Over the past 12 months RAC patrols have witnessed a 20% surge in call outs from motorists stranded in their cars because they’ve run out of fuel. Last February 3,900 calls came in to the RAC from drivers who had run out of fuel compared to the 4,780 in February 2012.
The record high price of fuel is likely to be a leading cause of the surge of drivers running dry. Diesel is now over 146ppl and petrol at over 139ppl, this now resulting in a cost of £80 to fill and average 55 litre tank – £17 more than in February 2010. It now costs around £76 to fuel 55 litre Unleaded car which is an £14 more than it was is 2010. The Government’s planned inflationary rise in August of 3p will add another £1.65 to the cost each time people fill up.
David Bizley, RAC Technical Director: “These figures certainly suggest that the spiraling cost of fuel is causing many motorists to drive on empty. Although this is understandable given the current prices, it is clearly leaving many drivers unnecessarily stranded. Drivers need to make sure they have enough fuel for their journey – but the Government need to do more to help the hard-pressed motorist. “
“Last week, the RAC and hundreds of FairFuel UK supporters turned out in force at Parliament to demonstrate against the ever rising cost of fuel. The planned 3p rise must be scrapped to give motorists any chance in this economic climate.“
“Since December 2008, we’ve seen six increases in fuel duty and two hikes in VAT. Another rise is the last thing that motorists need – with oil prices on the rise yet again petrol now costs 24% and diesel 28% more than it did in 2010. For drivers, struggling with high inflation and pay freezes, that’s an unacceptable burden. “
Last year’s RAC Report on Motoring confirmed the impact that high fuel prices and motoring costs are having on drivers. According to the Report, half of drivers have cut back on the number of journeys they make by car and one tenth have been forced to give up transporting their children to school and social activities.
David Bizley, RAC Technical Director, added: “We know motorists are incredibly angry about the cost of fuel – our research shows that the cost of driving remains the number one issue on motorists’ minds. We also know that they are struggling to cope with the impact of high motoring costs on their lives. “