Driving when low on fuel could land you a £5,000 fine & points on your licence

Drivers around the UK have been panicking this week during the ongoing fuel crisis with many unable to fill up their cars and trucks for work.

For the last few weeks motorists have been flocking to petrol stations to make sure their tank is full or even to fill up multiple jerry cans out of fear they’ll miss out.

The panic buying has caused some stations to set a £30 buying limit.

Meanwhile, snaps of long queues stretching into station forecourts have been shared around the country.

Essex Live reports that the panic to get fuel was sparked by a shortage of HGV drivers.

And, the government has been forced to think about taking temporary action to tackle the problem, but it’s been made clear that anything introduced to relieve the shortage of drivers would be “strictly time-limited”.

Petrol has been in short supply this week

And, reports state that the Prime Minister has given the go-ahead to relax UK immigration rules to allow more foreign drivers into the country, claims Yorkshire Live.

But, as many of us are worrying about where to get our petrol there are some rules you should know.

Firstly, if your fuel light comes on you have between 10% and 15% of your tank left, states the RAC.

If it flashes then you have even less.

Running out of fuel isn’t illegal, but if you drive carelessly or dangerously as a result you could get in trouble.

If you’re forced to stop in the road and cause an obstruction you could be hit with a £100 fine and three points on your licence.

If your fuel light is flashing you're dangerously low on fuel
If your fuel light is flashing you’re dangerously low on fuel

Even worse, if your empty tank leads to a read traffic collision you could get nine points and an unlimited fine.

Careless driving also has an unlimited fine and this could go up to £5,000 and bag you nine penalty points also.

Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart Director of Policy and Research, told the Express : “We have very little sympathy for drivers who run out of fuel on the motorway.

“There is no excuse for entering a motorway with low fuel or if you know something is wrong with your car.

“A breakdown puts you and your passengers at very high risk – many fatal crashes on a motorway involve a stationary vehicle.”

The RAC recommends you do not drive on the motorway while low on fuel, but if you do run out then pull onto the hard shoulder and call for breakdown help.


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