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Running on empty: drivers’ petrol habits revealed


Fuel gauge - empty tank

The average UK motorist will wait until they are down to their last 20 miles of fuel before heading to a petrol station to fill up, according to new research.

What’s more, the vast majority of Britons (87%) have run out of petrol before, with more than half of these having done this more than once and 49% of these incidents were on a motorway or dual carriageway.

The survey by money-saving website also found that more than a half (55%) “never” completely fill their car up. Most usually half fill their tank mainly because they “did not have enough money at that time to fill their tank to full”.

Participants who said they leave it until the last 20 miles or less were asked why they left it so late, with the following five answers emerging as the most common:

1. I like to make sure I’m going to a heap petrol station – 28%
2. I try to make the most out of my last tank – 22%
3. I often forget – 17%
4. I’ve been told that it’s better to do this – 14%
5. I don’t like spending money on petrol – 12%

“No one wants to spend money on petrol,” said George Charles of “It’s one of those expenses that we would all be much happier not paying for, but unfortunately if you want to get from A to B quickly, it’s a necessity.

“It’s crazy how many people think it’s good to run down your car to the last miles – this doesn’t save you money and it can actually damage some makes of car.”

About Gareth Herincx

Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who's worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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