Running out of fuel at the roadside is a bad idea for many reasons. For a start it can put you in unnecessary danger, stranded beside speeding vehicles. And depending on the kind of car you drive and its age, it could cause mechanical complications when you do get fuel.
But that doesn’t stop hundreds of thousands running out of fuel every year. I read a survey a little while ago which said that 70,000 drivers a month run dry on the road. The problem seems to be that owners overestimate how far their car can travel when its tank is nearly empty. Here’s what you need to know.
How do you know your car is running dry?
The government’s announcement that diesel and petrol cars will be banned in Britain from 2040, as a way of tackling air pollution, has led to widespread confusion amongst drivers.
Common concerns include the impact on residual values of used diesel and petrol cars; the relatively high cost of new electric cars; whether hybrid cars will still be available; and how the industry and infrastructure will cope.
We try to tackle these concerns, and more, based on the limited information currently available.
Why ban petrol and diesel cars?
The plug-in Golf GTE looks great but how does it stack up against its more conventional petrol and diesel siblings? (Picture © Volkswagen)
The debate over which is the best fuel is becoming an increasingly hot topic among car buyers. Petrol v diesel v hybrid v electric: which really is the best type of car to own? To try to find the answer, we’ve taken Volkswagen’s perennially popular Golf, the only model available in the UK that uses all four kinds of power source, and crunched the numbers.
We’ve split our report into four sections. This enables us to look at how the different versions of the Golf compare to each other in key areas of price, performance, economy, and running costs. The cars are ranked by our favoured criteria in each chart with the model at the top the best. It’s a fascinating read.
|Golf 1.0 TSI BlueMotion
|Golf 1.6 TDI BlueMotion
It’s not easy being a driver who wants to do their bit and buy a car with the lowest nitrogen oxide emissions. These NOx are harmful pollutants emitted by cars that are estimated to contribute to over 30,000 premature deaths a year in the UK. Information about a car’s NOx levels has been hard to come by as, for obvious reasons, vehicle manufacturers tend to advertise cars’ fuel economy or performance rather than the nasty particulates pumped out of exhausts.
But now a new website allows drivers to see just how polluting Britain’s most popular makes and model of car are when used in normal, everyday driving conditions.
Paying for fuel has got more expensive with rising oil prices
After months of cheap fuel, the price of petrol and diesel is set to rise. As a result of escalating oil prices, drivers’ forecourt costs will increase after months of stable low prices. However, there was good news in the 2016 Budget. Chancellor George Osborne revealed that fuel duty will be frozen for the sixth year in a row.
However, the rebounding price of oil and the weaker pound could see fuel prices rise by up to 3p per litre in April. The result could have a dramatic impact on how Brits use their cars, according to new research by Green Flag. The study claims that 31 per cent of British car owners will drive less than they currently do because of fuel price rises. Astonishingly, one in 20 car drivers will stop driving altogether thanks to the increases. Continue reading
It’s a familiar scenario. You drive onto a petrol station forecourt and pull up alongside the pumps. Staring back at you is a range of multi-coloured nozzles labelled with an equally confusing array of names: Fuel Save, V-Power Nitro+, Synergy, Synergy Supreme+, Regular Fuels, Ultimate, Momentum. The list goes on, with all retailers offering standard and premium fuels. The question is: should drivers fill their car with premium fuel?