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The energy crisis we are currently experiencing brings us closer to the possibility of once again seeing the lowering the maximum permitted speed limit on motorways from 120 to 110 kilometres per hour. This is one of the options currently being considered by the Spanish Government, among other solutions.

Some areas, such as around Catalonia, there are calls to make this reduction permanent on the grounds of safety, after some motorways have seen an increase in the number of collisions and incidents since tolls were removed.

However, safety aside, when it comes to fuel, according to some experts, significant savings in are achieved when we reduce our speed.

Even though the government has yet to make a decision on this, they too are saying that it is a good idea now, and should be encouraged, since driving at 110 kilometres per hour instead of 120 saves 9% on fuel.

All drivers will now that in recent weeks the price of petrol and diesel have experienced a significant increase in their prices and have reached historical maximums, something which we believe is set to continue for some time yet, with prices set to increase even more over the next few weeks.

It might be obvious, but pressing the accelerator sends fuel into the combustion chamber to increase power and speed. Although it is a normal process in a vehicle. The more we press that accelerator, the more fuel is sent to the engine, and therefore, as more is used, our costs increase.

If we take 1 year or 15,000 kilometres as a reference, a car with moderate consumption will take approximately 1,000 euro out of the owner’s wallet. However, this figure can be much higher if we drive aggressively and do not take into account other factors that can harm the efficient performance of the vehicle.

If we drive in the correct gears, avoid accelerating too harshly, and slow down just a little, we can make significant savings. There are other tips we can keep in mind too.

The Government is trying to ease the pressure with the discount of at least 20 cents per litre, but as this discount is not indicated on the main price display, it is not always easy to work out the final price. It is worth keeping an eye on the advertised price on a regular basis. In the past, at certain gas stations, it was sometimes the case that refuelling on a Monday was cheaper, but as prices are not fluctuating at the moment, and only seem to be increasing, this is not really a factor anymore.

Make sure you don’t keep the engine running unnecessarily. Sometimes we do not know how long our vehicle will remain stopped, but if the period is greater than two minutes, it is better to turn the engine off to prevent the engine and air conditioning from consuming fuel. There are of course some vehicles that suspend the engine automatically in situations of total stop; keeping other car functions active, thus providing fuel savings and reducing emissions.

Don’t overload your car. If you are carrying around lots of unnecessary items in the boot, take them out. If our car is heavier, the effort of the engine to move it will be greater and, therefore, the cost of fuel will be considerably higher. On the other hand, a common mistake is to supply accessories that do not meet the vehicle’s specifications in terms of weight and dimensions. It is advisable to equip your vehicle with only original accessories.

Check your tyre pressure regularly. It is essential to keep tyre pressure at the correct level. This will provide greater safety by increasing traction and reducing the probability of punctures, which will also improve fuel consumption (because the resistance of the wheels will be less). Due to this, it is ideal that you get advice on the recommendations to calibrate the wheels according to the specific use of your car.

There are a number of websites and apps available to monitor local fuel prices, although a simple tool is also available in Google Maps. This allows you to monitor local fuel prices in real time, although, as we mentioned earlier, the prices are pre-discount, so not always easy to work out the end price.

Whether the Government do decide to enforce a reduction in speed limits is something we will just have to wait and see at this time, but using these tips, we can save a little bit, which will hopefully ease the burden of rising fuel prices.

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