What is eco mode on a car?

Most vehicles from the last ten years or so have a button on the console that says “eco” or “economy mode”. But, what is eco mode and how are you supposed to use it? 

Eco mode is designed to help you drive smoothly and efficiently. When in eco mode, your car makes adjustments to various settings, like throttle response, transmission shift points and climate control to prioritize fuel economy over performance. It will make city driving or stop-and-go traffic, or other settings where you’re driving under 45 miles per hour, more fuel-efficient, but might not make a difference in environments like highway driving.  In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of eco mode, if it can save you money and how certain driving habits can help you save money on your auto insurance.

Pros and Cons of Using Eco Mode

There are advantages and disadvantages of using eco mode on your car, depending on what’s important to you during that particular drive. 


  • Improved fuel economy. A light foot on the gas pedal leads to improved fuel economy, and because your car’s throttle is less responsive when in eco mode, it gives the imitation of a light foot even if you don’t tend to actually drive with one. 
  • Reduced carbon emissions. Improved fuel economy leads to reduced carbon emissions because the less fuel you use per gallon, the fewer toxic emissions your vehicle puts into the air.
  • Avoid engine strain. Eco mode allows your car to accelerate slowly, shift gears more smoothly and keep engine RPMs low.
  • Save money on fuel. Driving tests have indicated that it’s possible to save money on fuel when using eco mode in certain driving conditions.


  • Reduced power output The accelerator won’t respond as quickly as normal or shift gears at the same rate you’re used to because the system is running on a different set of rules to encourage fuel economy over performance.
  • Incompatibility with certain features. The vehicle’s heating and cooling systems might be a few degrees off what you are expecting when in eco mode as a way to save energy and avoid engine strain.
  • Not a good choice for certain driving conditions. Due to slower throttle response, you can’t accelerate as quickly in eco mode. If you’re turning across heavy traffic, driving up a hill or merging onto a highway, it might not be the best time to use this feature.

Does using eco mode help you save money?

In short, yes, eco mode can help save you money on fuel. When you activate eco mode, it operates in a way that favors fuel economy over performance. In conditions like city driving and stop-and-go traffic,, this may lead to reduced fuel consumption and lower fuel costs.You might not notice  savings usings eco mode if you don’t drive in such conditions. 

There are other driving habits you can practice to help save you money on car-related expenses like auto insurance. This can be as simple as driving less frequently, traveling fewer miles and practicing safer driving. Most auto insurance carriers offer discounts for having low mileage on your vehicle, maintaining a safe driving record and bundling your home and car and insurance.

SelectQuote Can Answer Your Questions About Driving Habits and Auto Insurance

No matter what driving features you use, having the right auto insurance makes all the difference when it comes to keeping you safe on the road. At SelectQuote, we understand the relationship between driving habits and auto insurance rates. There are a lot of decisions that go into choosing an auto insurance carrier, and our licensed insurance agents can remove the complications from the process by shopping a variety of carriers on your behalf. We’ll compare plan details in just minutes to find the coverage you need to keep yourself and others protected behind the wheel.

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