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Road safety organisation GEM Motoring Assist is warning drivers against allowing their fuel tanks to reach near-empty before they fill up again.

As petrol and diesel prices increase, more motorists can be tempted to leave it as long as possible before refuelling. However, avoiding filling up the car until the last second can be very risky, as it increases the chance of breaking down in an unsafe place, such as on the motorway.

As well as causing accidents, this exercise can also be bad for the car’s health, as a lack of petrol can lead to the fuel pump overheating. This will increase wear over time and, eventually, lead to the pump failing altogether, which can be costly to replace.

Additionally, waiting until the 11th hour may cost drivers more money, as they will have to pull into the first petrol station they come to. This means they won’t be able to shop around for the cheapest option.

It’s not currently an offence to delay refuelling, but there are cases where drivers have been prosecuted after a crash as a result of it. This is because it can be classed as driving without due care and attention.

GEM Motoring Assist Chief Executive, Neil Worth commented: “If you permit your car to run out of fuel, you risk serious damage to the engine, as well as potentially putting yourself and your passengers at risk of a collision because you will not be choosing where the car finally gives up.

“Check you have enough fuel for a journey. If you need to refuel, plan where you will stop so there is no risk whatsoever that you will run out”, Worth continued.

The warning light on every car tells the motorist when fuel has reached its reserve level. This means there’s about 10 to 15 percent of the tank’s total capacity left, indicating that they should look to fill up soon.

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