High fuel prices ’cause drivers to run on empty’

JonathanMarch 21, 2012

Motorists have been warned that they could run out of fuel if they attempt to reduce spending on petrol by ‘running on empty’.

This is the warning issued by the RAC, with the body stating it has seen a sharp rise in the number of drivers making calls to its helpline because they have empty tanks.

According to the motoring organisation, car leasing customers and other motorists should not wait until the fuel light comes on as they could see their journeys grind to a halt part-way through.

A year-on-year rise of 20 per cent was recorded last month in drivers who had run out of petrol, with a total of 4,780 individuals seeking assistance.

RAC technical director David Bizley explained there appears to be a link between high fuel costs causing additional financial pressures on motorists and the number stalling in this way on UK roads.

“With oil prices on the rise yet again, petrol now costs 24 per cent and diesel 28 per cent more than it did in 2010. For drivers, that’s an unacceptable burden,” he declared.

Drivers have been calling on the government to reduce the burden on those owning or leasing cars by using the 2012 Budget to scrap plans for a 3p rise in duty, but this has not been forthcoming.

Motorists are advised to avoid empty tanks by planning ahead and driving smoothly, sticking to speed limits, shopping around for fuel, avoiding revving more than required and regularly checking tyre pressures.

The RAC warning follows a study by Britannia Rescue showing essential repairs are being delayed by many people who claim they are not able to afford maintenance for their vehicles.

Car leasing provides a means of avoiding this problem, as the company found some motors are not legally fit to be on the road as a result of owners putting off essential work.

An average delay of four months was found before vehicles were made roadworthy, as financial constraints caused by rising fuel and living costs and pay freezes continue to affect many people across the UK.

Posted by John Turner

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