Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Motorists adopting "devil-may-care" attitude to driving with the fuel light on due to high petrol prices . . .

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Motorists adopting "devil-may-care" attitude to driving with the fuel light on due to high petrol prices

One in six drivers broke down last year after running out of fuel, which has trebled since 2011

Cited at:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/energy/fuel/11826807/Motorists-adopting-devil-may-care-attitude-to-driving-with-the-fuel-light-on-due-to-high-petrol-prices.html


One in six drivers broke down last year after running out of fuel, according to LV=, the insurance company

Motorists have adopted a dangerous, "devil-may-care" attitude to driving with the fuel light on, a report has claimed after finding the number of breakdowns caused by empty tanks has soared over the past four years.

More than 800,000 drivers broke down last year after running out of fuel, according to LV=, the insurance company. It said the number had trebled since 2011, with its claims data showing callouts rising in each of the four years.

John O’Roarke, Managing Director of LV= Road Rescue, said drivers had developed "bad habits" and had started to "gamble" on driving on a low tank when petrol prices started rising in 2010.

The warnings come as supermarkets reignite a fuel price war in response to the falling cost of oil.

In a boost ahead of the Bank Holiday weekend, Morrisons will today take 2p off a litre of petrol and 1p off diesel, with rival pump operators expected to follow.

Petrol prices could now drop below £1 a litre, the RAC Foundation predicts, bringing welcome respite to those who had risked breakdown to avoid over-paying.


Price rose from 114p a litre in March 2010 to 133p a year later. They breached 144p a litre in 2012 and only last December dropped back to the same level as 2010.

 

In its survey of 1,500 motorists, LV= asked those who admitted to driving on a very low tank why they took the risk.

More than half said they had purposefully driven past a petrol station "in the hope of finding cheaper fuel elsewhere".

Mr O'Roarke said: "Our research suggests more than two million motorists drive with their warning light on nearly constantly,"

"Most say they are more concerned with traffic jams, heavy rain or getting lost.

"Having to buy expensive motorway fuel can be frustrating, but if it saves you the stress of running out of petrol and potentially causing damage to your engine then it’s worth the cost."

It also appears that a proportion of people overestimate how far they can go once the light comes on, LV= said.

For the 10 most common cars driven in Britain, the fuel light comes on with an average of 38 miles of left in the tank, its research found. For some vehicles such as the Vauxhall Astra, the distance is just 26 miles. Larger cars that consume more fuel per mile tend to warn earlier. For example, the Mercendes Benz C-Class alerts the driver when there 46 miles remain in the tank.


One in four motorists said they thought it was safe to drive 40 miles after the light has illuminated.

In a further word of caution, Mr O'Roarke said: "Apart from the obvious inconvenience for the motorist and other road users in the event of a breakdown, the driver can also be issued a fixed penalty notice in some locations, such as tunnels or bridges, if the incident was foreseeable."

Unleaded petrol is now 18p per litre cheaper than is was at last year's August Bank Holiday. Diesel will be 23 pence-a-litre cheaper than the same time in 2014.

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: "The cost of oil isn't the only driver of what we pay at the pumps, but with crude now trading at its lowest level since March 2009, it is no surprise that the price of petrol and diesel is on the slide.

"This raises further the tantalising prospect that at least some of the nation's 37 million motorists might soon be getting change from a quid when they buy a litre of fuel.

"The very least they can expect is that both refiners and retailers continue to pass the savings they are enjoying on to their customers."

Tesco, Britain's biggest fuel retailer, said it would match the price cuts for petrol and diesel announced by Morrisons.



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