so that we only need to turn on half the lighting at any time, normally the front half.  All lighting is low energy fluorescent tubes.
  • Lighting - Office - uses energy saving bulbs.
  • Inspection lamps – rechargeable LED inspection lamps are used in the garage to minimise power consumption and remove the dangers of using trailing cables.
  • Electrical office equipment
    • Chargers - for mobile phones and torch batteries are individually switched and only turned on when in use.
    • Company PCs - are set on short term energy saving cycles, to turn the screen off after 10 minutes and go into standby after 15 minutes of inactivity.
    • Company PCs - are powered off overnight or when the office is unattended for long periods.
    • Broadband router - is powered off overnight.

Effects on the environment

  • Mileage – having moved from full time employment to run The Open Road, the owner’s annual mileage has dropped from around 20,000 to only between 2,000 and 3,000 miles - significantly reducing his carbon footprint.
  • Paint – some of our cars were originally made, and are still coated with, cellulose paint which is very high in Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs or solvents).  Although the rules allow such paint to be used in small quantities on historic vehicles, whenever any re-painting is required on our vehicles we have it done using modern paints which are much lower in VOCs.
  • Printing – paper and ink - all non customer facing printing is printed off double sided to minimise paper usage and printing is set to FastDraft which reduces the amount of ink used.
  • Printing – print cartridges – are all sent off for re-cycling for the benefit of the Roy Castle Cancer Foundation.
  • Water Usage 
    • Car washing - all our cars are washed by hand using buckets and sponges and then rinsed using a fine spray hose attachment to minimise water usage.  During bad weather a single bucket, can normally be used to clean two cars, but during the summer it can clean 4 cars.
    • Customer toilet – in 2007 we completely re0furbished our customer toilet, to improve it for the befit of customers and installed a dual flush cistern and low water usage taps, to minimise water usage.
    • Rainwater runoff – rainwater from the roof of the main garage (5 cars) is directed to underground soakaways to avoid contributing to local surface runoff.  Rainwater from the other garage (2 car) is collected in a rainwater butt and used to water plants on the premises. 
    • Surface water - car parking areas - are gravelled and permeable to allow rain water to soak through so as not to contribute to local surface runoff.


  • Use of classic cars – the main thrust of our business is to hire out classic cars.  By doing so we are extending the life of these cars ensuring that all the energy and materials used in their manufacture is spread over a much longer period.  A 2004 analysis by Toyota found that as much as 28 percent of the carbon dioxide emissions generated during the normal lifecycle of a typical petrol - powered car occur during its manufacture and its transportation to the dealer. The remaining emissions occur during driving during the life of the car.
    • By extending the life of our cars we are increasing the period over which this initial energy is used and the carbon dioxide was generated, therefore reducing the effective amounts of energy per annum and carbon dioxide per annum used throughout the life of the vehicles.
  • De-humidifiers - all our cars are stored in brick built garages which have de-humidifiers installed to remove moisture from the air and reduce the risk of the cars rusting when stored.  We also have small de-humidifiers for use inside cars in case the interior gets wet through being used in bad weather.  This is a more energy efficient method of keeping rust at bay than heating the garages to above the dew point.
  • Car radiators and windscreen washers – we use the distilled water produced from the dehumidifiers in our garages to top up our car radiators,  windscreen washers and car batteries.  The use of this soft water in the car radiators minimises the chance of engines furring up that would happen when using normal tap water, and further works to preserve the life and efficiency of the engine and the cars in general.
  • Other – we even make innovative use of other items.  The walls of one of our garages are lined with rubber carpet underlay to prevent the doors being damaged while in storage.  This underlay was ‘liberated’ when we replaced some of our domestic carpet.


  • Print cartridges - all empty print cartridges are sent away to be recycled, to benefit the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation.
  • Batteries – car batteries are bought either from a local specialist battery supplier or from Halfords – both of whom take the old battery in exchange.
  • Batteries - rechargeable – rechargeable batteries are used wherever possible for all other applications: computer mouse, digital cameras, torches etc.
  • Engine and gearbox oils – The Open Road do not do oil changes on our own premises – these are all done by the local garage that we use for all our servicing - Warringtons of Warwick who send used oils away for recycling.
  • Metal car parts – most servicing is done by Warringtons of Warwick who send used metal car parts away for recycling.  Where car parts are replaced in house, suitable parts are either sent away for re-manufacturing and then kept in stock as spares, or sold on EBay as second-hand.  Parts that are not suitable for re-manufacture or re-sale are taken to the local metal recycling facility in Wellesbourne.
  • Packaging – as much packaging as possible is re-used.  Packaging from books and gifts including cardboard, jiffy bags and bubble wrap is re-used when we send them out to our own customers.  Cardboard that cannot be re-used is put out for re-cycling with our normal fortnightly collection cycle.
  • Shredding and Composting – all customer correspondence and credit card slips are shredded when no longer required, for security reasons. 
    • The shredded paper is then composted on site, minimising waste. 
    • Even used chamois leathers are composted once they are no longer usable for car cleaning.


  • Unleaded fuel - all our cars have been setup to run on modern unleaded petrol.  In fact we ran our cars on unleaded petrol even when Leaded petrol and then LRP were still available. 


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