Toyota's first ever European car with stop-start technology has gone on sale. Introduced this week, the Toyota Auris automatically cuts and restarts the engine when you stop, saving fuel and bringing down the car's carbon emissions. Like the hybrid technology seen in the Toyota Prius, stop-start works best in traffic and urban areas.

The 1.3-litre Auris reportedly boasts CO2 emissions 17% lower than the previous Auris. That brings its carbon down to 135g/km CO2, which is good, but not good enough for it to fall into the government's cheapest road tax bracket.

To achieve the 48.7 miles per gallon that the Auris is capable of, you simply shunt the gear stick into neutral each time you stop. When your foot's off the clutch, the engine goes off. When you come back onto the clutch, the engine springs back on.

The Auris fits in with Toyota's annoucement at the Paris Motor Show, where it said its new focus would be on making petrol cars greener. VW, Ford and other car-makers have already introduced cars over the past year that use improved aerodynamics, low resistance tyres and other technology tweaks to bump fuel economy. Just last month, Smart introduced a stop-start car, the £7300 Fortwo Mhd.

Toyota's Auris is available now for £12,705.