Driving while low on fuel could land you with a £5,000 fine – and here’s why



With the on-going petrol pump panic motorists might be wondering how far they can go without heading to the forecourt to top up their tanks.

But before you fancy chancing it, it might be worth considering the law behind driving with little or no petrol in the tank.

A reported shortage in HGV drivers has led to panic buying around the country’s petrol stations.

And EssexLive reports the Government is considering temporary measures to tackle the shortage
of HGV drivers.

However, No. 10 insisted on Friday night that any measures introduced would be “very strictly time-limited” amid reports that Boris Johnson had allowed ministers to relax UK immigration rules to allow more foreign drivers into the country.

But with some drivers worried about being able to fill up in the next few days, what are the rules around driving while low on fuel?

If your fuel light comes on, in most vehicles that means you have 10 to 15 per cent of your tank left, according to the RAC.

If it starts flashing, then you have even lower and are in danger of getting stranded.

Running out of fuel isn’t illegal in itself, but any careless or dangerous driving that results from it could see you punished by law.

If you’re forced to stop in the road and cause an obstruction, you could receive a penalty of £100 and three points on your driving licence.

In a worse scenario, if your empty fuel tank leads to a road traffic collision, you could be issued with nine points and an unlimited fine.

Careless driving carries an unlimited fine, which could run up to around £5,000 and up to nine penalty points.

Via the Express, Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart Director of Policy and Research, said: “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 advise that you don’t enter a motorway while running low on fuel, however if you do and run out, you should pull over onto the hard shoulder and call for breakdown help.

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